February 22, 2014

7th Sunday - A


Another Purpose of the New Law

Three aspects of last week’s the Gospel passage from Matthew 5: 17 – 37 can help our reflection on today’s Gospel.

1. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophet. 

2. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus establishes a new heaven and a new earth.

3. In the new heaven and earth, we follow not rules and regulations, but Jesus Christ.  (God’s law thus becomes the application of our following of Jesus Christ).

Today’s passage gives another insight into the meaning and value of the way of Jesus – the new law of God’s Kingdom.  

When we live God’s law, we, children of God, reflect the goodness of our Heavenly Father.
And there are no limits to this law of love.  “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

7th Sunday - A (February 23, 2014)


February 15, 2014

6th Sunday - A


We Follow Not the Law, but a Person

Jesus has “come not to abolish but to fulfill” the Law and the Prophets.   

In fact, the Law and the Prophets prepared for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.
Thus, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. 

At the death of Jesus, heaven and earth have already “passed away.”  At that time, “the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were open.”  Moreover, those who had died “were raised.”  Then, after Jesus’ resurrection, “they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27: 51 – 53) [1]

And, at Jesus’ resurrection, "there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven….  His appearance was like lightning.” (Matthew 28: 2 – 3) [2]

Jesus’ resurrection opens the age of a new heaven and a new earth. 

We no longer follow the Law for its own sake.  The Law, rather, now helps us to follow a person, Jesus Christ, who is the fulfillment of all things. 

And He leads us to life in the new heaven and the new earth, to membership in the “kingdom of heaven.”

[1] Francis J. Moloney.  The Gospel of the Lord:  Reflections on the Gospel Readings: Year A.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1995; p. 140.
[2] Ibid.,  p. 140 – 141.

6th Sunday - A (February 16, 2014)


Image source:  http://www.agnusday.org 

February 8, 2014

5th Sunday - A


This Gospel passage is a part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.   When one thinks of the Sermon on the Mount, one almost naturally thinks of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1 – 12).  And the Beatitudes can often be interpreted as the requirements, or things we do, in order to earn heaven.

This passage follows immediately the Beatitudes (5: 13 – 16).

The three parables in this short passage (about salt, light, and a city on a mountain) give the proper orientation for the Beatitudes.  They are not something we do in order to be rewarded.  Rather, they are blessings from God (“blessed are …”).  And when the disciples of Christ live these blessings, God is glorified.

And the model of this way of living is Jesus Christ himself.  Jesus, in his life and death, is the living Beatitudes.  Thus, in the Son, the Father is glorified.

5th Sunday - A (February 9, 2014)


February 1, 2014

Presentation of the Lord


My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation

There are two details in this passage of Luke’s Gospel that indicate where Simeon and Anna meet the child Jesus. 

First, Simeon meets both parents, Joseph and Mary, when they bring the child Jesus to the temple.  He then speaks to Mary, a woman.

Second, Anna, “a prophetess” is another woman, who “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child.”

Mary and Anna would have stayed in the area known as the “Court of the Women” of the temple.  They were not allowed in the area reserved for the men (Court of the Israelites) or the Court of the Priests.   

The Court of the Women is the outermost section for the Jewish people.  It is for women, who were considered the least of the people.  There, as an infant, the Savior let people meet him.  

As an adult, the Savior would reach out to be with the outcasts of society, tax collectors, sinners, Gentiles, lepers, ....

The Savior is present among the lowliest of His people. In them, our eyes will see Him.

Presentation of the Lord (February 2, 2014)