DAILY MASS READINGS (March 18, 2020)


Reading 1 (DEUTERONOMY 4:1, 5-9)

A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy

Moses spoke to the people and said:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land 
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20)

R. (12a)  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
He spreads snow like wool;
frost he strews like ashes.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Verse Before The Gospel (SEE JOHN 6:63C, 68C)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Gospel (MATTHEW 5:17-19)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: Lent reminds us to bring us closer to God by being faithful to his teachings and commandments and to show our love and mercy to others.
In the First Reading (Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9), Moses tells the people to carefully observe the decrees of the Lord. This is way of saying thanks to Yahweh for delivering them from their slavery in Egypt. And Moses also commands them not to let these pass from their minds and hearts, so that they could teach these from one generation to the next. So the Jews are very serious when it comes to observing the Law very well. They make sure they don’t break any of these rules and regulations. 1250 years later on, the Torah will come to its fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel (Matthew 5:17-19), Jesus in his Sermon of the Mount proclaims that he does not intend to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. For this is the reason why he was conversing with Moses and Elijah during his Transfiguration at Mount Tabor. He renews the old teachings by making new interpretations. His message for us is love. This is the reason why we are called Christians. And it was God’s love that sent his Son to save us from the bondage of sin. By his Paschal Mystery, we are reminded to live up the call of being his faithful children. So we must also observe the Law of love, grace, and freedom and teach and inspire others to do the same.
As we journey down this Lenten road, let us carefully observe the Law of God by putting the values of love, grace, and freedom in it. And freedom should mean doing good and avoiding evil.

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