wednesday 18 March 2020
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315 – 386)
He was born in 315 and became bishop of Jerusalem in 348. He was active in the Arian controversy. He is respected by both the Catholics and the Orthodox, and he was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Pope in 1883.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 118: 133
Let my steps be guided by your promise; may evil never rule me.
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, schooled through Lenten observance and nourished by your word, through holy restraint we may be devoted to you with all our heart and be ever united in prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9
Moses said to the people: ‘Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you. ‘See, as the Lord my God has commanded me, I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.” And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today? ‘But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life; rather, tell them to your children and to your children’s children.’
R/ O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
- O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! Zion, praise your God! He has strengthened the bars of your gates he has blessed the children within you.
- He sends out his word to the earth and swiftly runs his command. He showers down snow white as wool, he scatters hoar-frost like ashes.
- He makes his word known to Jacob, to Israel his laws and decrees. He has not dealt thus with other nations; he has not taught them his decrees.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 8:12
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; anyone who follows me will have the light of life. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, we pray, the prayers of your people along with these sacrificial offerings, and defend those who celebrate your mysteries from every kind of danger. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 15: 11
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord.
Prayer after Communion
May the heavenly banquet, at which we have been fed, sanctify us, O Lord, and, cleansing us of all errors, make us worthy of your promises from on high. Through Christ our Lord.
When Jesus speaks about the commandments he does so because during his time the Pharisees were infringing on the law and making it soothe their selfish desires. During that time, it seemed that Jesus was changing the status quo that made the people feel that he was changing the law, but Jesus was simply correcting the anomalies and misinterpretation of the law. Today we have a recycling of these Pharisees who outbid the name of Jesus to exploit gullible Christians who are desperate for material satisfaction. In this case they do not teach the word of God. Instead, they concentrate on the satisfaction of appetites are taught in place of the truth of Christ. Jesus today warns us to beware of such practices and false teachers.