Scripture Reading Reflection

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By Fr. Andrew Kelly
SIXTH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – FEB. 16
“For I tell you, unless your righteousness (holiness) exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This is Jesus’ holiness standard demanded in Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 5:17-37). Holiness for the scribes and Pharisees was external observance, whereas holiness for Jesus is the internal observance of the Law’s intent.
According to Jesus, if anger and lust exist within the human heart, murder and adultery have already been committed.
The anger Jesus is talking about is so consuming that the angry person even denies the existence of another human being who is the source of that anger. Jesus calls this murder with no physically violent death involved.
Lust is when one human being becomes in another’s heart and mind a sexual object to be controlled by conquest and gratification. Jesus calls this adultery (and rape) with no sexual bodily interaction or intercourse taking place.
These two examples exemplify Jesus’ words: “You have heard that it was said… But I say to you …”
Jesus now becomes the interpreter of the believer’s every thought, word and deed. All internal and external actions must now be in absolute sync with Jesus’ thoughts, words and deeds. This is being holy, Jesus’ style.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

Scripture Readings for Feb. 16-23
Sunday
Sir 15:15-20
1 Cor 2:6-10
Mt 5:17-37 or Mt 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37

Monday
Jas 1:1-11
Mk 8:11-13

Tuesday
Jas 1:12-18
Mk 8:14-21

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Wednesday
Jas 1:19-27
Mk 8:22-26

Thursday
Jas 2:1-9
Mk 8:27-33

Friday
Jas 2:14-24, 26
Mk 8:34-9:1

Saturday
1 Pt 5:1-4
Mt 16:13-19

Sunday
Lv 19:1-2, 17-18
1 Cor 3:16-23
Mt 5:38-48


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