Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Jesus said to the disciples, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets.  I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.  I assure you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of the Law, not the smallest part of a letter will be done away with until everything is accomplished.  This is why those who break even the least significant of these commands and teach others to do so will be called least in the kindom of Heaven. Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands will be called great in the kindom of Heaven.  I tell you, unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into

everlasting life with God.

You have learned the commandments given to our ancestors, ‘No killing.  Every murderer will be liable to judgment.’  What I say to you is that everyone who is angry with sisters or brothers is liable to judgment; anyone who uses abusive language with their sisters or brothers will be liable to the Sanhedrin; and anyone who holds them in contempt will risk the fires of Gehenna.  If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your sister or brother has anything against you, go first to be reconciled to them, and then come and offer your gift.  Lose no time in settling with your opponents – do so while on the way to court with them.  Otherwise, your opponents may hand you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the

bailiff, who will throw you into prison.  I warn you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

You have heard the commandment, ‘No committing adultery.’  What I say to you is that anyone who looks lustfully at others has already committed adultery with them in their thoughts.  If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away.  It is better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away!  It is better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna.

It was also said, ‘Whenever a husband divorces a wife, he must give her a decree of divorce.’  What I say is that everyone who divorces – lewd conduct is a separate case – forces the spouse to commit adultery.  Those who marry the divorced also commit adultery.  You have heard the commandment imposed on your ancestors, ‘You must not break your oath; you must fulfill your oaths to Our God.’ But I tell that you must not swear oaths at all.  Do not swear by heaven, for it is God’s throne; do not swear by the earth, for it is God’s footstool.  Do not swear by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great Ruler; do not swear by your own head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.  Say ‘Yes’ when you mean ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ when you mean ‘No.’  Anything beyond that is from the Evil One. ”

The Good News as spoken through Matthew.