Thursday, March 17, 2011



MARCH 18, 2011

Ez 18:21-28 / Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 / Mt 5:20-26

EZEKIEL 18:21-28
If the sinner turns from his sin, observes my decrees and practices
what is right and just, he will live, he will not die. None of the
sins he committed will be charged against him; he will live as a
consequence of his righteous deeds. Do I want the death of the sinner?
– word of Yahweh. Do I not rather want him to turn from his ways and
live? But if the righteous man turns away from what is good and
commits sins as the wicked do, will he live? His righteous deeds will
no longer be credited to him, but he will die because of his
infidelity and his sins. But you say: Yahweh's way is not just! Why,
Israel! Is my position wrong? Is it not rather that yours is wrong? If
the righteous man dies after turning from his righteous deeds and
sinning, he dies because of his sins. And if the wicked man does what
is good and right, after turning from the sins he committed, he will
save his life. He will live and not die, because he has opened his
eyes and turned from the sins he had committed.

MATTHEW 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, then, that if you are not
righteous in a much broader way than the teachers of the Law and the
Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. "You have heard
that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder;
anyone who does kill will have to face trial. But now I tell you:
whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial.
Whoever insults a brother or sister deserves to be brought before the
council; whoever calls a brother or a sister `Fool' deserves to be
thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift
at the altar and you remember that your brother has something against
you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make
peace with him, and then come back and offer your gift to God. "Don't
forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are
together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the
judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail.
There you will stay, until you have paid the last penny."

The scribes and Pharisees were admired for their zeal, concern for
purity, perfection and devotion to oral tradition. But this made them
arrogant because they looked down upon those who were ignorant of the
law, thus they avoided the company of sinners. Since they are men of
the law they think they deserve the love of God. It is, for them,
their privilege.

We, too, are Pharisees when we present ourselves as just, good,
religious yet blind to the situation of our hearts that we are
sinners. Of what use will our prayers be if we do not have compassion?
We do not kill physically but our hearts are full of anger, hatred and
judgments against others. We open our mouth to sing hymns yet that
same mouth we use to gossip and destroy another. We want to be upright
externally; we have to be more zealous and perfect than the Pharisees.
This is a herculean task. Legal observance is not enough. We may fall
into arrogance because everything depends on our strength. Christ came
for those who cannot help themselves. He died for the sinners. If we
are not sinners then the effort of Christ is of no value for us. Like
the Pharisees we conduct ourselves as hypocrites.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Jo Marcelo
- Jun Lee
- Victor G. Lorenzo
- Ferdinand T. Laxamana
… for the personal intentions of:
- Beng and Nina, Ginny and Bong, Benny and Leah
- Josheil Dapo
- Mary Wong
.. Birthday: Elsa
… for the people of Japan. We especially pray for those who are
directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Angelica Samarista
- Birthday: Imelda S. Padilla
- Birthday: Marco Yao Bate
- Wedding Anniversary: Rosalind & Erwin Ty Tan
- Wedding Anniversary: Gregorio & Suzanne Kaw
- In Memoriam (+): Frank Atienza
… for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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Fr. R. Hart, S. J.
Fr. Thomas O'Gorman, S. J.


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