Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s readings ask for decisions, challenging Christians to choose the right path with God’s help.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
All-seeing God, You alone judge rightly our inmost thoughts.
Teach us to observe Your law from the heart even as we keep it outwardly. Purify our desires, calm every anger, and reconcile us to one another. Then will our worship at Your altar render You perfect praise.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” – Jaron and Katherine Kamin
A Reading from the Apocrypha: Sirach 15:15-20 (NRSVACE)
If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you choose. Before each person are life and death, and whichever one chooses will be given.
For great is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power and sees everything; his eyes are on those who fear him, and he knows every human action. He has not commanded anyone to be wicked, and he has not given anyone permission to sin.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34 NLT)
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!
Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.
“Psalm 119 “Life and happiness in God’s Law”” – Responsorial Psalm
A Reading from the Letters: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 (NLT)
Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 5:17-37 (NLT)
Teaching about the Law
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Teaching about Anger
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
“When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.
Teaching about Adultery
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Teaching about Divorce
“You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.
Teaching about Vows
“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
“After All These Years” – Brian and Jenn Johnson
God of Mercy, Wisdom and Power: hear our prayers…
+ For all who follow Christ, that they may honor Him in all they say and do…
+ For those who find faith hard, that faith-filled people may inspire them…
+ For married couples, that Your grace may help them every day…
+ For people preparing for marriage, that You may guide their steps…
+ For the gift of wisdom and sound judgement in the choices we make…
+ For our friends and neighbors, that God may bless them…
+ For all who have died in Christ, that they may enjoy life without end…
Gracious God, You lead Your people along the narrow path of life; hear our prayers and give us the help we need today, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Find Me” – Jonathan & Melissa Helser
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 24-25
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Categories: Life in Christ