St. Peter's Square
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today's Gospel (cf Mt 5: 17-37) is taken from the "speech of the mountain" and deals with the topic of fulfilling the Law: how I must fulfill the Law, how to do it. Jesus wants to help his listeners to have a correct approach to the prescriptions of the Commandments given to Moses, urging to be available to God who educates us to true freedom and responsibility through the Law. It is about living it as an instrument of freedom. Let's not forget this: living the Law as an instrument of freedom, which helps me to be freer, which helps me not to be a slave to passions and sin. We think of wars, we think of the consequences of wars, we think of that little girl who died of cold in Syria the day before yesterday. Many calamities, many. This is the result of passions and people who make war cannot control their passions. He fails to fulfill the law. When you succumb to temptations and passions, you are not lords and protagonists of your life, but you become unable to manage it with will and responsibility.
Jesus' discourse is structured in four antitheses, expressed with the formula "You understood that it was said ... but I tell you". These antitheses refer to as many situations of daily life: murder, adultery, divorce and oaths. Jesus does not abolish the prescriptions that concern these problems, but explains their full meaning and indicates the spirit with which it is necessary to observe them. He encourages us to move from formal compliance with the Law to substantial compliance, accepting the Law in the heart, which is the center of the intentions, decisions, words and gestures of each of us. Good and bad deeds start from the heart.
By accepting the Law of God in your heart, you understand that when you do not love your neighbor, you kill yourself and others to some extent, because hatred, rivalry and division kill the fraternal charity that is the basis of interpersonal relationships. . And this applies to what I have said about wars and also to gossip, because gossip kills. By accepting the Law of God in your heart, you understand that desires must be guided, because not everything you want can be had, and it is not good to give in to selfish and possessive feelings. When you accept the Law of God in your heart, you understand that you must abandon a lifestyle made of broken promises, as well as move from the prohibition of swearing the false to the decision not to swear at all, assuming the attitude of full sincerity with everyone.
And Jesus is aware that it is not easy to live the Commandments in this totalizing way. For this reason he offers us the help of his love: He came into the world not only to fulfill the Law, but also to give us his Grace, so that we can do the will of God, loving him and the brothers. Everything, everything we can do with the grace of God! On the contrary, holiness is nothing other than to guard this gratuitousness that God has given us, this Grace. It is a matter of trusting and entrusting himself to him, to his grace, to that gratuitousness that he has given us and to welcome the hand that he constantly extends to us, so that our efforts and our necessary commitment can be supported by his help, full of goodness and of mercy.
Today Jesus asks us to progress on the path of love that he has shown us and which starts from the heart. This is the way forward to live as a Christian. May the Virgin Mary help us to follow the path traced by her Son, to reach true joy and spread justice and peace everywhere.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters!
I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims; in particular, those from Croatia and Serbia; from Trappes, in France; from the diocese of Toledo, Spain; and the students of the "Colegio Asunción Cuestablanca" in Madrid.
I greet the faithful of Biancavilla, Fiuggi, Aprilia, Pescara and Treviso; the boys of the Confirmation of Serravalle Scrivia, Quarto d'Altino and Rosolina.
And I wish everyone a happy Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation