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First Reading

Sirach 15:15-20

1. Which do you choose, life or death? Good or evil? Do you always know which is which? When you don’t know for sure do you trust in God and go with your best guess? Why did God give us free choice?

2. “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” Do you think people like Dorothy Day, Archbishop Romero, Daniel Berrigan will be called “greatest”? What were they teaching us?

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 2:6-10

1. Discuss a beautiful scene in nature that you like. Or your favorite painting, or your most preferred music. Take your time. Now read from the Second Reading what St. Paul tells us God has prepared for those who love him. Can you sense something of what that will be?

2. How is it that the Spirit can scrutinize the depths of God? Is that same Spirit present in you? Can remembering that calm you down? Make you act on an inspiration? Do you think people like Romero, Berrigan, Gandhi and Matin Luther King were acting on their inspirations from the Spirit?

Matthew 5:17-37

1. Jesus is critical of the Pharisees’ type of righteousness, which focuses on externals. They make sure everyone sees when they fast, pray on street corners, wash hands, etc. How do these things relate to the inner Spirit of the law? How do they relate to loving God and neighbor?

2. According to Pope Francis, how does accepting the spirit of the law, not just the letter, lead to personal freedom?

Jesus wants his followers to move from a formal observance of God's commands to an interior acceptance of them. …

He encourages passing from a formal observance of the law to a substantial observance, welcoming the law in one's heart, which is the center of the intentions, decisions, words and gestures of each one of us. Good actions and evil ones start in the heart. …

Accepting the law of God in your heart, you understand that when you do not love your neighbor then to some degree you kill yourself and others because hatred, rivalry and division kill the fraternal charity that is at the basis of interpersonal relationships. …

Jesus knows that it is not easy to live the commandments in this all-embracing way. 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 by loving him and our brothers and sisters."

God's commandments lead to freedom.
Angelus Addrss
Feb 18, 2020

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go