Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
27 June 2021
“For I say to you that unless your justice exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 5:20
In his book of meditations titled Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of St. Magdalene identifies today’s liturgy as “the Sunday of Fraternal Charity, a virtue so necessary to preserve proper relations with our neighbour.” (p. 669) Likewise Jesus’ words in the Gospel (Mt. 5:20-24) state that our justice (fraternal charity) must be greater than that of the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees or else we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. We can see that Jesus not only warns us against the grave sin of murder, but also of the sins against charity such as anger and hatred: “You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Thou shalt not kill’; and that whoever shall kill shall be liable to the judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ (empty-headed) shall be liable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘Thou fool!’ shall be liable to the fire of Gehenna.” Mt. 5: 21-22 We are also told not to keep hatred or grudges within us but rather to be reconciled with our brother before we offer our gifts at the altar. St. Peter in today’s Epistle (I Pt. 3:8-15) also reminds us that we must be charitable to our brothers: “...be all like-minded, compassionate, lovers of the brethren, merciful, humble; not rendering evil for evil, or abuse for abuse, but contrariwise, blessing; for unto this were you called that you might inherit a blessing.” I Pt. 3:8-9 Jesus’ message is essentially one of charity as St. John tells us: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. And everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.” I Jn. 4:7-8
All love comes from God
“The foundation of this love for our brethren is the love of God; therefore, in the Collect, we pray that God may increase the fire of this love for him in our hearts, that we may love him in all things and above all things. Charity towards others is but a manifestation of our love for God. The means to acquire this love is insinuated in the Communion antiphon: ‘One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.’ Ps. 26:4 Those who remain close to God—in his house—will always walk in his love, and therefore will love their brothers in Christ. In the Epistle, St. Peter tells us to give glory to Christ in our hearts. This is impossible without true love for our neighbour. Indeed the best glory we can give to God is to love him in others, even if they have done us harm, because we have all been baptized in Christ, who is the common Head of the whole Body.” The Preacher’s Encyclopaedia, p. 328 St. Peter, quoting Psalm 33:13-7, spells out the need for charity if one would wish God to hear his prayers and bless him. “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek after peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” I Pt. 3:10-12. In proportion to prayer and sacrifice, those who wish to bring the blessing of God upon themselves must be at peace with their neighbours.
The Precept of Absolute Reconciliation
In the passage right before today’s Gospel, Jesus told the Pharisees: “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Mt. 5:17 Jesus is teaching the true meaning of the Mosaic Law (The Ten Commandments) when He reminds them that they must have pure hearts and cannot have any hatred or anger for their neighbour. If they do, they must come to peace with him. In today’s Gospel Jesus also demands reconciliation: “Therefore, if thou art offering thy gift at the altar and there rememberest that thy brother has anything against thee, leave thy gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and them come and offer thy gift.” Mt. 5:23- 24 Cornelius a Lapide comments on the meaning of this passage: “Therefore, this is a precept, both of law and of the natural law, or better, a supernatural precept connatural with grace. For this is the order of virtues, that reconciliation, peace, and unity precede religion and an act of Sacrifice, so as to dispose the soul to this; hence, this precept obliged even the Jews under the old law. Here, nevertheless, it is sanctioned more strictly by Christ, because by the Incarnation of the Word He has, in the very closest manner, united us all to Himself and to one another. This greater union, which we have, therefore, through Christ, demands greater love and unity among Christian brethren: so He has said, ‘A new commandment give I unto you, that you love one another.’ Jn. 13:34 Also because the Sacrifice of the Eucharist is holier than the ancient sacrifices. It is the gathering together and the communion of the Body, of which we all partake; and thereby we are all mutually united to Christ and one another. Hence, it is called ‘Communion,’ that is, the common union of all. Since, therefore, the Eucharist is a sacrifice, as well as a sacrament and profession of mutual union and peace, it is necessary that all discord should be done away with, and that those who have offended should reconcile themselves to those whom they have offended before this Sacred Synaxis, lest they be found liars. For in truth he is a liar who takes this Sacrament of Union, i.e. the Eucharist, with his neighbour, and is not in union with, but bears a grudge or rancour against him in his heart. St. Augustine says it beautifully (serm. 16 de Verbis Domini), ‘The Lord is seeking you more than a gift; you are bringing your gift yet you are not God’s gift. Christ seeks the one whom He has redeemed by His Blood more than what you have procured in your barn.’” The Commentary of Cornelius a’ Lapide: St. Matthew’s Gospel, Vol. 1, p. 253-4
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”
We pray in the Our Father for forgiveness of our sins, and we ask the Father to forgive us as we forgive those who have offended us. If we hold unforgiveness in our hearts, can we expect the Lord to forgive us? Will He hear our prayers as St. Peter tells us that He is attentive to the just? “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers.” I Pt.3:12 Let us always be reconciled to those who have offended us, and then we can be assured that the Lord will hear our prayers.
St Mary of the Angels Church
Moorhouse Road, Bayswater, London W2 5DJ
(Nr Tube: Notting Hill Gate)
Friday 2nd July 2021 … 11am to 3.30pm
Fr George M Roth
11am … Exposition of Blessed Sacrament & Rosary
12noon … Latin Mass
1pm … Adoration
2pm – Talk by Fr George Roth
“Divine Mercy for the Salvation of Souls”
3pm … Divine Mercy Chaplet
Benediction – Divine Praises
3.30pm … Confession
12 PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS TO ST. MARGARET MARY
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will establish peace in their families. 3. I will comfort them in their trials. 4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death. 5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings 6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy. 7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent. 8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection. 9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured. 10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. 11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out. 12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
The First Friday, 2 July 2021
Now is a good time to continue (or begin) the devotion to the “Nine First Fridays” of the Month. The Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to St. Margaret Mary: "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." There is no better way of honouring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than in receiving Holy Communion on the “Nine First Fridays.”.
The First Saturday: 3 July 2021
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays!