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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read about Jesus going up mountain to preach the Law. He is also planning a new pilgrimage from slavery to freedom. He tells the people he did not come to abolish the Law or Prophets but he came to fulfill them. Sinful actions are sinful and a sign of a broken heart. If we don’t want to sin, we need to return to love in our hearts.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are important, but we should not do them just so everyone can see. We should do them because they are right to do. We should always act from our hearts.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Matthew 5

1 Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him.

2 Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

3 How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

4 Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.

5 Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.

7 Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 ‘Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.

13 ‘You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet.

14 ‘You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden.

15 No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house.

16 In the same way your light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.

17 ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.

18 In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved.

19 Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.

20 ‘For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven.

21 ‘You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court.

22 But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother “Fool” willanswer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him “Traitor” will answer for it in hell fire.

23 So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,

24 leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.

25 Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison.

26 In truth I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.

27 ‘You have heard how it was said, You shall not commit adultery.

28 But I say this to you, if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29 If your right eye should be your downfall, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body thrown into hell.

30 And if your right hand should be your downfall, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body go to hell.

31 ‘It has also been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal.

32 But I say this to you, everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of an illicit marriage, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

33 ‘Again, you have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord.

34 But I say this to you, do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne;

35 or by earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great King.

36 Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black.

37 All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the Evil One.

38 ‘You have heard how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.

39 But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well;

40 if someone wishes to go to law with you to get your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

41 And if anyone requires you to go one mile, go two miles with him.

42 Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

43 ‘You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.

44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;

45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?

47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?

48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Matthew 6

1 ‘Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.

2 So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.

3 But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing;

4 your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

5 ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.

6 But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

7 ‘In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.

8 Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 So you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.

13 And do not put us to the test, but save us from the Evil One.

14 ‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours;

15 but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.

16 ‘When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.

17 But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face,

18 so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

19 ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and woodworm destroy them and thieves can break in and steal.

20 But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal.

21 For wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be too.

22 ‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is clear, your whole body will be filled with light.

23 But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkened, what darkness that will be!

24 ‘No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

25 ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing!

26 Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are?

27 Can any of you, however much you worry, add one single cubit to your span of life?

28 And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin;

29 yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these.

30 Now if that is how God clothes the wild flowers growing in the field which are there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, willhe not much more look after you, you who have so little faith?

31 So do not worry; do not say, “What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What are we to wear?”

32 It is the gentiles who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.

33 Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well.

34 So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 7

1 ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged;

2 because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you.

3 Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own?

4 And how dare you say to your brother, “Let me take that splinter out of your eye,” when, look, there is a great log in your own?

5 Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.

6 ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.

7 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

8 Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

9 Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread?

10 Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish?

11 If you, then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

12 ‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.

13 ‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it;

14 but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

15 ‘Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves.

16 You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17 In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit.

18 A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit.

19 Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire.

20 I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.

21 ‘It is not anyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.

22 When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?”

23 Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, all evil doers!

24 ‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock.

25 Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.

26 But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand.

27 Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

28 Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people

29 because he taught them with authority, unlike their own scribes.

Proverbs 18:21-24

21 Death and life are in the gift of the tongue, those who indulge it must eat the fruit it yields.

22 He who finds a wife finds happiness, receiving a mark of favour from Yahweh.

23 The language of the poor is entreaty, the answer of the rich harshness.

24 There are friends who point the way to ruin, others are closer than a brother.

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