One Minute Reflection – 16 February – The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 15:15-20 (16-21), Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34, 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, Matthew 5:17-37 and the Memorial of Blessed Nicola Paglia OP (1197-1256) Priest
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfil” … Matthew 5:17
REFLECTION – At all times and in every race God has given welcome to whosoever fears Him and does what is right (cf. Acts 10:35). God, however, does not make men holy and save them merely as individuals, without bond or link between one another. Rather has it pleased Him to bring men together as one people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. He, therefore, chose the race of Israel as a people unto Himself. With it He set up a covenant Step by step, He taught and prepared this people, making known in its history both Himself and the decree of His will and making it holy unto Himself.
All these things, however, were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant, which was to be ratified in Christ and of that fuller revelation which was to be given, through the Word of God Himself, made flesh. “Behold the days shall come saith the Lord and I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the house of Judah (. . ). I will give my law in their bowels and I will write it in their heart and I will be their God and they shall be my people (. . .) For all of them shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord” (Jer 31:31f.) Christ instituted this new covenant, the new testament, that is to say, in His Blood, (1 Cor 11:25) calling together a people made up of Jew and gentile, making them one, not according to the flesh but in the Spirit. This was to be the new People of God (…) : “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, (…) the people of God” (1 Pt 2:9).
Israel according to the flesh, which wandered as an exile in the desert, was already called the Church of God. (2 Esd 13:1; Nb 20:4; Dt 23:1f.) So, likewise, the new Israel, which while living in this present age, goes in search of a future and abiding city (Heb 13:14) is called the Church of Christ. (Mt 16:18) For He has bought it for Himself with His blood, (Acts 20:28) has filled it with His Spirit and provided it with those means which befit it as a visible and social union. … Vatican Council II – Constitution on the Church “Lumen gentium”, # 9
PRAYER – Loving and merciful Father! In all our needs, even when we turn from You and cause You sorrow, You are there to help us! You grace us with garments of love to protect us from the evils which surround us. Bless us we pray, as we turn to You in pain and repentance and by the sufferings of Your divine Son Whom You sent to redeem us, grant us peace. May the prayers of Blessed Nicola Paglia, intercede in our strife as we make our way home to You. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.