Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Matthew

Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23*

#636 Proper of Saint Context (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sep 8)

#712 Commons Context (Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:1-16, 18-23

Beginning with Abraham, this passage from Matthew’s Gospel traces the ancestry of Jesus through thirty eight generations. From a scriptural standpoint this family tree was necessary, especially the final 14 generations (twice 7 the perfect number) from the birth of King David on. The oracles of the prophets, that the Lord fulfilled in his birth, spoke of the Messiah as coming from the stump of Jesse (King David’s Father), and of being of the house and line of David. The lineage described insures that the Gospel reader will know that Jesus indeed fulfilled what had been promised by God.

CCC: Mt 1:16 437; Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812; Mt 1:23 497, 744
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Or

Short Form: Matthew 1:18-23

#2A BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Annunciation of the Lord, Advent 2)

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:18-23

Following the genealogy, St. Matthew presents a shortened narrative about the nativity of Jesus (relative to those in Mark and Luke). While more is said of St. Joseph’s encounter with the messenger from God, the story of Mary’s virginal conception through the Holy Spirit is described. In the account of St. Matthew a sense of fulfillment is communicated most clearly as he quotes Isaiah as predicting the conception of Christ in Isaiah 7:14.

CCC: Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812; Mt 1:23 497, 744
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 1:1-17

#193 Weekday I & II Context (December 17th of Advent)

#1A BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Daughter of Israel, Advent 1)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:1-17

St. Matthew, speaking to a predominantly Jewish audience who call themselves “Sons of Abraham,” produces the genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham. The critical purpose is to show that Jesus was of the line of King David. This was an important demonstration that Jesus was the Messiah as predicted in the prophetic scriptures of the Old Testament (the “Prophets” as they were known and referenced by the Jewish audience).

In the final verse of this reading we see the significance of Hebrew Numerology as the numbers of generations are counted. Recalling the most perfect number in this symbolic system is seven (7), we see the product of two sevens in the generations from Abraham and David, two more between King David and the Babylonian Exile, and two more from the Exile to the Messiah. Three (the formula for the most, e.g. holy, holy, holy equivalent to holy, holier, holiest) times the product of two sevens, this is six (6) sevens, one short of the perfection to be achieved when Christ will come again.

CCC: Mt 1:16 437
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 1:1-25*

#13ABC Solemnities ABC Context (Nativity of the Lord-Vigil ABC)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile,
fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:1-25

St. Matthew, speaking to a predominantly Jewish audience who call themselves “Sons of Abraham,” produces the genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham. The critical purpose is to show that Jesus was of the line of King David. This was an important demonstration that Jesus was the Messiah as predicted in the prophetic scriptures of the Old Testament (the “Prophets” as they were known and referenced by the Jewish audience).

In the final verse of this reading we see the significance of Hebrew Numerology as the numbers of generations are counted. Recalling the most perfect number in this symbolic system is seven (7), we see the product of two sevens in the generations from Abraham and David, two more between King David and the Babylonian Exile, and two more from the Exile to the Messiah. Three (the formula for the most, e.g. holy, holy, holy equivalent to holy, holier, holiest) times the product of two sevens, this is six (6) sevens, one short of the perfection to be achieved when Christ will come again.

CCC: Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812; Mt 1:23 497, 744
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Or
Shorter Form
Matthew 1:18-25

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:18-25

This passage is from the beginning of St. Matthew’s story of the nativity of Jesus. Here we see Joseph being told by the angel that he should bring Mary into his home as wife and the paternity of the child is the Holy Spirit. He is also told to name the child Jesus. The story ends with Joseph accepting the role and the command of the angel. “The natural genealogical line is broken, but the promises to David are fulfilled. Through Joseph's adoption, the child belongs to the family of David. Matthew sees the virginal conception as the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.”[1]

CCC: Mt 1:16 437; Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812; Mt 1:23 497, 744
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

#543 Proper of Saints Context (Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mar 19)

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a

This section of the Nativity Narrative from St. Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of Joseph’s dilemma. He is required by Mosaic Law to file a petition of divorce in front of witnesses. He had resigned himself to this course of action, when he had a dream in which an angel came to him and told him of the origins of the child Mary bore. For his part, Joseph accepted the message and did as the Lord commanded. (See also commentary on Matthew 1: 18-25 below)

CCC: Mt 1:16 437; Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 1:18-25

#194 Weekday I & II Context (December 18th of Advent)

#988 Votive Mass Context (The Most Holy Name of Jesus, 1.)

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:18-25

This passage is the beginning of St. Matthew’s story of the nativity of Jesus. Joseph is being told by the angel that he should bring Mary into his home as wife and the paternity of the child is the Holy Spirit.

"The angel's message is urgent: Joseph must maintain his marriage in order to be the foster-father of Jesus. As a descendant of King David, he imparts to Jesus Davidic (royal) rights of inheritance. Matthew's portrait of Joseph recalls the OT patriarch Joseph. (1) Both share the same name ([Mt] 1:18; Gen 30:24); (2) both have fathers named Jacob ([Mt] 1:16; Gen 30:19-24); (3) God spoke to both of them through dreams ([Mt] 1:20-21; [Mt] 2:13, 19-20, 22; Gen 37:5-11); (4) both were righteous and chaste ([Mt] 1:19; Gen 39:7-18); (5) both saved their families by bringing them to Egypt ([Mt] 2:13; Gen 45 16-20)."[28]

He is also told the child would be called Emmanuel ("God with us"). The story ends with Joseph accepting the role and the command of the angel. “The natural genealogical line is broken but the promises to David are fulfilled; through Joseph's adoption the child belongs to the family of David. Matthew sees the virginal conception as the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.”[1]

CCC: Mt 1:16 437; Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812; Mt 1:23 497, 744
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 1:18-24

#10A Solemnities A Context (4th Sunday of Advent A)

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 1:18-24

Following the genealogy, St. Matthew provides the short story of Mary’s virginal conception through the Holy Spirit, and how God intervened to insure that Joseph also heard his call. This section of the Nativity Narrative from St. Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of Joseph’s dilemma. He is required by Mosaic Law to file a petition of divorce in front of witnesses. He has resigned himself to this course of action when he had a dream in which an angel came to him and told him of the origins of the child Mary bore. For his part, Joseph accepted the message and did as the Lord commanded.

CCC: Mt 1:16 437; Mt 1:18-25 497; Mt 1:20 333, 437, 486, 497; Mt 1:21 430, 437, 452, 1507, 1846, 2666, 2812
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 2:1-12


#20 ABC Solemnities ABC Context (Epiphany of the Lord)

#6C BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Epiphany of the Lord, Christmas 6)

#24O-I BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Seat of Wisdom)

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 2:1-12

Matthew's Gospel tells the story of the Magi (whom tradition holds were named Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) coming to pay homage to Jesus. The story holds significance not only as a principal event in the life of Jesus, but also as a symbol of the Lord’s universal revelation. Scripture and tradition teach that the Magi were from Persia and were not Hebrew. Their participation in the revelation of the Messiah provides a global element to the coming of Christ.

Scriptural references would have held importance for the Jewish readers of St. Matthew’s Gospel. They would have recognized the reference to “his star at its rising” as being a reference to Numbers 24:17; his star rising from Jacob – a reference to the coming of the Davidic King – the Messiah. The Gospel supports this idea, citing Micah 5:1-3 which in turn is coupled with 2 Samuel 5:2, confirming the kingship of the coming Messiah.

While this story provides depth and meaning to the coming of Christ as a universal symbol of salvation, it also sets the stage for other events in the life of Jesus. Had Herod not been made aware of the prophecy, he would not later have dispatched his solders to Bethlehem to slaughter the Holy Innocents, and Joseph would not have been forced to flee to Egypt with a babe in arms.

CCC: Mt 2:1-12 486; Mt 2:1 528; Mt 2:2 439, 528; Mt 2:4-6 528; Mt 2:11 724
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

#17A Solemnities A Context (Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph A)

#712 Commons Context (Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2.)

#931 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 22. For Refugees and Exiles, First Option)

#8C BVM Context (Our Lady of Nazareth II, Christmas 8)

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod had died, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,
for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”
He rose, took the child and his mother,
and went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea
in place of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go back there.
And because he had been warned in a dream,
he departed for the region of Galilee.
He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth,
so that what had been spoken through the prophets
might be fulfilled,
He shall be called a Nazorean
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

The story of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt is provided in St. Matthew’s Gospel. Angelic messengers are sent to keep Jesus from harm, and guide St. Joseph, the father of Jesus. (The verses 16-18 which are omitted in this reading tell the story of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem whose feast we celebrated on December 28.) The actions that follow accomplish the task of saving Jesus from Herod. It is also reminiscent of Moses’ flight from Egypt and subsequent return which triggered the salvation event – the Exodus.

The account also mentions that all that happens is in accordance with what has been prophetically revealed. The first reference, indicating that the Messiah was to be called out of Egypt, is a reference to Hosea 11:1. The second reference is less clear as there is no specific Old Testament biblical reference to Nazareth. It is possibly a confusion with the term “neser.” The Old Testament texts are Isaiah 11:1, where the Davidic king of the future is called "a bud" (neser) that shall blossom from the roots of Jesse, and Judges 13:5, 7 where Samson, the future deliverer of Israel from the Philistines, is called one who shall be consecrated (a nazir) to God.

CCC: Mt 2:13-18 530; Mt 2:13 333; Mt 2:15 530; Mt 2:19 333
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 2:13-18


#698 Proper of Saints Context (Feast of Holy Innocents Dec 27)

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 2:13-18

St. Matthew provides the story of the slaughter of the innocent children of Bethlehem. We are told how Herod, in his frustration at being deceived by the magi, sends troops to kill all the male children under the age of two. We are also reminded that this event, and the warning received by Joseph to take the infant Jesus to Egypt, were both predicted in scripture.

In this ironic twist, the saga of Moses is replayed in an inverse way. A slaughter of innocents preceded his advent, and the trek to Egypt by the Holy Family recalls the exodus event now relived by the Savior. “The fulfillment citation is taken from Hosea 11:1. Israel, God's son, was called out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus; Jesus, the Son of God, will similarly be called out of that land in a new exodus. The father-son relationship between God and the nation is set in a higher key. Here the son is not a group adopted as 'son of God,' but the child who, as conceived by the Holy Spirit, stands in unique relation to God. He is son of David and of Abraham, of Mary and of Joseph, but, above all, of God.”[2] The passage concludes with a quote of Jeremiah 31:15 in which Rachel is weeping for children taken into exile at the time of the Assyrian invasion (722 BC). Tradition holds her lament was so profound it was heard for miles.

CCC: Mt 2:13-18 530; Mt 2:13 333; Mt 2:15 530
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 3:1-12


#4A Sundays Context (2nd Sunday of Advent A)

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 3:1-12

This Gospel passage from St. Matthew introduces St. John the Baptist. The Gospel author does not, as St. Luke does in his account (Luke 3:2ff), make it clear that St. John is a relative of Jesus or say anything about his origins. The Baptist is making the preparatory statements to the people that will open the way for Jesus' own ministry.

St. John is calling for repentance, a change of heart and conduct that will lead the faithful back to God. His attire recalls that of the prophet Elijah (who was expected to return to prepare for the final establishment of God’s Kingdom according to Hebrew tradition - Malachi 3:23-24 [ii]). We are told that he (John the Baptist) is the one predicted by the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3.

The Baptist has harsh words for the Pharisees and Sadducees who had apparently come to his ritual bath with an attitude that they did not need to repent since they are already keeping Mosaic Law scrupulously. The Baptist tells them that, while they may keep the Law, there is no conversion of heart and God will see that.

The passage concludes with St. John’s prediction of the coming of the Messiah who will “baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” This final reference to judgment uses the image of the harvest, where chaff is separated from grain by throwing both into the air and letting the heavier grain fall back to the ground, while the useless chaff is blown away and later collected and burned.

CCC: Mt 3:3 523; Mt 3:7-12 678; Mt 3:7 535
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 3:13-17


#21A Sundays A Context (Baptism of the Lord A)

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 3:13-17

The story of the Baptism of Jesus from St. Matthew’s Gospel, while short, is the most complete account of the interaction between Jesus and St. John the Baptist in the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus recognizes the symbolic nature of what the Baptist is doing and tells him, above his objections, to “fulfill all righteousness.” The event unfolds with Jesus coming up from the water and the Holy Spirit descending. What God says, as reported by St. Matthew, differs slightly from the Gospels of Mark and Luke in that the address takes the form of a proclamation, as opposed to a statement to the Lord himself (“This is my beloved Son…,” as opposed to “You are my beloved Son…(Mark 1:11) or (Luke 3:22)).

CCC: Mt 3:13-17 535, 1286; Mt 3:13 1223; Mt 3:14-15 608; Mt 3:15 536, 1224; Mt 3:16-17 1224; Mt 3:16 536; Mt 3:16 & par. 701; Mt 3:17 444, 713
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 4:1-11

#22A Solemnities A Context (1st Sunday of Lent A)

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”
Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 4:1-11

The temptation of Christ highlights the fact that one of the remarkable characteristics of temptation can be that the devil may use our own moral core to attempt to overthrow us.  We note that the evil one uses scriptural quotes to invite Jesus to sin.  However, the Lord's knowledge of God's will and purpose refutes the devil.

“Jesus, proclaimed Son of God at his baptism, is subjected to a triple temptation. Obedience to the Father is a characteristic of true sonship, and Jesus is tempted by the devil to rebel against God, overtly in the third case, more subtly in the first two. Each refusal of Jesus is expressed in language taken from the Book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:13, 16). The testings of Jesus resemble those of Israel during the wandering in the desert and later in Canaan, and the victory of Jesus, the true Israel and the true Son, contrasts with the failure of the ancient and disobedient "son," the old Israel. In the temptation account Matthew is almost identical with Luke; both seem to have drawn upon the same source.”[6]

"Catholic teaching tells us that there are three levels of temptation: 1) suggestion, that is external temptation, which we can undergo without committing any sin; 2) temptation, in which we take a certain delight, whether prolonged or not, even though we do not give clear consent; this level of temptation has now become internal and there is some sinfulness in it; 3) temptation to which we consent; this is always sinful, and, since it affects the deepest part of the soul, is definitely internal."[30] The Lord underwent his temptation only in suggestion, an example to all his followers that sin never bears consideration.

CCC: Mt 4:1-11 394, 2849; Mt 4:4 2835; Mt 4:10 2083, 2135; Mt 4:11 333
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

#212 Weekday Year I & II Context (Monday Following Epiphany)

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness
have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.
His fame spread to all of Syria,
and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases
and racked with pain,
those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics,
and he cured them.
And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea,
and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 4:12-17, 23-25

The events in this Gospel passage take place just following Jesus’ trial in the desert. St. John the Baptist has accomplished his mission in baptizing Jesus and has been arrested. Jesus now takes up his mission, proclaiming the Kingdom of God. The Gospel quotes Isaiah (Isaiah 8:22-9:1) to emphasize that the messianic mission and prophecy are being fulfilled. The key elements of the mission are laid out as he reveals God’s love. These elements are teaching, proclaiming the gospel (the Good News of the Kingdom of God), and healing.

The summary provided serves as an introduction to the Sermon on the Mount which follows in the next section. Omitted from this part of the Gospel, in verses 18-22, is the call of the first disciples.

CCC: Mt 4:17 1720, 1989; Mt 4:24 1503
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 4:12-23*

#67A Sundays A Context (3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 4:12-23

The events in this Gospel passage take place just following Jesus’ trial in the desert. St. John the Baptist has accomplished his mission in baptizing Jesus and has been arrested. Jesus now takes up his mission, proclaiming the Kingdom of God. He begins by quoting Isaiah 8:22-9:1.The key elements of the mission are laid out as he reveals God’s love.

Following the statement of the mission, the Gospel takes up the call of Peter, Andrew, James and John, all fishermen. Three of these four are considered to be very close to the Lord throughout his ministry. Their response is instructive in that they must give up family and their former way of life to follow the Lord. They go forward from the call, teaching, proclaiming the gospel, and healing. The summary provided serves as an introduction to the Sermon on the Mount which follows in the next section.

CCC: Mt 4:17 1720, 1989; Mt 4:19 878; Mt 4:21 878
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Or
Shorter Form: Matthew 4:12-17

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 4:12-17

This shorter version of the Gospel omits the call of the first four disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John (Zebedee’s sons). With this omission, the focus of the Gospel is tightened from one of call and response, to call to repentance based upon the prophetic Isaiah 8:22-9:1 quoted here.

CCC: Mt 4:17 1720, 1989
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 4:18-22

#684 Proper of Saints Context (Feast of St. Andrew Nov 30)

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 4:18-22

This passage is the account in St. Matthew’s Gospel of the call of the first disciples. The important principle provided in this episode is the fact that the four disciples called by Jesus, the first four, followed the Lord immediately.  It is recorded that they left their entire livelihood and all their possessions behind and followed Jesus. (A similar abruptness is found also in the call of Levi, Matthew 9:9.)

Ironically the notes on this section point out that three of the four called, Peter, James, and John, are distinguished by a particular closeness to Jesus. The reason that Matthew’s account indicates the disciples left work and family immediately, without any explanation, may be due in part to Andrew’s earlier encounter with Jesus as a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:40)

CCC: Mt 4:19 878; Mt 4:21 878
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:1-12

#41O-3 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Consolation)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:1-12a

This section of the Sermon on the Mount begins the first of five great discourses in St. Matthew’s Gospel. He begins using a formula common in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament with “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”(Job 5:17Proverbs 3:13Sirach 25:8-9) This designation identifies those without material resources, completely dependent upon God. (This distinction is for the devout poor.) The discourse continues blessing those who mourn, who are meek, who “hunger” for righteousness (to adopt the Lord’s law of love in their hearts), the merciful, the clean of heart (those who are reconciled to God), the peacemakers, the persecuted, and finally those who will be reviled because they profess faith in Christ.

The litany of praises for those to be blessed by the Lord has an overarching theme. It holds up the spiritual strength of complete dependence on God for life, health, and prosperity. St. Matthew captures the strength in that dependence and God’s promise of salvation through the words of the Savior.

The litany of blessings concludes with a reminder that those who are persecuted for the sake of the Lord are in the company of the great prophets who were also persecuted for proclaiming God's truth to those who refused to believe in ages past.

It is noteworthy that the word “Blessed” [μακάριοι (makάrios) in Greek and Beati in Latin] is translated “Happy” in many Old Testament texts.  The idea of happiness or peace as a blessing from God is an important understanding about the intent of this discourse.

CCC: Mt 5:1 581; Mt 5:3-12 1716; Mt 5:3 544, 2546; Mt 5-7 2763; Mt 5-6 764; Mt 5:8 1720, 2518; Mt 5:9 2305, 2330; Mt 5:11-12 520
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:1-12a

#70A Solemnities A Context (4th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#359 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#359 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#576 Proper of Saints Context (St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Jun 2)

#611 Proper of Saints Context (St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Aug 2)

#667 Proper of Saints Context (Solemnity of All Saints, Nov 1)

#668 Proper of Saints Context (The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed Nov 2)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#768 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 4. Confirmation, 1.)

#795 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 1.)

#805 Ritual Mass Context (VI. For the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, 1.)

#815 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 1.)

#866 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 9. For the Laity, 1.)

#881 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 12 For Persecuted Christians, 1.)

#886 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 13. For the Country or a City or for Those Who Serve in Public Office or for the Congress or for the President or for the Progress of Peoples, 1.)

#891 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 14. For Peace and Justice, 1.)

#896 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 15. For Reconcilliation, 1.)

#1016 Mass for the Dead Context (1.)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:1-12a

This section of the Sermon on the Mount begins the first of five great discourses in St. Matthew’s Gospel. He begins using a formula common in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament with “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”(Job 5:17; Proverbs 3:13; Sirach 25:8-9) This designation identifies those without material resources, completely dependent upon God. (This distinction is for the devout poor.) The discourse continues, blessing those who mourn, who are meek, who “hunger” for righteousness (to adopt the Lord’s law of love in their hearts), the merciful, the clean of heart (those who are reconciled to God), the peacemakers, the persecuted, and finally those who will be reviled because they profess faith in Christ.

The litany of praises for those to be blessed by the Lord has an overarching theme. It holds up the spiritual strength of complete dependence on God for life, health, and prosperity. St. Matthew captures the strength in that dependence, and God’s promise of salvation through the words of the Savior.

It is noteworthy that the word “Blessed” [μακάριοι (makάrios) in Greek and Beati in Latin] is translated “Happy” in many Old Testament texts.  The idea of happiness or peace as a blessing from God is an important understanding about the intent of this discourse.

CCC: Mt 5:1 581; Mt 5:3-12 1716; Mt 5:3 544, 2546; Mt 5-7 2763; Mt 5-6 764; Mt 5:8 1720, 2518; Mt 5:9 2305, 2330; Mt 5:11-12 520
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:2-12a

#763 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 3. Reception of Baptized Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church, 1.)

Jesus began to teach his disciples, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:2-12a

This section of the Sermon on the Mount begins the first of five great discourses in St. Matthew’s Gospel. He begins using a formula common in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament with “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”(Job 5:17Proverbs 3:13Sirach 25:8-9) This designation identifies those without material resources, completely dependent upon God. (This distinction is for the devout poor). The discourse continues blessing they who mourn, who are meek, who “hunger” for righteousness (to adopt the Lord’s law of love in their hearts), the merciful, the clean of heart (those who are reconciled to God), the peacemakers, the persecuted, and finally those who will be reviled because they profess faith in Christ.

The litany of praises for those to be blessed by the Lord has an overarching theme. It holds up the spiritual strength of complete dependence on God for life, health, and prosperity. St. Matthew captures the strength in that dependence and God’s promise of salvation through the words of the Savior.

It is noteworthy that the word “Blessed” [μακάριοι (makάrios) in Greek and Beati in Latin] is translated “Happy” in many Old Testament texts.  The idea of happiness or peace as a blessing from God is an important understanding about the intent of this discourse. (See CCC 1716-1719)

CCC: Mt 5:3-12 1716; Mt 5:3 544, 2546; Mt 5-7 2763; Mt 5-6 764; Mt 5:8 1720, 2518; Mt 5:9 2305, 2330; Mt 5:11-12 520
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:13-19

#512 Proper of Saints Context (St. Hilary Jan 12)

#574 Proper of Saints Context (St. Justin Jun 1)

#588 Proper of Saints Context (St. Cyril of Alexandria Jun 27)

#610 Proper of Saints Context (St. Alphonsus Liguori Aug 1)

#694 Proper of Saints Context (St. Peter Canisus Dec 21)

#730 Commons Context (Common of Doctors of the Church)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:13-19

In this selection from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus uses allegory to push the Word of God into the world. He tells his disciples they are an integral part of the faith of the people in God. Like seasoning is to food, so is the Word of God to the faith. They must remain steadfast so they do not lose the zeal for God that is the taste of that seasoning. It is the taste which sets it apart.

He uses a second allegory, light, to provide still more direction. The light of faith will be seen by all because it is reflected in the actions of those who believe. The light of faith serves to guide others to God, where they may otherwise become lost in darkness and wander into paths of desolation. The light that pours from the disciples will be seen as a gift, not from them, but from the Father and the Father will be glorified because of the light.

Those who believed that Jesus came to destroy the Jewish faith and laws are refuted in the next part of the passage. The Lord tells them that he did not come to destroy the Law of Moses, even though he disagreed with the way some of those laws were being implemented. Rather he came to fulfill it; essentially he gave the law a reinterpretation through his own revelation.

CCC: Mt 5:13-16 782, 2821; Mt 5:14 1243; Mt 5:16 326; Mt 5:17-19 577, 592, 1967; Mt 5:17 2053
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:13-16

#73A Sundays A Context (5th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#360 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#360 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#654 Proper of Saints Context (St. Denis, Oct 9)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#763 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 3. Reception of Baptized Christians into Full Communion of the Catholic Church, 2)

#774 Ritual Mass Context (II. For the Conferral of Holy Orders, 1.)

#805 Ritual Mass Context (IV. For the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, 2.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:13-16

In this selection from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus uses allegory to push the Word of God into the world. He tells his disciples they are an integral part of the faith of the people in God. Like seasoning is to food, so the Word of God is to faith. They must remain steadfast so they do not lose zeal for God, which is the taste of that seasoning. It is that which sets it apart.

He uses a second allegory, light, to provide still more direction. The light of faith will be seen by all because it is reflected in the actions of those who believe. That light serves to guide others to God, where they may otherwise become lost in darkness, and wander into paths of desolation. That light that pours from the disciples will be seen as a gift, not from them, but from the Father, and the Father will be glorified because of the light.

CCC: Mt 5:13-16 782, 2821; Mt 5:14 1243; Mt 5:16 326
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:14-19

#784 Ritual Mass Context (IV. For the Conferral of Ministries, 1. Institution of Readers, 1.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You ure the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:14-19

In this selection from the Gospel of Matthew Jesus uses allegory to push the Word of God into the world. He uses the allegory, light, to provide direction. The light of faith will be seen by all because it is reflected in the actions of those who believe. That light serves to guide others to God where they may otherwise become lost in darkness and wander in to paths of desolation. That light that pours from the disciples will be seen as a gift not from them but from the Father and the Father will be glorified because of the light.

In this early encounter between Jesus’ mission and the Law of Moses we are told that Jesus came to “fulfill” the law, to bring it to perfection as the messiah. He supports the rabbinical teaching of the time which separates the 613 individual precepts of the law found in the Pentateuch into “great and small” based upon their seriousness when he refers to breaking the least of the commandments. The passage is continued in almost Mosaic style by saying that those who follow the law will be great in heaven. This draws a distinction from those who would break the law being least in heaven.

CCC: Mt 5:14 1243; Mt 5:16 326; Mt 5:17-19 577, 592, 1967; Mt 5:17 2053
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:17-37*

#76A Sundays A Context (6th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you,
whoever is angry with brother
will be liable to judgment;
and whoever says to brother, ‘Raqa,’
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin;
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’
will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife - unless the marriage is unlawful -
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,' and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the evil one.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:17-37

In this early encounter between Jesus’ mission and the Law of Moses, we are told that Jesus came to “fulfill” the law, to bring it to perfection as the messiah. He supports the rabbinical teaching of the time, which separates the 613 individual precepts of the law found in the Pentateuch into “great and small,” based upon their seriousness, when he refers to breaking the least of the commandments. The passage is continued in almost Mosaic style by saying that those who follow the law will be great in heaven. This draws a distinction from those who would break the law being least in heaven.

Those who believed that Jesus came to destroy the Jewish faith and laws are refuted. The Lord tells them that he did not come to destroy the law, even though he disagreed with the way some of those laws were being implemented. Rather he came to fulfill it, essentially to give the law a reinterpretation through his own revelation.

Verses 20-26 give the first of six examples in St. Matthew’s Gospel of conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. The first three take a commandment of Mosaic Law and deepen the meaning. Here the Lord takes “You shall not kill” (quoted from Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17) to a new level. He tells us that even anger brings a judgment from God. He traces the logic from thought of vulgar or abusive words to violent action. In this translation, the Greek word "raqa" is used to indicate deep insult.  "Where the Jewish Law forbids the action, Christian law forbids the antecedents as well. The passage continues with the remedy for this action and a foundation for the sacrament of reconciliation. He instructs us to be reconciled with a person with whom we have bad feelings before coming to the altar. The consequences of failing to do so, he warns, are judgment and punishment.

In verses 27-32 “The Old Testament commandment that a bill of divorce be given to the woman assumes the legitimacy of divorce itself. It is this that Jesus denies. (Unless the marriage is unlawful): this "exceptive clause," as it is often called, occurs also in Matthew 19:9, where the Greek is slightly different. There are other sayings of Jesus about divorce that prohibit it absolutely (see Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; cf 1 Cor 7:10, 11b), and most scholars agree that they represent the stand of Jesus. Matthew's "exceptive clauses" are understood by some as a modification of the absolute prohibition. It seems, however, that the unlawfulness that Matthew gives as a reason why a marriage must be broken refers to a situation peculiar to his community: the violation of Mosaic Law forbidding marriage between persons of certain blood and/or legal relationship (Lev 18:6-18). Marriages of that sort were regarded as incest (porneia), but some rabbis allowed Gentile converts to Judaism who had contracted such marriages to remain in them. Matthew's "exceptive clause" is against such permissiveness for Gentile converts to Christianity; cf the similar prohibition of porneia in Acts 15:20, 29. In this interpretation, the clause constitutes no exception to the absolute prohibition of divorce when the marriage is lawful.”[4]

Concluding in verses 33-37, Jesus paraphrases the Old Testament (see Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11; Leviticus 19:12). He is attacking the practices of guaranteeing one’s promise by calling on God to witness the pledge. The Lord tells his disciples that no oaths should be made, that what they say should need no guarantee beyond their own character (“Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the evil one”). This last reference speaks of the implied sinfulness of mankind in oath-breaking.

CCC: Mt 5:17-19 577, 592, 1967; Mt 5:17 2053; Mt 5:20 2054; Mt 5:21-22 2054, 2257; Mt 5:21 2262, 2302; Mt 5:22-39 2262; Mt 5:22 678, 1034, 2302; Mt 5:23-24 2608, 2792, 2841, 2845; Mt 5:24 1424; Mt 5:27-28 2330, 2336, 2380; Mt 5:28 1456, 2513, 2528; Mt 5:29-30 226; Mt 5:29 1034; Mt 5:31-32 2382; Mt 5:32 2380; Mt 5:33-34 581, 2141, 2153; Mt 5:33 592, 2463; Mt 5:37 2153, 2338, 2466
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OR
Shorter Form: Matthew 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you,
whoever is angry with brother
will be liable to judgment.

“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the evil one.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37

This shorter form contracts the Gospel message to emphasize only the instructions of the Lord, not the supporting emphasis. In an unvarnished way, we are told we must be holier than the Pharisees, who held to the letter of the Law of Moses, but were blind to the spirit. We must go beyond the most egregious violations of the law (e.g. “Thou shall not kill”) and adjust our attitudes to the love Christ exemplifies. Similarly, with the law against adultery, the goal must be toward inner purity of thought. And finally, truth and sincerity must always be demonstrated by the faithful Christian follower.

CCC: Mt 5:20 2054; Mt 5:21-22 2054, 2257; Mt 5:21 2262, 2302; Mt 5:22-39 2262; Mt 5:22 678, 1034, 2302; Mt 5:27-28 2330, 2336, 2380; Mt 5:28 1456, 2513, 2528; Mt 5:33-34 581, 2141, 2153; Mt 5:33 592, 2463; Mt 5:37 2153, 2338, 2466
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:17-19

#239 Weekday Years I & II Context (Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent)

#361 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#361 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:17-19

Those who believed that Jesus came to destroy the Jewish faith and laws are refuted in this passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel. The Lord tells them that he did not come to destroy the law, even though he disagreed with the way some of those laws were being implemented. Rather he came to fulfill it, essentially giving the law a reinterpretation through his own divine revelation.

In this early encounter between Jesus’ mission and the Law of Moses, we are told that Jesus came to “fulfill” the law, to bring it to perfection as the Messiah. He supports the rabbinical teaching of the time, which separates the 613 individual precepts of the law found in the Pentateuch into “great and small,” based upon their seriousness, when he refers to breaking the least of the commandments. It is important to understand the Hebrew view of the Law: "The Law was thought to be the summary of all wisdom-human and divine, the revelation of God himself, a complete and a secure guide of conduct and endowed with a sacramental assurance of good relations with God."[9]

The passage is concluded in almost Mosaic style by saying that those who follow the law will be great in heaven. This draws a distinction between those who would break the law being least in heaven in the previous sentence.

CCC: Mt 5:17-19 577, 592, 1967; Mt 5:17 2053
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:20-26

#228 Weekday Years I & II Context (Friday of the 1st Week of Lent)

#362 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#362 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:20-26

This passage is the first of six examples in St. Matthew’s Gospel of conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. The first three, including this one, take a commandment of Mosaic Law and deepen the meaning. Here the Lord takes the commandment: “You shall not kill” (quoted from Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17) to a new level. He traces the logic from thought, to vulgar or abusive words, to violent action. In this translation, the Greek word "Raqa" is used to indicate deep insult. Where the Jewish Law forbids the action, Christian law forbids the antecedents as well. The passage continues with the remedy for this action, and a foundation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He instructs us to be reconciled with a person with whom we have bad feelings, before coming to the altar. The consequences of failing to do so, he warns, are judgment and punishment.

CCC: Mt 5:20 2054; Mt 5:21-22 2054, 2257; Mt 5:21 2262, 2302; Mt 5:22-39 2262; Mt 5:22 678, 1034, 2302; Mt 5:23-24 2608, 2792, 2841, 2845; Mt 5:24 1424
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:20-24

#886 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs,  13. For the Country or a City or Those Who Serve in Public Office or for the Congress or for the President or for the Progress of Peoples, 2.)

#901 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 16. In Time of War or Civil Disturbance, First Option)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:20-24

This passage is the first of six examples in St. Matthew’s Gospel of conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. The first three, including this one, take a commandment of Mosaic Law and deepens the meaning. Here the Lord takes “You shall not Kill” (quoted from Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17) to a new level. He traces the logic from thought to vulgar or abusive words to violent action. In this translation the Greek word "Raqa" is used to indicate deep insult. Where the Jewish Law forbids the action, Christian law forbids the antecedents as well.

CCC: Mt 5:20 2054; Mt 5:21-22 2054, 2257; Mt 5:21 2262, 2302; Mt 5:22-39 2262; Mt 5:22 678, 1034, 2302; Mt 5:23-24 2608, 2792, 2841, 2845; Mt 5:24 1424
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:23-24

#822 Ritual Mass Context (For the Dedication or Blessing of a Church or an Altar, Dedication of an Altar, First Option)

Jesus said ot his disciples:
"If you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:23-24

This short excerpt is from the first of six examples in St. Matthew’s Gospel of conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. Here is the foundational scripture supporting the need for those coming to the altar, upon which the Eucharist is confected, to be reconciled to God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Christian must be free of sin against God and because mankind is a creation of God, one who sins against a brother or sister, falls from God's grace.

CCC: Mt 5:23-24 2608, 2792, 2841, 2845; Mt 5:24 1424
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:27-32

#363 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#363 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:27-32

This can be a very controversial Gospel. This passage provides the original intent of Jesus, as he once again challenges those who cling to the letter of the law and do not see the spirit.

“The Old Testament commandment that a bill of divorce be given to the woman assumes the legitimacy of divorce itself. It is this that Jesus denies. (Unless the marriage is unlawful): this "exceptive clause," as it is often called, occurs also in Matthew 19:9, where the Greek is slightly different. There are other sayings of Jesus about divorce that prohibit it absolutely (see Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; cf 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11b), and most scholars agree that they represent the stand of Jesus. Matthew's "exceptive clauses" are understood by some as a modification of the absolute prohibition. It seems, however, that the unlawfulness that Matthew gives as a reason why a marriage must be broken refers to a situation peculiar to his community: the violation of Mosaic law forbidding marriage between persons of certain blood and/or legal relationship (Leviticus 18:6-18). Marriages of that sort were regarded as incest (porneia), but some rabbis allowed Gentile converts to Judaism who had contracted such marriages to remain in them. Matthew's "exceptive clause" is against such permissiveness for Gentile converts to Christianity; cf. the similar prohibition of porneia in Acts 15:20, 29. In this interpretation, the clause constitutes no exception to the absolute prohibition of divorce when the marriage is lawful.”[22]

CCC:  Mt 5:27-28 2330, 2336, 2380; Mt 5:28 1456, 2513, 2528; Mt 5:29-30 226; Mt 5:29 1034; Mt 5:31-32 2382; Mt 5:32 2380
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:33-37

#364 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

#364 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:33-37

Jesus paraphrases the Old Testament (see Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11; Leviticus 19:12). He is attacking the practices of guaranteeing one’s promise by calling on God to witness the pledge. The Lord tells his disciples that no oaths should be made, that what they say should need no guarantee beyond their own character (“Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the evil one.”). This last reference speaks of the implied sinfulness of mankind in oath-breaking.

CCC: Mt 5:33-34 581, 2141, 2153; Mt 5:33 592, 2463; Mt 5:37 2153, 2338, 2466
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:38-48

#79A Solemnities A Context (7th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#886 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs,  13. For the Country or a City or Those Who Serve in Public Office or for the Congress or for the President or for the Progress of Peoples, 3.)

#891 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 14. For Peace and Justice, 2.)

#962 Mass for Various Needs Context (For Various Needs, 30. For Our Oppressors, First Option)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But 1 say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:38-48

Jesus quotes Mosaic Law from Leviticus 24:20. The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance, prescribing that the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Rather, he redefines the term “neighbor” from a person who was traditionally held to be one’s countryman. Jesus extends his commandment to “love your neighbor” to include enemies and those who persecute “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.

He concludes by contrasting the response expected from his disciples to the response customarily given (e.g. loving those who love you, greeting only one’s friends), asking: “Do not the pagans do the same?” The passage concludes with: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Only in St. Matthew’s Gospel is the word “perfect” used. In St. Luke’s Gospel the word is “merciful.” In both cases, the Lord paraphrases the words of Leviticus 19:2, in which God speaks to Moses telling him that the people of Israel must strive to “Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

CCC: Mt 5:42 2443; Mt 5:43-44 1933, 2844; Mt 5:44-45 2303, 2608; Mt 5:44 1825, 1968, 2262; Mt 5:45 2828; Mt 5:46-47 2054; Mt 5:47 1693; Mt 5:48 443, 1693, 1968, 2013, 2842
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:38-42

#365 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

#365 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:38-42

Jesus quotes Mosaic Law from Leviticus 24:20. The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance. The punishment was not to exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation, rejecting physical revenge completely: “…turn the other one to him as well.” He goes further with four additional examples, saying that the Christian is not to resist litigation but to offer more than is asked, offer more service than what is asked, and loan to others who wish to borrow. With these examples, the Lord shows how it must be between those who follow him to the Kingdom of God. The Lord redefines the term “neighbor” who was traditionally held to be one’s countryman. Jesus extends his commandment, to “love your neighbor,” even to enemies and those who persecute. In doing so, Jesus once more broadens the invitation to follow him to include not just the Jewish people, but all peoples.

CCC: Mt 5:42 2443
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 5:43-48

#229 Weekday Years I & II Context (Saturday of the First Week of Lent)

#366 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

#366 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 5:43-48

This passage is the second of six examples in St. Matthew’s Gospel of conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. The Lord extends the understanding of Mosaic Law. He first quotes Leviticus 19:18. Jesus tells the disciples once more that their behavior must be reflected in how they treat others, and must go beyond what was customarily understood. He tells his friends directly to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them (not curse them as was customary, also echoed in Romans 12:17-21). This exhortation differentiates Christians who love even their enemies, based upon requirements of their faith.

Jesus continues to reinterpret Mosaic Law.  Here, he goes after the closed community.  He tells the disciples, consistent with the instruction to “turn the other cheek,” to love not just those who love us but those who are our enemies as well.

He goes on to contrast the response expected from his disciples to the response customarily given (e.g. loving those who love you, greeting only one’s friends), asking: “Do not the pagans do the same?” The passage concludes with “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” He points out that to do less than that is human nature, but the Christian calling is to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect. Only in St. Matthew’s Gospel is the word “perfect” used. In St. Luke’s Gospel the word is “merciful.”

CCC:  Mt 5:43-44 1933, 2844; Mt 5:44-45 2303, 2608; Mt 5:44 1825, 1968, 2262; Mt 5:45 2828; Mt 5:46-47 2054; Mt 5:47 1693; Mt 5:48 443, 1693, 1968, 2013, 2842
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

#219 Weekday Years I & II Context (Ash Wednesday)

#367 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

#367 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

The Lord continues the Sermon on the Mount. In this selection, the Lord specifically addresses the pious acts of charity, prayer, and fasting, contrasting each with the spurious or pandering acts of the Scribes and Pharisees. He tells his audience that when they do these things, do them for God to see, not other people. They are to do what is right for God’s glory, not their own, not so that others will place them in high esteem because of their piety or generosity. In all three instances, almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, the same instruction is given. We are to give generously but in private, we are to pray fervently but alone, and we are to fast with purpose but hide our discomfort. (Omitted from this reading, Matthew 6; 7-15, is Jesus giving the disciples the Lord’s Prayer.)

CCC: Mt 6:1-18 1434; Mt 6:1-6 1430, 1969; Mt 6:2-4 1753, 2447; Mt 6:2 1063; Mt 6:5 1063; Mt 6:6 1693, 2608, 2655, 2691; Mt 6:14-16 2792; Mt 6:16-18 1430; Mt 6:16 1063; Mt 6:18 575
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 6:7-15

#225 Weekady Years I & II Context (Tuesday of the 1st Week of Lent)

#368 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

#368 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 6:7-15

This Gospel passage from St. Matthew actually interrupts the pattern in the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus is clarifying the spirit of the Law regarding almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. In the presentation of the Lord’s prayer, St. Matthew differs from the presentation by St. Luke (Luke 11; 1-4) in which the Lord was asked by the disciples how to pray. This passage begins by telling the disciples: “do not babble like the pagans.” This may also be critical of the Jewish tradition of presenting long lists of petitions to God for help. The idea is the same: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

The prayer in St. Matthew has seven petitions (compared to six in St. Luke). The first three are synonymous, asking that God’s ultimate reign at the Eschaton be brought to fulfillment. The request for “daily bread” has a couple of possible meanings beyond the obvious. It may be related to the petition in Matthew 6: 31-33 (“So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?'”) and it may also be referring to the Messianic banquet of the Eucharist. Using this interpretation, the fourth petition continues the intent of the first three.

The fifth petition, “…forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” is, in spite of the denominational tradition, best translated as “debts.” In St. Luke’s version, the word used is “sins,” an easier word for non-Jewish readers. Regardless of the transliteration, the precondition for forgiveness given is that we forgive others.

…Lead us not into temptation” is not likely intended to mean our daily encounter with “evil” or the “evil one.” St. Matthew would agree with St. Paul, that God would easily avoid the evil of the world (1 Corinthians 10: 13). Rather the likely meaning would be that we not be led to a great test, that is, despair at the tribulations of the Eschaton (the end times). Similarly the final petition, “…deliver us from evil,” also would focus on the Christian hope of salvation rather than damnation.

CCC: Mt 6:7 2608, 2668, 2776; Mt 6:8 443, 2736; Mt 6:9-13 1969, 2759, 2759; Mt 6:9 268, 443; Mt 6:10 2632; Mt 6:11 1165, 2659; Mt 6:12 2845; Mt 6:14-16 2792; Mt 6:14-15 2608, 2841
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 6:9-13

#749 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 1. Catechumenate and Christian Initiation of Adults, Presentation of the Lord's Prayer)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 6:9-13

This Gospel passage from St. Matthew actually interrupts the pattern in the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus is clarifying the spirit of the Law regarding almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. In the presentation of the Lord’s prayer, St. Matthew differs from the presentation by St. Luke (Luke 11; 1-4) in which the Lord was asked by the disciples how to pray.

The prayer in St. Matthew has seven petitions (compared to six in St. Luke). The first three are synonymous, asking that God’s ultimate reign at the Eschaton be brought to fulfillment. The request for “daily bread” has a couple of possible inflections beyond the obvious. It may be related to the petition in Matthew 6: 31-33 (“So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?'”) and it may also be referring to the Messianic banquet of the Eucharist. Using this interpretation, the fourth petition continues the intent of the first three.

The fifth petition, “…forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” is, in spite of the denominational tradition, best translated as “debts”. In St. Luke’s version, the word used was “sins”, an easier word for non-Jewish readers. Regardless of the transliteration, the precondition for forgiveness given is that we ourselves forgive.

…lead us not into temptation” is likely not intended to mean our daily encounter with “evil” or the “evil one”. St. Matthew would agree with St. Paul, that God would easily avoid the evil of the world (1 Corinthians 10: 13). Rather the likely meaning would be that we not be lead to great test that is despair at the tribulations of the Eschaton (the end times). Similarly the final petition, “…deliver us from evil” also would focus on the Christian hope of salvation rather than damnation.

CCC: Mt 6:9-13 1969, 2759, 2759; Mt 6:9 268, 443; Mt 6:10 2632; Mt 6:11 1165, 2659; Mt 6:12 2845
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 6:19-23

#369 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

#369 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 6:19-23

Jesus concludes his sermon with a caution about placing importance on “treasures on earth.” In this context, St. Matthew’s Gospel also recalls the Lord’s analogy of faith being light, using it as a symbol of seeking one’s desires. Here we see that if what we seek is of darkness (material wealth), as contrasted with seeking the light (spiritual wealth), how dark will that spirit inside us be?

CCC: Mt 6:21 368, 2533, 2551, 2604, 2608, 2729, 2848
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 6:24-34

#82A Solemnities A Context (8th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#370 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

#370 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 6:24-34

Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount being very clear about what must be placed first in the life of his disciples. Here the word mammon is used, an Aramaic word meaning wealth. The Lord does not deny that people need the physical things of the world (i.e. food, clothing, and water), but tells them that, if they have faith in God and pursue the things of God’s Kingdom, the heavenly Father will provide for them. He goes further to say that, if they are constantly focused on material goods, they will not extend their lives even a little.

CCC: Mt 6:24 2113, 2424, 2729, 2821, 2848; Mt 6:25-34 2547, 2830; Mt 6:25 2608; Mt 6:26-34 322; Mt 6:26 2416; Mt 6:31-33 305; Mt 6:32 270; Mt 6:33 1942, 2604, 2608, 2632; Mt 6:34 2659, 2836
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 6:31-34

#906 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 17. For the Beginning of the Civil Year, First Option)

#911 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 18. For the Blessing of Human Labor, First Option)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?'
  or "What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
  and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 6:31-34

Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount, being very clear about what must be placed first in the life of his disciples. The Lord does not deny that people need the physical things of the world (i.e. food, clothing, and water) but tells them that if they have faith in God and pursue the things of God’s Kingdom, the heavenly Father will provide for them. He goes further to say that, if they are constantly focused on material goods, they will not extend their lives even a little.

CCC: Mt 6:25-34 2547, 2830; Mt 6:26-34 322; Mt 6:31-33 305; Mt 6:32 270; Mt 6:33 1942, 2604, 2608, 2632; Mt 6:34 2659, 2836
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:1-5

#371 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#371 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,'
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:1-5

The beginning of the seventh chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel finds Jesus teaching his disciples about being judgmental. They are told to first look at their own transgressions before judging others. “This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Matthew 7:5 and 6, but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one's own faults.”[10] “Jesus’ teaching on judgment is two-sided. He condemns judging others' faults (vs. 1-2; Luke 6:37). We are incapable of judging with fairness and accuracy since God alone knows the heart (Proverbs 21:2; Luke 16:15). However, Jesus commands us to exercise critical discernment (Matthew 7:6; 15-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Examination is necessary to avoid profaning what is holy (7:6) and embracing what is false (7:15).”[11]

“A person whose sight is distorted sees things as deformed, even though in fact they are not deformed. St. Augustine gives this advice: 'Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack, and you will no longer see their defects, because you will not have them yourselves' ("Enarrationes In Psalmos", 30, 2, 7). In this connection, the saying, 'A thief thinks that everyone else is a thief" is in line with this teaching of Jesus.”[12]

CCC: Mt 7:1-5 678
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:6, 12-14

#372 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#372 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

"Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:6, 12-14

This selection contains three popular saying of the Lord, contained within the body of the Sermon on the Mount. The “pearls before swine” saying has been somewhat problematic for scholars. It probably refers to proclaiming the Gospel to those who reject it most strenuously, the scribes and Pharisees. This is followed by a shortened passage expounding the “Golden Rule.” The passage concludes with the analogy of the “narrow gate.” The narrow gate refers here to following the precepts of the Lord, and keeping the discipline of the faith. These precepts form a boundary for actions: “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.

CCC: Mt 7:12-13 2821; Mt 7:12 1789, 1970; Mt 7:13-14 1036, 1970, 2609; Mt 7:13 1696
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:7-12

#227 Weekday Years I & II Context (Thursday of the 1st Week of Lent)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:7-12

In this passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew Jesus explains that, if the faithful pray to the Father, what they ask for will be given (within the context of “good gifts”). This universal truth, he explains is because of God’s infinite love for us. In this case, he uses the analogy of a father feeding his child, and how even sinful parents give good things to their children.

Almost as an afterthought, the Lord then delivers what has been called since the 18th century, the “Golden Rule.” No old testament quote exactly correlates to this quote so we must accept it as an interpretation by the Lord, probably of the Law in Leviticus.

CCC: Mt 7:7-11 2609; Mt 7:12-13 2821; Mt 7:12 1789, 1970
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:7-11

#942 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In  Various Public Circumstances, 25. In Time of Earthquake or for Rain or for Good Weather or to Avert Storms or for Any Need, 1.)

#947 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 26. In Thanksgiving to God, 1.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
  knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
  and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
  when he asks for a loaf of bread,
  or a snake when he asks for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
  know how to give good gifts to your children,
  how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
  to those who ask him."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:7-11

In this passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew Jesus explains that, if the faithful pray to the Father, what they ask for will be given (within the context of “good gifts”). This universal truth, he explains is because of God’s infinite love for us. In this case he uses the analogy of a father feeding his child and how even sinful parents give good things to their children.

CCC: Mt 7:7-11 2609
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:15-20

#373 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#373 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:15-20

In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns against people claiming to be God’s messengers, but whose message goes against God’s commands. Jesus uses an analogy of the fruit produced by various plants as a way to test the authenticity of those who claim to come in God’s name. He tells them that the product, or result, of the words offered by a self-proclaimed messenger will identify them. In his time, this was probably another warning about the teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees, who placed self-serving demands upon the people.

CCC: Mt 7:15 2285; Mt 7:20 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:21-29

#374 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#374 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#552 Proper of Saints Context (St. Anselm, Apr 21)

#567 Proper of Saints Context (St. Bede the Venerable, May 25)

#641 Proper of Saints Context (St. Robert Bellarmine, Sep 17)

#730 Commons Context (Common of Doctors of the Church)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
`Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
`I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:21-29

This is the final section of the first of five great discourses of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, he broadens his attack on false prophets to include those who perform acts in his name, but lead lives of sin. He uses the analogy of the house built upon sand and the house built upon rock to indicate that those who have a deep faith and act out of that faith have a strong foundation and can stand against adversity, while those who give the faith lip service, for others to see, but do not have that deep faith will fall. He will not even recognize them when they come before him in final judgment.

The Lord also makes a distinction between saying and doing. The metaphor of the “house built upon rock” refers to those who hear the word of the Lord from an authentic source and act upon it. The house built on sand is a metaphor for those who either are not taught authentically (by false prophets) or who do not act upon what they have been given.

CCC: Mt 7:21-27 1970; Mt 7:21 443, 1821, 2611, 2826; Mt 7:28-29 581
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:21,24-29*

#805 Ritual Mass Context (VI. For the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, 2.,3.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:21, 24-29

This is the final section of the first of five great discourses of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. In it he broadens his attack on false prophets to include those who perform acts in his name but lead lives of sin. He uses the analogy of the house built upon sand and the house built upon rock to indicate that those who have a deep faith and act out of that faith have a strong foundation and can stand against adversity; while those who give the faith lip service and for others to see but do not have that deep faith will fall.

Used in the context of Marriage, there is a clear emphasis within the analogy of those unions founded upon firm faith in Christ's teachings and those whose foundations in this area are weak.  The message is that those whose spiritual house is strong shall stand; those whose faith is weak will not.

CCC: Mt 7:21-27 1970; Mt 7:21 443, 1821, 2611, 2826; Mt 7:28-29 581
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OR Short Form
Matthew 7:21, 24-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:21, 24-25

This shorter form places its emphasis on the strength of those who are firmly grounded in the Lord's teachings.  They are equipped to endure all of the trials and tribulations that will come; remaining firm in the Lord.

CCC: Mt 7:21-27 1970; Mt 7:21 443, 1821, 2611, 2826
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:21, 24-27

#178 Weekday Years 1 & 2 Context (Thursday of the 1st Week of Advent)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:21, 24-27

This is the final section of the first of five great discourses of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, Jesus continues his attack on “false prophets” that began in verse 15. Here the Lord makes a distinction between saying and doing. The familiar metaphor of the “house built upon rock” refers to those who hear the word of the Lord from an authentic source and act upon it. The house built on sand is a metaphor for those who either are not taught authentically (by false prophets), or who do not act upon what they have been given.

CCC: Mt 7:21-27 1970; Mt 7:21 443, 1821, 2611, 2826
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 7:21-27

#85A Solemnities A Context (9th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#598 Proper of Saints Context (St. Henry, Jul 13)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:21-27

Jesus is concluding his warning about listening to false prophets in this reading. He tells his followers that, because a person claims affiliation with Jesus and has done public acts that testify to their allegiance to him, that does not mean they will be given the promise of the faithful. They will be judged based upon their lived expression of the values of Christ – foundational values.

To emphasize this point the allegory of the person building a house on sand or rock is used. Those who follow Jesus' law of love (“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them”) will be like the wise person who builds upon rock (referring back to Psalm 31). Those who hear his words and do not act on them (faith without actions) are the foolish who build upon sand.

CCC: Mt 7:21-27 1970; Mt 7:21 443, 1821, 2611, 2826
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:1-4

#375 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#375 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#795 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 2.)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said,
"Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean."
He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
"I will do it. Be made clean."
His leprosy was cleansed immediately.
Then Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one,
but go show yourself to the priest,
and offer the gift that Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:1-4

Following the first great discourse from St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus has attracted a large crowd. In the following chapters, we see nine miracles. The cure of the leper is the first of these. This action on the part of Jesus is proof of his identity as the Messiah; hence the usual formula “Your faith has cured you” is missing.

The final instruction by Jesus to the cured leper is in accordance with Mosaic Law (see Leviticus 14:2-9) His instruction to tell no one about this was probably to insure that the priest who had to examine him would not reject the cure and the man.

CCC: Mt 8:2 448; Mt 8:4 586
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:5-17*

#376 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#376 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time)

#795 Ritual Mass Context (V. Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 1. Anointing of the sick, 3.[Shorter Forms offered])

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
"Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."
He said to him, "I will come and cure him."
The centurion said in reply,
"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
"Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
And Jesus said to the centurion,
"You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you."
And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many
who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:5-17

This selection describes the second and third healing episodes (out of nine) found in St. Matthew’s Gospel. Once again, these encounters serve as proofs of the Lord’s identity as the Messiah. Clear evidence is given of this purpose with the use of the quote: “He took away our infirmities and bore our disease,” taken from the "suffering servant" oracle in Isaiah 53:4.

This didactic passage also contains the Centurion's humble profession of faith used in the liturgy of the Mass: "'Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant [soul] will be healed.'"

"Centurion": an officer of the Roman army in control of one hundred men. This man's faith is still an example to us. At the solemn moment when a Christian is about to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Church's liturgy places on his lips and in his heart these words of the centurion, to enliven his faith: Lord, I am not worthy...".[23]

CCC: Mt 8:8 1386; Mt 8:10 2610; Mt 8:11 543; Mt 8:17 517, 1505
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OR Shorter Form
Matthew 8:5-13

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
"Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."
He said to him, "I will come and cure him."
The centurion said in reply,
"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
"Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
And Jesus said to the centurion,
"You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you."
And at that very hour his servant was healed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:5-13

St. Matthew’s Gospel provides us with the second and third healing episodes (out of nine). Once again these encounters serve as proofs of the Lord’s identity as the Messiah. In the shorter form the second healing event is omitted allowing us to focus solely on the Lord’s healing touch and God’s mercy to the infirmed (as opposed to the Lord’s messianic identity).

CCC: Mt 8:8 1386; Mt 8:10 2610; Mt 8:11 543
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OR Shortest Form
Matthew 8:14-17 

Jesus entered the house of Peter,
  and saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her,
  and she rose and waited on him.
When it was evening, they brought him many
  who were possessed by demons,
  and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
  to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

    He took away our infirmities
      and bore our diseases.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:14-17

St. Matthew’s Gospel focuses on the third healing episodes (out of nine). Once again these encounters serve as proofs of the Lord’s identity as the Messiah. The Lord's healing touch drives the fever from Peter's mother-in-law.  She then rises to serve him, an image of the Christian mission.  The passage concludes with a quote from the suffering servant oracle in Isaiah 53:4; provided as an indication that the Messiah fulfills the prophet's prediction.

CCC: Mt 8:17 517, 1505
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:5-11

#175 Weekday Years I & II Context (Monday of the 1st Week of Advent)

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:5-11

This story of the Centurion is shortened by a couple of verses to focus our attention on the authority of Jesus, and the role faith can play in accessing that authority. The Centurion’s description of his own understanding of authority translates to his faith that Jesus can command all things without needing to be physically present to that which he commands. In the longer version, Jesus also condemns the Jewish people for their lack of faith and heals the Centurion's servant as requested.

CCC: Mt 8:8 1386; Mt 8:10 2610; Mt 8:11 543
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:14-17

#937 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 24. For the Sick, First Option)

Jesus entered the house of Peter,
  and saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her,
  and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, people brought Jesus many
  who were possessed by demons,
  and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
  to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

    He took away our infirmities
       and bore our diseases.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:14-17

Following the cure of the Centurion's servant (see Matthew 8:5-11), the healing ministry of the Lord continues.  Jesus goes to the home of Peter.  Peter's mother-in-law is found ill (with a fever according to Mark 1:29-31).  [This statement also confirms that Peter was married.] It is significant that when Jesus cures her illness we are told "...she rose and waited on him."  This differs from St. Mark who says "...she waited on them." Matthew clearly shows the requirement of the faithful to serve the Lord, if not out of faith - then because of his great love for us.

The emphasis on Jesus power over illness of mind or spirit continues as later he is asked to cure many in the area who suffer from sickness or demonic possession.  This activity demonstrates the messianic prediction from Isaiah 53:4 which was also paraphrased later by St. Peter in 1 Peter 2:24-25.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:18-22

#377 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#377 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

When Jesus saw a crowd around him,
he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
A scribe approached and said to him,
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
Another of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:18-22

This is an interlude between the miracle stories in St. Matthew’s Gospel. In this passage we find two sayings dealing with discipleship, and what that means. The first of these is in the form of a reply to a scribe who wished to travel with the Lord. The Savior’s response indicated that he must be prepared to have no permanent home if he was going to do so. The scribe must give up material wealth, and embrace Christ's consistently stated love of the poor.

In the second situation, the would-be disciple asks to be allowed to bury his father. This does not mean his father had already died, but that he wished to wait for that to happen so he could carry out his family responsibilities. The Lord’s response makes it clear that ties to the family would be secondary to the disciples' call to follow him (see also commentary on Luke 9:51-62).

CCC: Mt 8:20 2444
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:23-27

#378 Weekday year I Context (Tuesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#378 Weekday year II Context (Tuesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
"Lord, save us! We are perishing!"
He said to them, "Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?"
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, "What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:23-27

Jesus calming the sea is the first of this set of miracles recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel. There are notable differences between St. Matthew’s account and that of St. Mark (Mark 4:35-41). First we note that Jesus leads the disciples into the boat, rather than the disciples taking him there. We also see a more reverent attitude on the part of the twelve as they wake him, contrasted with the accusatory tone in St. Mark. (“…do you not care that we are perishing?") This account of the disciples' experience, in both cases, points directly at the identity of Jesus as the Son of God, and serves as a proof for the reader.

CCC: Mt 8:20 2444; Mt 8:26 2610
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 8:28-34

#379 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#379 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, "What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?"
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
"If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine."
And he said to them, "Go then!"
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 8:28-34

Jesus comes to a region about five miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee and encounters the two demoniacs (people taken over by demons). He drives the demons out into a herd of swine. The symbolism here for the Jewish audience would be powerful, as swine were unclean animals. By casting themselves into the sea, even they preferred death to the presence of evil. The gentile population, probably very superstitious, was afraid of Christ’s power over evil and did not want any more damage as a result of his presence.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:1-8

#380 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#380 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#952 Mass for Various Needs Context (IV. For Various Needs, 27. For the Remission of Sins, 1.)

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
"This man is blaspheming."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins"–
he then said to the paralytic,
"Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:1-8

Jesus continues his saving works in the healing of the paralytic. The leaders of the synagogue hear Jesus forgive the man’s sins, which in their thinking caused the man’s affliction (cf. John 9:1-3), and could only be taken away by God (cf. Luke 5:21). To demonstrate that he was from God, and acting for God, Jesus took away, not only the man’s sins, but what the scribes believed were the consequences of those sins, his paralysis. The crowds, if not the scribes, immediately understood and gave thanks to God for his mercy.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:9-13

#88A Solemnities A Context (10th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#381 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#381 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#643 Proper of Saints Context (Feast of Saint Matthew, Sep 21)

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:9-13

The journey of Jesus continues with the Lord’s encounter with Matthew (Levi in St. Mark’s Gospel), the tax collector. The Pharisees are scandalized because this renowned teacher (Jesus) has chosen to associate with “sinners,” who clearly violate some of the numerous laws about ritual purity (Matthew 5:46). Jesus’ response, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” makes it clear that interior faith is more highly prized than purely ritualistic rigor.

This passage is the call of St. Matthew into discipleship. His profession, as customs worker or tax collector, would have stimulated controversy among the Scribes and Pharisees, and the presence of others of the same type at the meal described, would have caused ritual impurity. However, as with his disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John, Jesus calls Matthew as he was engaged in his profession. The question the Pharisees ask, because such contact would have caused ritual impurity, would have been construed as a critical remark. The Lord responded with a challenge, quoting Hosea 6:6, and punctuated his response with the observation that those who were critical of his associations did not understand the scriptures they professed to represent.

CCC: Mt 9:12 581; Mt 9:13 589, 2100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:14-17

#382 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

#382 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time)

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:14-17

Jesus is approached by St. John the Baptist’s disciples about the Pharisaic practices of ritual fasting. In Old Testament usage this action was a token of repentance or of mourning. No fast is actually prescribed in the Law of Moses, except the fast on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29 and 23:27 and Numbers 29:7). Given this understanding of the Law of Moses, what was being practiced by the Pharisees (and St. John’s disciples) was tradition and Jesus' response,"Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them,” speaks to the fact that his disciples do not have anything to repent from or mourn for, as long as they are following him.

The next section of the reading seems to contradict an earlier statement of Jesus (Matthew 5:17-20), when he said he had not come to abolish the Law (of Moses) but to fulfill it. But, his metaphors about the wineskins and the cloth refer to a completely new understanding of God’s revelation that cannot be a “patchwork” of ideas, rather a consistent application of Christ’s law of love, mercy, and hope.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:14-15

#221 Weekday Years I & II Context (Friday after Ash Wednesday)

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:14-15

Jesus is challenged by the disciples of John the Baptist, and asked why his disciples do not keep the ritual fasts of Pharisaic Law. (According to the apostolic response in their early teaching documents, the early Christians were to fast on different days than the Jews. “But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; Matthew 6:16 for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but do ye fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday).” Didache (8.1)[5])

The Lord responds with the analogy of a marriage banquet where there can be no mourning as long as the bridegroom is present. He refers, of course, to his own presence and the need for fasting only after he is gone.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:18-26

#383 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time)

#383 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time)

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."

And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:18-26

Jesus continues his journey in this passage from Matthew’s Gospel. Again he engages in healing those who have faith in him. First, in a situation similar to the incident with the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-11; Luke 7:1-10), he is asked to help an official. As he is responding to that request, a woman with a hemorrhage approaches Jesus and reaches out to him. As she touches the tassel of his cloak, she experiences healing in that touch. In Mark and Luke the story is much more detailed. The Lord feels this touch and seeks out the woman (see Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48).

Jesus arrives at the official's home and heals his daughter. In Mark’s Gospel (Mark 5:23) she was at the point of death, here she had already “fallen asleep,” meaning she had died. Again, Jesus, seeing the faith of the requester, raises her from her deathbed to new life.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:27-31

#179 Weekday Years I & II Context (Friday of the 1st Week of Advent)

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
“Son of David, have pity on us!”
When he entered the house,
the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
“Do you believe that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
Then he touched their eyes and said,
“Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
And their eyes were opened.
Jesus warned them sternly,
“See that no one knows about this.”
But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:27-31

The two blind men address Jesus with his messianic title “Son of David,” in this selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel. The Lord proceeds to respond to that title, fulfilling a major part of the predictive prophecies about the Messiah by causing the blind to see. This event is seen as fulfilling the oracle of Isaiah proclaimed in  Isaiah 29:18 (“And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see”).

CCC: Mt 9:27 439, 2616
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:32-38

#384 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

#384 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said,
"He drives out demons by the prince of demons."

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:32-38

In this selection Jesus continues his healing practice as he travels from town to town. We see growing opposition from the Pharisees as he does so. Almost ironically, Jesus looks with compassion upon the people ("...his heart was moved with pity for them") as he sees that the religious leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees, have not led them to God but abandoned them, seeking instead their own selfish ends.  The Lord recalls the prophecy of Ezekiel, predicting one from the line of David as a new shepherd. This prophetic statement was fulfilled in himself (Ezekiel 34:23). And, using the same language we heard in Luke 10:1-9, Jesus prepares to send out the disciples to proclaim the Good News.

CCC: Mt 9:38 2611
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8

#180 Weekdays I & II Context (Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent)

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8

This selection emphasizes Jesus' early struggle to accomplish what he came to do by himself. We sense his humanness as he says, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few." Christ has the sense that the disciples are ready to take a more active role in proclaiming the Kingdom of God. He asks them to pray for God’s spirit and strength (“…so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest").

At the beginning of Chapter 10, St. Matthew names the twelve and calls his special friends Apostles, which means “one who is sent” (the only time in St. Matthew’s Gospel this term is used). They are then sent, but only to the “chosen people.” It is not until after Christ’s death and resurrection that the Gospel is brought to the Gentiles.

CCC: Mt 9:38 2611; Mt 10:5-7 543; Mt 10:8 1509, 2121, 2443
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:35-10:1

#612 Proper of Saints Context (St. John Mary Vianney, Aug 4)

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds,
his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."

Then he summoned his twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits
to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:35-10:1

This selection emphasizes Jesus early struggle to accomplish what he came to do by himself. We sense the humanness as he says; "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few". Notably he gives the disciples his authority prior to sending them into the world.

CCC: Mt 9:38 2611
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:35-38

#544 Proper of Saints Context (St Turibius of Mongrovejo, Mar 23)

#571 Proper of Saints Context (St. Augustine of Canterbury, May 27)

#645 Proper of Saints Context (St. Vincent de Paul, Sep 27)

#724 Commons Context (Common of Pastors)

#774 Ritual Mass Context (II. For the Conferral of Holy Orders, 2.)

#779 Ritual Mass Context (III. For Admission to Candidacy For the Diaconate and the Priesthood, 1.)

#861 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 8. For Vocations to Holy Orders or Religious Life, 1)

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:35-38

This selection emphasizes Jesus' early struggle to accomplish what he came to do by himself. We sense the humanness as he says: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few." Immediately following this discourse the 12 are named and sent.

CCC: Mt 9:38 2611
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 9:36—10:8

#91A Solemnities A Context (11th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

At the sight of the crowds, Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Then he summoned his twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits
to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the twelve apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon from Cana, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 9:36—10:8

This selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel includes Christ’s sense that the disciples are ready to take a more active role in proclaiming the Kingdom of God. He asks them to pray for God’s spirit and strength (“…so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.").

At the beginning of Chapter 10, St. Matthew names the twelve and calls the disciples Apostles, which means “one who is sent” (the only time in St. Matthew’s Gospel this term is used). They are then sent, but only to the “chosen people.” It is not until after Christ’s death and resurrection that the Gospel is brought to the Gentiles.

CCC: Mt 9:38 2611; Mt 10:5-7 543; Mt 10:8 1509, 2121, 2443
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:1-5a

#774 Ritual Mass Context (II. For the Conferral of Holy Orders, 3.)

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed him.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:1-5a

Following the instructions to the twelve on how they are to evangelize given in the preceding chapter, Jesus now sends them out. St. Matthew’s Gospel does not tell the stories of how they were called, but provides the names and mission of the disciples ("...authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.") It is only in Matthew that the twelve are designated as Apostles reflecting the mission and role they fulfill.

CCC: Mt 10:5-7 543
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:1-7

#385 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

#385 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
"Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:1-7

Following the instructions to the twelve on how they are to evangelize given in the preceding chapter, Jesus now sends them out. St. Matthew’s Gospel does not tell the stories of how they were called, but provides the names and mission of the disciples. It is only in Matthew that the twelve are designated as Apostles reflecting the mission and role they fulfill. They are then sent, but only to the “chosen people.” This focus on the Jewish audience tells us that St. Matthew’s Gospel was originally directed principally at Hebrew Christians.

CCC: Mt 10:5-7 543
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:7-15

#386 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

#386 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"As you go, make this proclamation:
'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:7-15

The instructions to the Apostles, as Jesus sends them on their mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God, are given. They are to go into the world without any provisions, and will depend upon the generosity of others. The Lord gives them authority over all manner of diseases and afflictions, but reminds them that they are not to request payment for these gifts of healing.

The Lord's instructions end with a warning to those who reject the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus tells the Apostles that those who reject the peace they offer will suffer, as those cut off from God's grace by the judgment laid upon the ones who perished in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19:1-26).

CCC: Mt 10:5-7 543; Mt 10:8 1509, 2121, 2443; Mt 10:10 2122
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:7-13

#580 Proper of Saints Context (St. Barnabas, Jun 11)

Jesus said to the Twelve:
"As you go, make this proclamation:
'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter,
look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:7-13

Jesus gives instructions to the Apostles as he sends them on their mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God. They are to go into the world without any provisions and will depend upon the generosity of others. The Lord gives them authority over all manner of diseases and afflictions but reminds them that they are not to charge for these gifts of healing.

CCC: Mt 10:5-7 543; Mt 10:8 1509, 2121, 2443; Mt 10:10 2122
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:16-23

#387 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

#387 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.

You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:16-23

Jesus concludes his instruction to the Apostles in this selection from Matthew’s Gospel. We begin to hear about the persecutions that attend the spreading of the Gospel. Those who spread that Good News are encouraged not to worry about an apologia (defense), but rather to trust in the Holy Spirit, the Father “speaking through you.

Matthew’s final statement, referring to the coming of the Son of Man, has a couple of possible explanations. First it could be referring to the return of Christ after his crucifixion. It could also mean the punishment of the unbelieving Jewish people by the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.

CCC: Mt 10:16 764; Mt 10:19-20 728; Mt 10:22 161, 1821
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:17-22


#517 Proper of Saints Context (St. Vincent, Jan 22)

#562 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, May 12)

#696 Proper of Saints Context (St. Stephen, Dec 26)

#718 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

#881 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 12. For Persecuted Christians, 2.)

Jesus said to the Twelve:
"Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:17-22

Jesus gives his disciples instructions on how to deal with the persecution they are to undergo at the hands of those who do not accept him, especially those in power. His instruction is one that relies on faith that the Father, through the Holy Spirit, will supply the words. There is also a presumption that there will be loss of life. Here the Lord tells us that those who are steadfast in their faith cannot die a spiritual death.

CCC: Mt 10:19-20 728; Mt 10:22 161, 1821
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew 10:22-25

#560 Proper of Saints Context (St. Athanasius, May 2)

Jesus said to the Twelve:
"You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.
No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like the teacher,
and the slave that he become like the master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub,
how much more those of his household!"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:22-25

This selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel is part of the Lord’s commissioning discourse as he sends the disciples into the world. He has already warned them that their mission will upset many people. He now tells them that, in many places, they will be hated.

The author’s reference to the coming of the “Son of Man” in this context probably does not refer to the parousia (when Christ comes again in glory at the end times), rather it is likely that St. Matthew was referring to either the death of the disciples through martyrdom or possibly the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. The end of this passage clearly states that this outcome is assured (They too will be accused of coming from the “Prince of Demons”, “Beelzebul” see also Matthew 9:34) if the Gospel is proclaimed as the Lord passed it on. “No disciple is above his teacher”.

CCC: Mt 10:22 161, 1821; Mt 10:25 765
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:24-33

#388 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

#388 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!

"Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:24-33

Jesus concludes his instructions to the Apostles as he sends them out. Here he tells them that they go with his authority and his purpose, which may be hidden from others, but which they will proclaim from “the housetops.” He tells them not to fear the persecution he has told them they will face. This should be absent, because while the body may be killed, their souls are safe with him. He concludes this passage telling them that the Father is watching over them, and they have nothing to fear.

CCC: Mt 10:25 765; Mt 10:25 765; Mt 10:28 363, 1034; Mt 10:29-31 305; Mt 10:32-33 1816; Mt 10:32 14, 2145
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:26-33

#94A Sundays A Context (12th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#881 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 12. For Persecuted Christians, 3.)

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:26-33

Jesus concludes his instructions to the Apostles as he sends them out. Here he tells them that they go with his authority and his purpose which may be hidden from others but which they will proclaim from “the housetops.” He tells them not to fear the persecution he has told them they will face, because while the body may be killed, their souls are safe with him. He concludes this passage telling them that the Father is watching over them and they have nothing to fear.

CCC: Mt 10:28 363, 1034; Mt 10:29-31 305; Mt 10:32-33 1816; Mt 10:32 14, 2145
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:28-33

#515 Proper of Saint Context (St. Sebastian Jan 20)

#615 Proper of Saint Context (St. Sixtus Aug 7)

#644 Proper of Saint Context (Sts. Cosmas and Damian Sep 26)

#718 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

Jesus said to the Twelve:
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:28-33

Jesus concludes his instructions to the Apostles as he sends them out. He tells them not to fear the persecution he has told them they will face. This fear should be absent because, while the body may be killed, their souls are safe with him. He concludes this passage telling them that the Father is watching over them and they have nothing to fear.

CCC: Mt 10:28 363, 1034; Mt 10:29-31 305; Mt 10:32-33 1816; Mt 10:32 14, 2145
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:34—11:1

#389 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

#389 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's enemies will be those of his household.

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet's reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:34—11:1

The final remarks of Jesus to the Apostles, as they go out to preach and heal, are given in this passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel. He reminds them that, even though the word they spread reflects God’s love, they will be badly received by many, dividing households and families.

The Lord goes on to tell them that those who will fully accept him and his word will undergo persecution because of him. And, even if they lose their lives on his account, they will be saved. The reward given to those who accept the Word and follow in his way will be great in heaven.

This discourse, recalled many years after Christ’s death and resurrection, has the advantage of seeing the persecution of those who spread the word. It demonstrates a fuller understanding of the meaning of Christ’s teaching.

CCC: Mt 10:37 2232; Mt 10:38 1506; Mt 10:40 858
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:34-39

#538 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, Mar 7)

#585 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, Jun 22)

#646 Proper of Saints Context (St. Wenceslaus, Sep 28)

#718 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man 'against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's enemies will be those of his household.'
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:34-39

The final remarks of Jesus to the Apostles as they go out to preach and heal are given in this passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel. He reminds them that even though the word they spread reflects God’s love, they will be received badly by many, dividing households and families.

He goes on to tell them that those who will fully accept him and his word will undergo persecution because of him and, even if they lose their lives on His account, they will be saved. The reward given to those who accept this word and follow in his way will be great in heaven.

This discourse, recalled many years after Christ’s death and resurrection, has the advantage of seeing the persecution of those who spread the word in the early Church and embodies a fuller understanding of the meaning of Christ’s teaching.

CCC: Mt 10:37 2232; Mt 10:38 1506
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 10:37-42

#97A Solemnities A Context (13th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus said to his apostles:
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet's reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is a righteous man
will receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 10:37-42

This passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel parallels Mark 8:34-35 and Luke 9:24-25 (also cf. Luke 14:26-27; 17:33) in directing the Christian disciple to place their faith above everything else in their lives, including family. The author softens the language used in St. Luke’s Gospel from “hate” to “love less,” indicating the kind of divisions that may occur when the Gospel of Christ is proclaimed in families. The disciple is enjoined to “take up his cross” in the sense that the Christian discipline requires the follower to take positions in society which are frequently unpopular and will cause discrimination and persecution.

In the second section of this passage, St. Matthew reminds the faithful of their own obligation to support others in the Christian community, especially the “little ones,” indicating the Apostles, who depend upon the support of the community to continue their work.

CCC: Mt 10:37 2232; Mt 10:38 1506; Mt 10:40 858
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:2-11

#7A Solemnities A Context (3rd Sunday of Advent)

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:2-11

In this selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel, St. John the Baptist sends his disciples to question Jesus. He does so because his expectation of the prophesied Messiah, based upon great Hebrew Prophets, is of one coming with power and majesty, “his winnowing fan will be in his hand.” In response the Lord directs them to see the Messiah as Isaiah’s oracle predicted (Isaiah 35:1-6). It can be seen as a warning not to disbelieve because the expectations of a “Royal Messiah” were not met.

The Gospel continues with the Lord turning to the crowd and praising St John’s role, likening him to Elijah who was to come, preparing the way for the Messiah. He concludes this passage with a statement about the reward given to those who hear and believe in the Kingdom of God.

CCC: Mt 11:5 549, 2443; Mt 11:6 548
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:11-15

#184 Weekdays I & II Context (Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent)

“Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:11-15

St. John the Baptist is in prison. His path foreshadows the Lord’s own as he awaits his fate at the hands of Herod. John's disciples have come to Jesus asking about his identity and are satisfied. Jesus now speaks of the Voice (an early Christian metaphor for St. John the Baptist).

We recall the earlier description St. Matthew gives of St. John the Baptist in Matthew 3:4 ff. His description matched that of the one given of Elijah, who was anticipated to return at the time when the Messiah was to come. That image is used again in this passage as Jesus tells the people that, as great as St. John is (a greatness that comes from John’s role of proclaiming the coming of the Messiah and extolling the people to repentance and acceptance of God’s rule in their lives), those who hear and accept the message of the Kingdom of God will be exalted in heaven, a greater heavenly reward.

CCC: Mt 11:13-14 719; Mt 11:13 523
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:16-19

#185 Weekdays I & II Context (Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent)

Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:16-19

St. Matthew recalls the Lord’s lament that many of the people he has come to save have behaved like children. Jesus compares those he has encountered with the wicked in the psalms because they do not follow the prophet, John the Baptist: “…John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.'” Nor do they hear the words of the Messiah: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’" Then he implies the truth will become known, based upon the impact of John the Baptist and Jesus on the world: “But wisdom is vindicated by her works.

The people of that time expected teachers to play the roles they were assigned in their religious roles according to what was generally accepted. St. John the Baptist and Jesus did not do that. As a prophet, St. John was not respected but called “possessed.” And Jesus himself, though he came as the salvation of the poor, is called “glutton and a drunkard” for having reached out to “tax collectors and sinners."

While this passage is perhaps more accurately translated in Luke 7:35 as “. . . wisdom is vindicated by all her children,” it is clear, in either case, that the Lord expects future generations to see the salvific role of the Messiah and his forerunner, St. John the Baptist.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:20-24

#390 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

#390 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:20-24

This passage follows the parable of the “Children in the Marketplace,” in which Jesus addresses those who have heard the words of both John the Baptist and himself. He accuses them of not being willing to hear that they must turn away from sin and repent.

In this passage he goes further, chastising the towns in which he has performed great signs. As in the parable that preceded it, this selection speaks of the punishment reserved for those who refuse to hear the word he has spoken. In addition to ignoring the Lord’s revelation, they also continue to ignore the law and prophets. Their fate, he tells them, will be worse than that of Sodom.

CCC: Mt 11:20-24 678
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:25-30

#100A Solemnities A Context (14th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#170A Solemnities A Context (Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus A [Friday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost])

#557 Proper of Saints Context (St. Catherine of Siena, Apr 29)

#563 Proper of Saints Context (St. Pancras, May 12)

#624 Proper of Saints Context (St. John Eudes, Aug 19)

#651 Proper of Saints Context (St. Francis of Assisi, Oct 4)

#659 Proper of Saints Context (St. Margret Mary Alacoque, Oct 16)

#668 Proper of Saints Context (The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed Nov 2)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#763 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 3. Reception of Baptized Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church, 3.)

#795 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 4.)

#815 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 2.)

#856 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 7. For Religious, 1.)

#947 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In various Public Circumstances, 26. In Thanksgiving to God, 2.)

#1000 Votive Mass Context (The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1.)

#1016 Mass for the Dead Context (2.)

#1022 Mass for the Dead Context (Funerals for Baptized Children, 1.)

#1026 Mass for the Dead Context (Funerals for Children Who Died Before Baptism, 1)

At that time Jesus responded:
"I give praise to you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:25-30

Jesus has just completed a fairly scathing criticism of the people in the places he has been and performed miracles, yet many have not accepted him as the Messiah. He now concludes this section as he reflects that, while the Scribes and Pharisees (“the wise and learned”) have not understood who he is, those with simple faith have accepted him freely. He then issues an invitation to all who “labor and are burdened” quoting an invitation similar to one in the book of Sirach to learn wisdom and submit to her yoke (Sirach 51:23, 26).

“This Q saying, identical with Luke 10:21-22 except for minor variations, introduces a joyous note into this section, so dominated by the theme of unbelief. While the wise and the learned, the scribes and Pharisees, have rejected Jesus' preaching and the significance of his mighty deeds, the childlike have accepted them. Acceptance depends upon the Father's revelation, but this is granted to those who are open to receive it and refused to the arrogant. Jesus can speak of all mysteries because he is the Son and there is perfect reciprocity of knowledge between him and the Father; what has been handed over to him is revealed only to those whom he wishes.”[14]

The final verses of this section are found only in St. Matthew’s Gospel and promise salvation to those who are downtrodden or in pain.

CCC: Mt 11:25-27 2603, 2779; Mt 11:25-26 2701; Mt 11:25 153, 544, 2785; Mt 11:27 151, 240, 443, 473; Mt 11:28 1658; Mt 11:29-30 1615; Mt 11:29 459
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:25-27

#391 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

#391 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:25-27

Jesus has just completed a fairly scathing criticism of the people in the places he has been and performed miracles; yet many have not accepted him as the Messiah. He now concludes this section on a more joyous note as he reflects that, while the Scribes and Pharisees (“the wise and learned”) have not understood who he is, those with simple faith have accepted him freely. “Jesus can speak of all mysteries because he is the Son and there is perfect reciprocity of knowledge between him and the Father; what has been handed over to him is revealed only to those whom he wishes.”[14]

CCC: Mt 11:25-27 2603, 2779; Mt 11:25-26 2701; Mt 11:25 153, 544, 2785; Mt 11:27 151, 240, 443, 473
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 11:28-30

#183 Weekday Years I & II Context (Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Advent)

#392 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

#392 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 11:28-30

In this passage, Jesus invites those burdened by the yoke of Pharisaic Law to believe in him. Obedience to the word of Christ is much easier than the complex rules of the Law under scribal interpretation. This “wisdom” saying of Jesus builds upon that found in Sirach 51:23-27.

With heart-piercing tenderness, Jesus' invitation to peace and salvation is best expressed in these two verses. The Lord invites us to be placed under the authority of his word ("Take my yoke…"), and there we will find rest. Jesus addresses all who are burdened by the requirements of the lives they live. He offers them the help of God, who takes those burdens of pain, fear, and fatigue upon himself, replacing them with the yoke of God’s kingdom. Quoting Jeremiah 6:16, he calls the weary to follow his way.

CCC: Mt 11:28 1658; Mt 11:29-30 1615; Mt 11:29 459
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 12:1-8

#393 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

#393 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
"See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to the them, "Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 12:1-8

Following the comment by Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 about asking those burdened by strict Pharisaic interpretation of the Law of Moses to come to him, we find a practical example as the Pharisees attack the disciples because they picked some grain to eat on the sabbath. In Pharisaic Law, that act is considered work, and is forbidden on the Lord’s Day. Jesus reinterprets the law, citing the First Book of Samuel (1 Samuel 21:2-7) and Leviticus (Leviticus 24:8). The implication of his final statement in this passage is clear to us. “The ultimate justification for the disciples' violation of the sabbath rest is that Jesus, the Son of Man, has supreme authority over the law.”[15]

CCC: Mt 12:5 581, 582, 2173; Mt 12:6 586, 590; Mt 12:7 2100
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 12:14-21

#394 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

#394 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 12:14-21

After the Lord challenged Pharisaic Law and declared the “Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8), the Pharisees see Jesus as a threat to their hold over the people. Jesus backs away from their intended violence.  In doing so, he fulfills the “Suffering Servant” role in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1-4). This passage re-emphasizes his meekness (see Matthew 11:28-30), and extends his mission to the gentiles.

CCC: Mt 12:18-21 713
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 12:38-42

#395 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#395 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."
He said to them in reply,
"An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 12:38-42

In this passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel, the Scribes and Pharisees demand a sign, even though the Lord has been performing cures and exorcisms in front of them. Jesus replies, and tells them in no uncertain terms that no sign will be given to them.

Calling them unfaithful (literally adulterous) in their failure to understand that he is sent by God and his mission, and using a reference first to Jonah, he tells them that just as Jonah “…was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights” (Jonah 2:1ff),  the Messiah will also be in the tomb of the earth for the same period. In this way, Jonah prefigured Jesus' death on the cross. He tells the Pharisees that, on the last day (the day of Judgment), the people Jonah was sent to call to repentance would be raised because they had repented (Jonah 3:5ff). The Pharisees, who believed in the resurrection, believed that the “Justified” or “Just” would be raised on the last day, see Acts 23:6ff). The Lord concludes his comparison saying, in reference to his identity as the Son of God, “…there is something greater than Jonah here.

Jesus uses a second example comparing the Pharisees' lack of understanding to the faith of the Queen of Sheba in the wisdom of Solomon. She (“…the queen of the south“) was queen in Ethiopia (or western Arabia). She traveled a great distance to hear God’s wisdom from Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-10), who himself followed King David, the line that ultimately produced the Savior. Jesus calls them unfaithful in their failure to understand that he is sent by God, again concluding that: “….there is something greater than Solomon here.

CCC: Mt 12:39 994; Mt 12:40 627, 635, 994; Mt 12:41-42 590, 678
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 12:46-50

#396 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#396 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#601 Proper of Saint Context (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Jul 16)

#680 Proper of Saints Context (Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nov 21)

#712 Commons Context (Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

#10L BVM Context (Holy Mary, Disciple of the Lord, Lent 10)

#32O-2 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Teacher in the Spirit)

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you."
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
"Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 12:46-50

In this selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus emphasizes the importance of the family of faith over the biological family. It is likely a parallel to the situation found in Mark 3:21. It is important to note that the Catholic Church holds that Mary bore only one child, Jesus. The reference in this passage to “…your brothers” (the word “brethren” is used in most other translations) refers to kinsmen, other relatives of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. Similarly, other scriptural references to Jesus’ relatives find this same interpretation issue. The Aramaic term for brother/sister referred to relationships within the extended family (see notes on Mark 3:31ff). In apocryphal literature, specifically the History of Joseph the Carpenter, it is indicated that Mary was Joseph’s second wife, his first having died previously.  From this union, the document explains, Joseph had four sons and two daughters; Judas, Justus, James, and Simon. The names of the two daughters were Assia and Lydia. This is one more possibility driving the language of the Gospel.

In Galatians 1:19 we find: “But I did not see any other of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.” “James the brother of the Lord: not one of the Twelve, but a brother of Jesus (see note on Mark 6:3). He played an important role in the Jerusalem church (see note on Galatians 2:9), the leadership of which he took over from Peter (Acts 12:17). Paul may have regarded James as an apostle.”[24]

To further support this point, logic tells us that if Mary had other biological children, Jesus would not have entrusted her to St. John as he hung upon the cross. (John 19:26-27)

Jesus’ initial indication that the disciples are his family is clarified by the statement: “…whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother." Through his acceptance of the will of God, Jesus provides a natural continuation of our adoptive status as his brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29 ; 1 John 3:1).

CCC: Mt 12:49 764, 2233
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:1-9

#397 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#397 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#916 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 19. For Productive Land, First Option)

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:1-9

St. Matthew’s Gospel begins the third great discourse of teachings on the Kingdom of God through parables. We hear that Jesus is teaching from a boat, which would provide a natural amphitheater, with the ground sloping to the shore. Here the Lord presents the parable of the “Sower.” Jesus follows the unvarnished parable with a deeper explanation to the disciples (Matthew 13: 18-23). As a historical note, at that point in history in that region, when planting a field, the seed was sown first and then the field was plowed.

CCC: Mt 13:3-23 1724; Mt 13:3-9 546
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:1-23*

#103A Solemnities A Context (15th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The disciples approached him and said,
“Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted,
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

“Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:1-23

St. Matthew’s Gospel begins the third great discourse of teachings on the Kingdom of God through parables. We hear that Jesus is teaching from a boat which would provide a natural amphitheater, with the ground sloping up from the shore. Here the Lord presents the parable of the “Sower.” Jesus follows the unvarnished parable with a deeper explanation to the Disciples. Because our selection gives not only the parable, but the Lord’s explanation of its meaning, the only historical note we will make is that at that point in history in that region, when planting a field, the seed was sown first and then the field was plowed. This differs from the modern method of plowing furrows and then placing the seed within it, covering the seed as the farmer proceeds along the row.

When questioned on his purpose in using parables, St. Matthew tells us Jesus' response is: “'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand,” Using this literary form, the Lord hopes to engage the listeners so they will be enlightened. (He paraphrases Isaiah 6:9-10, a warning to the prophet he sends, that those to whom he speaks will not understand). This citation implies that, as in St. Mark’s treatment of this parable (Mark 4:1-23), the difficulty of the metaphor is almost a punishment for the people’s earlier rejection of Jesus' clearer statements.

“The point of the parable is that, in spite of some failure because of opposition and indifference, the message of Jesus about the coming of the kingdom will have enormous success.”[13]

CCC: Mt 13:3-23 1724; Mt 13:3-9 546
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Or
Shorter Form: Matthew 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:1-9

In this shorter form of the Gospel only the parable is given without St. Matthew’s description of how Jesus explained its meaning to the disciples and told them how God have given them the singular gift given, the ability to understand its meaning.

CCC: Mt 13:3-23 1724; Mt 13:3-9 546
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:10-17

#398 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#398 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?"
He said to them in reply,
"Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:10-17

Following the “Parable of the Sower,” the disciples approach Jesus to ask him why he does not speak more clearly to the people instead of using the parables that some find confusing. His response, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, is much softer than the same story related in Mark 4:11ff.

“Since a parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding, only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. To understand is a gift of God, granted to the disciples but not to the crowds. In Semitic fashion, both the disciples' understanding and the crowd's obtuseness are attributed to God.”[16]

Concluding, Jesus reflects upon Isaiah 6:9-10 in a lament that the people will not understand what he reveals because their hearts are hardened.

CCC: Mt 13:3-23 1724; Mt 13:10-17 787; Mt 13:10-15 546; Mt 13:11 546
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:16-17

#606 Proper of Saints Context (Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jul 26)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:16-17

Following the “Parable of the Sower” the disciples approach Jesus to ask him why he does not speak more clearly to the people instead of using the parables that some find confusing. His response recorded in the Gospel of Matthew is much softer that the same story related in Mark 4:11ff “Since a parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding, only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. To understand is a gift of God, granted to the disciples but not to the crowds. In Semitic fashion, both the disciples' understanding and the crowd's obtuseness are attributed to God.”[18]

Concluding, Jesus reflects upon Isaiah 6:9-10 in a lament that the people will not understand what he reveals because their hearts are hardened

CCC: Mt 13:3-23 1724; Mt 13:10-17 787
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:18-23

#399 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#399 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom
without understanding it,
and the Evil One comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:18-23

This passage from St. Matthew is the explanation of the “Parable of the Sower”. This explanation is given to the disciples as St. Matthew’s way of explaining it to his broader audience. It follows Jesus’ earlier response to their question about why he teaches using parables and his lament that many will not see or hear these teachings.

CCC: Mt 13:3-23 1724; Mt 13:22 29
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:24-30

#400 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

#400 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:24-30

Jesus tells another parable, about the harvest this time. Here we see his reference to the “good seed” and “bad seed.” The good seed here, as an analogy to the Kingdom of God, represents those who remain faithful to God’s laws and precepts. The fact that the householder does not permit his slaves to tear out the weeds for fear of killing the wheat as well, is a warning to the disciples not to judge or attempt to alienate themselves from those with whom they have contact who reject the word. The “bad seed” represents those converted by God’s enemy, who choke off the good seed and, in the eschaton, will be condemned to hell.

CCC: Mt 13:24-30 827
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:24-43*

#106A Solemnities A Context (16th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

He proposed another parable to them.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:24-43

In the first parable (unique to St. Matthew’s Gospel) we see the metaphor of the field used to describe the whole of mankind. The fact that the householder does not permit his slaves to tear out the weeds for fear of killing the wheat as well is a warning to the disciples not to judge or attempt to alienate themselves from those with whom they have contact who reject the word.

The parables of the “Mustard Seed” and “Yeast” (see also Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 13:18-21) emphasize that from the smallest of beginnings with the proclamation of the word, the Kingdom of God expands to encompass all peoples.

CCC: Mt 13:24-30 827; Mt 13:41-42 1034; Mt 13:41 333; Mt 13:42 1034
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Or
Shorter From:
Matthew 13:24-30*

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:24-30

The shorter form focuses specifically on the parable of the “Weeds” and excludes the explanation of the parable in Matthew 13: 26-42. While the longer form provides a broader view of the Kingdom of God, the shorter form focuses on the consequences of belief or rejection of the “Good News”.

CCC: Mt 13:24-30 827
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:31-35

#401 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#401 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:31-35

The Lord continues his descriptions of the Kingdom of Heaven using two parables. The parable of the mustard seed and the parable of yeast have the same point. What appears to be small grows to miraculous size. What has been insignificant is vastly important, what cannot be seen is unknowingly immense. The parables of the “Mustard Seed” and “Yeast” (see also Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 13:18-21) emphasize that from the smallest of beginnings with the proclamation of the word, the Kingdom of God expands to encompass all peoples.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:36-43

#402 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#402 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.

The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:36-43

Jesus dismisses the crowd who, in this instance, represent the unbelieving of Israel. The remainder of this passage is directed at instruction of the disciples. The Lord’s explanation of the parable of the weeds clearly shows the intent of the story. The judgment of the wicked by God through his angels will take place in the Eschaton (the end times – the end of the age). The righteous will be vindicated (shine like the sun). The final statement: “Whoever has ears ought to hear,” is both a warning and a statement of need for patience by the faithful.

CCC: Mt 13:41-42 1034; Mt 13:41 333; Mt 13:42 1034
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:44-46

#403 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#403 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#516 Proper of Saint Context (St. Agnes, Jan 21)

#628 Proper of Saint Context (St. Rose of Lima, Aug 23)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is tike a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:44-46

The parable of the buried treasure and the parable of the pearl have the same point. One who understands the Kingdom of Heaven and sees its worth, joyfully places obtaining that promise before all else. It is the primacy of Christ’s teaching that guides the disciple in all things. While these two parables have generally the same meaning, it is interesting to note they have some subtle differences. The parable of the hidden treasure which is found by accident refers to an abundance of gifts.  The parable of the pearl sought out through diligence refers to the beauty of the Kingdom of God.

“Anyone who understands the Kingdom which Christ proposes realizes that it is worth staking everything to obtain it […]. The Kingdom of heaven is difficult to win.  No one can be sure of achieving it, but the humble cry of the repentant man can open wide its doors” (St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ Is Passing By, 180).[25]

CCC: Mt 13:44-45 546
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:44-52*

#109A Solemnities A Context (17th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:44-52

The parable of the Buried Treasure and the parable of the Pearl have the same point. One who understands the Kingdom of Heaven and sees its worth, places obtaining that promise before all else and sees it. It is the primacy of Christ’s teaching that guides the disciple in all things. The third parable in this group speaks of the eschaton, or end times. Those who have remained faithful in their pursuit of the Kingdom of God will be saved. Those who have chosen evil over good will suffer eternal death.

The question Jesus poses to his disciples following the parables requires an understanding of the structure of the Christian community at the time of Matthew. That is will described in the following: “The church of Matthew has leaders among whom are a group designated as "scribes" (Matthew 23:34). Like the scribes of Israel, they are teachers. It is the Twelve and these their later counterparts to whom this verse applies. The scribe . . . instructed in the kingdom of heaven knows both the teaching of Jesus (the new) and the law and prophets (the old) and provides in his own teaching both the new and the old as interpreted and fulfilled by the new. On the translation head of a household (for the same Greek word translated householder in Matthew 13:27), see the note on Matthew 24:45-51.[17]

CCC: Mt 13:44-45 546; Mt 13:50 1034; Mt 13:52 1117
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Or
Shorter Form: Matthew 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:44-46

The parable of the Buried Treasure and the parable of the Pearl have the same point. One who understands the Kingdom of Heaven and sees its worth, places obtaining that promise before all else and sees it. It is the primacy of Christ’s teaching that guides the disciple in all things. The third parable in this group speaks of the eschaton, or end times. Those who have remained faithful in their pursuit of the Kingdom of God will be saved. Those who have chosen evil over good will suffer eternal death.

CCC: Mt 13:44-45 546
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:47-53

#404 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#404 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to the disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

"Do you understand all these things?"
They answered, "Yes."
And he replied,
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old."
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:47-53

Jesus concludes his discourse about the Kingdom of Heaven with a final parable about the fisherman’s net. He then makes reference to the disciples’ (and their successors') role as “Christian scribes” or teachers of the Kingdom of God. In his description, he refers to the “new and the old” being brought out. This reference is to the new teaching from Jesus and the old from the Law and Prophets.

CCC: Mt 13:50 1034; Mt 13:52 1117
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:47-52

#648 Proper of Saints Context (St. Jerome, Sep 30)

#675 Proper of Saints Context (St. Albert the Great, Nov 15)

#730 Commons Context (Common of Doctors of the Church)

Jesus said to the disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
Jesus asked them:
"Do you understand all these things?"
They answered, "Yes."
And he replied,
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:47-52

Jesus concludes his discourse about the Kingdom of Heaven with a final parable about the fisherman’s net. He then makes reference to the disciples’ (and their successors') role as “Christian scribes” or teachers of the Kingdom of God. In his description he refers to the “new and the old” being brought out. This reference is to the new teaching from Jesus and the old from the Law and Prophets. The concluding statement emphasizes the importance of the duty of those who instruct the faithful to bring the fullness of the meaning of scripture, incorporating not only the vision of the old testament but the fulfillment of it in the light of Christ.

CCC: Mt 13:50 1034; Mt 13:52 1117
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 13:54-58

#405 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#405 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#559 Proper of Saints Context (St. Joseph the Worker, May 1)

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 13:54-58

This story from Matthew’s Gospel focuses on the people most familiar with Jesus the boy growing up among them. They are seeking the “Royal Messiah”, one coming with great power and majesty and are disappointed because of the Lord’s familiar and humble beginnings. Matthew’s story tells us that because of their lack of faith, the Lord did not perform any signs in their midst, ending the passage with the often quoted “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house." (See also John 1:11, those who were overly familiar with Jesus could not place their faith in him.)

CCC: Mt 13:55 495, 500
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 14:1-12

#406 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

#406 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)

Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 14:1-12

In this passage, recalling the manner of the death of John the Baptist, Herod unwittingly predicts Jesus' future glory as he assumes that the Lord is John the Baptist, raised from the dead. His guilt over the murder of John weighs heavily on him.

In St. Matthew’s account of the murder of John the Baptist, we note that there is a much more detailed explanation than that found in the Gospel of St. Mark (Mark 6:14ff). We also see that, according to St. Matthew, the murder of St. John was the intent of Herod from the beginning, where St. Mark’s Gospel infers it was Herodias that manipulated him into the act.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 14:12-16, 22-26 - Citation is incorrect in the index - see Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
#789 Ritual Mass Context (IV. For the Conferral of Ministries, 2. Institution of Acolytes,1)

Matthew 14:13-21

#112A Solemnities A Context (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Note: When this Gospel is proclaimed on Sunday (Cycle A), the Monday Weekday Gospel is Matthew 14:22-36.

#407 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#407 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 14:13-21

St. Matthew’s account of the feeding of the multitudes is framed with Jesus’ grief over hearing of the death of his cousin, St. John the Baptist. He hopes to grieve in solitude, and so takes a boat to “a deserted place by himself.” While it is not said explicitly, we assume at least some of the disciples accompanied him in the boat. When the crowds catch up with him (Jesus is well established as an important teacher now.), he does not turn them away but continues his work among them.

Possibly continuing his formation process with the disciples, Jesus tells them to feed the hungry people rather than dismiss them. The miracle occurs with significant symbolic numbers associated with it. (Five loaves and two fish would add up to seven, in Hebrew numerology the perfect or most complete number. The fragments filled twelve baskets, enough for the twelve tribes of Israel. Five thousand men was a representation for a huge number and probably not meant as a census of the participants.)

For the early Christian there would have been even more subtle symbolism, as the loaves would represent the “Bread of Life,” the Eucharist, and the fish, the Christian symbol that identified themselves to each other as a consequence of the Greek letters used. Taken in its larger context the story is preparatory to Jesus' final trip to Jerusalem.

CCC: Mt 14:13-21 1335; Mt 14:19 1329
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 14:22-36

Note: When Matthew 14:13-21 is proclaimed on Sunday (Cycle A), the Monday Weekday Gospel is Matthew 14:22-36.

#407 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#408 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#407 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#408 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 14:22-36

This passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel follows the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples return to the boat that brought them to this remote site, while Jesus stays alone to pray (recall he had just gotten word of the murder of St. John the Baptist by Herod, and had come to this place to mourn him).

The events that follow: Jesus' approach to the boat and walking on the water, supports the Lord’s earlier demonstration that he has power over the sea and elements (see Matthew 8:26). St. Peter’s response to the Lord is to try to do as the Lord wishes, but his fear prevents him from accomplishing what the Lord has called him to do. This entire episode has one purpose, to allow the readers to share in the awe of the disciples as they make their profession of faith: “Truly, you are the Son of God." This is account stands in stark contrast to St. Mark’s account of their response (see Mark 6:51).

CCC: Mt 14:30 448
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 14:22-33

#115A Solemnities A Context (19th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#679 Proper of Saints Context (Dedication of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Nov 18)

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 14:22-33

This passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel follows the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples return to the boat that brought them to this remote site while Jesus stays alone to pray (recall he had just gotten word of the murder of St. John the Baptist by Herod and had come to this place to mourn him).

The events that follow, specifically Jesus' approach to the boat and walking on the water, support the Lord’s earlier demonstration that he has power over the sea and elements (see Matthew 8:26). St. Peter’s response to the Lord is to try to do as the Lord wishes, but his fear prevents him from accomplishing what the Lord has called him to do. This entire episode has one purpose – to allow the readers to share in the awe of the disciples as they make their profession of faith “Truly, you are the Son of God." This account stands in stark contrast to St. Mark’s account of their response (see Mark 6:51).

CCC: Mt 14:30 448
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14

#408 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#408 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”
He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
“Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?”
He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 15:1-2, 10-14

This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus' disciples are breaking the tradition of the elders about washing one's hands before eating. In front of the larger crowd of followers the Lord refutes them with a parable that is an attack on Mosaic law concerning clean and unclean foods (see also Matthew 5:31-32, 33-34, 38-39) The concluding remarks concerning the blind leading the blind indicate to the disciples that the Pharisees and scribes do not understand God’s law but lead those who refuse to accept Jesus as the Messiah.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 15:21-28

#118A Solemnities A Context (20th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#409 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#409 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 15: 21-28

There was a long history of tension between the Canaanites and the Hebrews that was at a high point when Jesus encountered the woman. She clearly knew what she was doing as she addressed him as “Lord, Son of David,” identifying him by that name as a Hebrew.

In this selection Jesus has withdrawn from Palestine to escape the persecution of the Pharisees and scribes and to spend time training his disciples. The region they come to is predominantly gentile and sets the scene for his encounter with a Canaanite woman (in St. Mark’s Gospel it is the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30).

Jesus, while the words attributed to him are harsh, did not, as most of his own contemporaries would have, begin throwing stones at her to drive her away. His disciples were begging him to do that. Jesus recognized the great gulf between them, but opened his healing touch to the woman’s child when her faith in him was demonstrated.

The exchange between Jesus and the woman is intended to describe the universal nature of the messianic mission. Within the dialogue we see Jesus initially refuse to accede to the woman’s request (even though she recognized his authority “…the woman came and did him homage, saying, 'Lord, help me'”).

This same pattern of refusal and then acquiescence is found in St. John’s Gospel (John 2:4, John 4:48). The metaphor being exchanged in this banter refers to the “children” being the Hebrews, and the “dogs” a reference to the Gentiles (frequently referred to as such by Hebrews of the day). While this seems out of character for the Lord, our translation leaves out some conversational nuances that soften the dialogue. The word translated as “dogs” in this translation could be more accurately expressed as “pups.” It is also significant that the children and pups are eating at the same table, again expressing the universal nature of the mission of the Messiah.

CCC: Mt 15:22 439, 448; Mt 15:28 2610
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 15:29-37

#177 Weekday Years I &II Context (Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent)

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 15:29-37

Jesus is continuing the healing ministry. These actions were spoken of earlier as the Lord pointed them out to the disciples of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:4-5.  Jesus quoted an earlier pronouncement as a reference to Isaiah's prophecy indicating actions to be expected of the Messiah (Isaiah 35:5ff). The Messiah comes as an agent of forgiveness and healing - explicit evidence of God's love.

Next follows Matthew's account of the multiplication of the loaves which is a doublet of the story found in Matthew 14:13-21. In this story, however, Jesus takes the initiative instead of the disciples and the crowd has been with him for three days. We see a good deal of Hebrew numerology in this story. In the "three days" the crowd has been with him: three, having literary significance. In addition to the three days Jesus laid in the tomb, we find ancient Hebrew words used three times to signify the most profound usage (i.e. great, great, great is equivalent to great, greater, greatest). The use of seven loaves and baskets of fragments, with seven being the most perfect number, indicates the fullness of the event.

We also see the significant Eucharistic implications of this event as Jesus provides a miracle to satisfy the crowd in the breaking of the bread. Placed as it is, immediately following the description of how he was healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and making the lame walk, we are given a vision of the fulfillment of Messiah’s mission as predicted by Hebrew Prophets.

CCC: Mt 15:32-39 1335; Mt 15:36 1329
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 15:29-31

#795 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 5.)

Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 15:29-31

The events of this selection immediately precede the miracle multiplication of the loaves (reminiscent of Elijah and the widow in 1 Kings 17:10-16).  Jesus is continuing the healing ministry. These actions were referred to earlier as the Lord explained to the disciples of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:4-5. Jesus quoted an earlier pronouncement which in turn was a reference to Isaiah's prophecy indicating actions to be expected of the Messiah (Isaiah 35:5ff). Jesus comes as an agent of forgiveness and healing - explicit evidence of God's love.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:13-23

#410 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#410 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
and he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:13-23

St. Matthew’s story of how Jesus asked about what people were saying about him has a profound impact on the Church. Here, when challenged by Jesus with the question: “But who do you say that I am?” Simon answers: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” The second title is not present in St. Mark’s version of this encounter. It adds an understanding that Jesus is not just the Messiah, but also the Son of God.

Given this response, Jesus confers upon Simon a new name, “Kephas,” which comes from the root Aramaic word Kepa or “Rock.” When translated into Greek it came out Petros and from there to Peter. The name, however, becomes the foundation for the Church, and Peter, as a consequence of this exchange, is given Christ’s authority that is passed down through Papal Succession to our pontiff today.

The passage continues with Jesus’ explanation of his coming passion. Jesus, using the title “Son of Man” (see Daniel 7:13-14), foresees his trials and passion. This frightens the disciples and probably confuses many of the entourage (remember, there were more than just the twelve following Jesus around), and Peter confronts him, asking him to take a different approach to what he tells his students. Seeing this request as an invitation to take an easier, less dangerous path, Jesus rebukes Peter.

CCC: Mt 16-18 1969; Mt 16:16-23 440; Mt 16:16 424, 442; Mt 16:17 153, 442; Mt 16:18-19 881; Mt 16:18 424, 442, 552, 586, 869; Mt 16:19 553, 1444; Mt 16:21-23 540, 607; Mt 16:21 554; Mt 16:22-23 554
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:13-19

#535 Proper of Saint Context (Chair of Peter Feb 22)

#568 Proper of Saint Context (St. Gregory VII May 25)

#591 Proper of Saint Context (Sts. Peter and Paul [S] Jun 29)

#672 Proper of Saint Context (St Leo the Great Nov 10)

#682 Proper of Saint Context (St. Clement I Nov 23)

#700 Proper of Saint Context (St. Sylvester Dec 31)

#706 Commons Context (The Common of the Anniversary of the Dedication of a Church)

#724 Common Context (Common of Pastors)

#831 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 1. For the Church, 1.)

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:13-19

St. Matthew’s story of how Jesus asked about what people were saying about him has a profound impact on the Church. Here, when challenged by Jesus with the question, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon answers, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” The second title is not present in St. Mark’s version of this encounter. The title adds an understanding that Jesus is not just the Messiah, but also the Son of God. Given this response, Jesus confers upon Simon a new name “Kephas” which comes from the root Aramaic word Kepa or “Rock.” When translated into Greek it is Petros, and from there to Peter. The name, however, becomes the foundation for the Church. As a consequence of this exchange, Peter is given Christ’s authority, an authority that is passed down through Papal Succession to the Pope who sits on the Chair of Peter today.

CCC: Mt 16-18 1969; Mt 16:16-23 440; Mt 16:16 424, 442; Mt 16:17 153, 442; Mt 16:18-19 881; Mt 16:18 424, 442, 552, 586, 869; Mt 16:19 553, 1444
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:13-20

121A Solemnities A Context (21st Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:13-20

St. Matthew’s story of how Jesus asked about what people were saying about him has a profound impact on the Church. Here, when challenged by Jesus with the question, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon answers, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” The second title is not present in St. Mark’s version of this encounter. It adds an understanding that Jesus is not just the Messiah, but also the Son of God.

Given this response, Jesus confers upon Simon a new name “Kephas” which comes from the root Aramaic word Kepa or “Rock”. When translated into Greek it came out Petros and from there to Peter. The name, however, becomes the foundation for the Church and Peter, as a consequence of this exchange, is given Christ’s authority that is passed down through Papal Succession to Pope Francis today.

"Blessed are you: Jesus blesses Peter and elevates him to be the chief patriarch of the New Covenant. Parallels between Genesis and Jesus' words (16:17-19) suggest that Peter assumes a role in salvation history similar to Abraham's. (1) Both are blessed by God (Genesis 14:19); (2) both respond with heroic faith (Hebrews 11:8); (3) both receive a divine mission (Genesis 12:1-3); (4) both have their names changed (Genesis 17:5); (5) both are called a "rock" (Isaiah 51:1-2); and (6) both are assured a victory over the "gate" of their enemies (Genesis 22:17).

Simon Bar-Jona: Literally means "Simon son of Jonah". Since Peter's father is actually named "John" (John 1:42), the title may be symbolic. (1) Jesus' role as a new Jonah (12:39-41) may suggest he views Peter as his spiritual son. (2) Since the Hebrew name "Jonah" means "dove", Jesus may point to the relationship between Peter and the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the same Spirit who confirmed Jesus' Sonship in the form of a dove (3:16) now inspires Peter's confession, flesh and blood: A Semitic idiom for human beings, emphasizing their natural limitations and weaknesses (Sirach 14:18; Galatians 1:16)."[27]

CCC: Mt 16-18 1969; Mt 16:16-23 440; Mt 16:16 424, 442; Mt 16:17 153, 442; Mt 16:18-19 881; Mt 16:18 424, 442, 552, 586, 869; Mt 16:19 553, 1444
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:13-18

#748 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 1. Catechumenate and Christian Initiation of Adults, Presentation of the Creed, First Option)

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:13-18

St. Matthew’s story of how Jesus asked about what people were saying about him has a profound impact on the Church. Here, when challenged by Jesus with the question, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon answers, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” The second title is not present in St. Mark’s version of this encounter. It adds an understanding that Jesus is not just the Messiah, but also the Son of God.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:21-27

#124A Solemnities A Context (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:21-27

The passage begins with Jesus’ explanation of his coming passion. Jesus, using the title “Son of Man” (see Daniel 7:13-14), foresees his trials and passion. This frightens the disciples and probably confuses many of the entourage (remember, there were more than just the 12 following Jesus around) and Peter confronts him asking him to take a different approach to what he tells his students. Seeing this request as an invitation to take an easier path, Jesus rebukes Peter.

This is the second time within the Gospel of St. Matthew the Lord instructs the disciples that if they wish to follow him, they must take up the cross (the first time is in Matthew 10:38). This passage focuses the followers of Christ on the idea that serving the Lord must come before any other purposes in life since it is through following Jesus that eternal life is gained. It is also explicit that bringing the Word of God, the message of the Kingdom of God to the world, will lead to persecution and even the possibility of death.

CCC: Mt 16:21-23 540, 607; Mt 16:21 554; Mt 16:22-23 554; Mt 16:24-26 736; Mt 16:24 226, 618, 2029; Mt 16:25-26 363; Mt 16:25 2232; Mt 16:26 1021
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:24-28

#411 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#411 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:24-28

This is the second time, within the Gospel of St. Matthew, the Lord instructs the disciples that if they wish to follow him, they must take up the cross (the first time is in Matthew 10:38). This passage focuses the followers of Christ on the idea that, serving the Lord must come before any other purposes in life, since it is through following Jesus that eternal life is gained. It is also explicit that, bringing the Word of God, the message of the Kingdom of God to the world will lead to persecution, and even the possibility of death.

CCC: Mt 16:24-26 736; Mt 16:24 226, 618, 2029; Mt 16:25-26 363; Mt 16:25 2232; Mt 16:26 1021
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:24-27

#643A [i] Proper of Saint Context (St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Sep 23)

#663 Proper of Saint Context (St. Paul of the Cross Oct 20)

#699 Proper of Saint Context (St. Thomas Becket Dec 29)

#742 Common Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#755 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, Christian Initiation Apart from the Easter Vigil, 1.)

#768 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 4 Confirmation, 2.)

#815 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 3.)

#856 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 7. For Religious, 2.)

#866 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 9. For the Laity, 2.)

Jesus said to all,
"Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? Or what can one give
in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory,
and then he will repay each one according to his conduct."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 16:24-27

This is the second time within the Gospel of St. Matthew the Lord instructs the disciples that if they wish to follow him, they must take up the cross (the first time is in Matthew 10:38). This passage focuses the followers of Christ on the idea that serving the Lord must come before any other purposes in life, since it is through following Jesus that eternal life is gained. The final verse infers that the reward to the faithful is variable, that to some greater honor is given.

CCC: Mt 16:24-26 736; Mt 16:24 226, 618, 2029; Mt 16:25-26 363; Mt 16:25 2232; Mt 16:26 1021
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 17:1-9

#25A Sundays A Context (2nd Sunday of Lent A)

#614A Proper of Saints Context (Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, A)

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 17:1-9

In the opening paragraph of St. Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration, James, John, and Peter see Jesus take on a majestic appearance, with imagery consistent with Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:9-14) and then be joined by Moses the giver of the Law, and Elijah first among the prophets.  Scholars agree that uniting and fulfilling the Law and the Prophets represented in this tableau was a key message of this event.

The suggestion by St. Peter that he erect three “booths” suggests the Jewish Feast of Booths which commemorates the revelation of the Law by Moses at Mt. Sinai; a close parallel is emphasized as the ultimate revelation of God in Christ is now played out.

The “bright cloud” is another Old Testament symbol used to represent the immediate presence of God (see Exodus 19:9 and 24:15-16).  From within it God speaks the same formula used at Jesus’ baptism (see Matthew 3:17) providing the final absolute identity of Jesus as the Christ.

This event is recounted in all three of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36) confirms that Jesus is the Son of God. While some scholars point to this as possibly inserted here as a post-resurrection redaction, modern thought is that, because of Old Testament images and Jewish non-canonical apocalyptic images expressed in the brilliant light, white garments and overshadowing cloud, the event is appropriately placed in Jesus lifetime.

In this account especially we are reminded of the Baptismal event as God’s proclamation is similar to that recounted as Jesus came up from the Jordan “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."

CCC: Mt 17:1-8 & par. 554; Mt 17:5 444
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

#186 Weekdays I & II Context (Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent)

As they were coming down from the mountain,
the disciples asked Jesus,
“Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things;
but I tell you that Elijah has already come,
and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.
So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”
Then the disciples understood
that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 17:9a, 10-13

This Gospel passage is the epilogue to the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). The disciples ask Jesus: “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" To which the Lord replies: “but I tell you Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him.” Here the Lord is referring to St. John the Baptist, who came fulfilling the mission of Elijah. Jesus then, titling himself as “Son of Man” indicating his human nature, indicates that he would also not be recognized as the Messiah, and would suffer at their hands as well.

Jesus is helping the disciples understand the prediction from scripture that before the Messiah comes Elijah must return to prepare the Hebrews.  This prophecy is fulfilled by John the Baptist, the new Elijah (cf Malachi 3:23-24 [ii]).

The way the passage ends can be confusing. Jesus predicts his passion, and it is then that the disciples understand that John, fulfilling the role of Elijah, prepares the way for the Messiah – Christ.

CCC: Mt 17:10-13 718
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 17:14-20

#412 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

#412 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
“Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
Jesus said in reply,
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?
Bring the boy here to me.”
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
“Why could we not drive it out?”
He said to them, “Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 17:14-20

This story of the possessed boy is a shortened version of the story from St. Mark’s Gospel (Mark 9:17-27). Here there is little background given and the focus instead is on lack of faith. Jesus comments, directed to the disciples, indicate their faith was insufficient to drive out the demon and the speech envisions a time when they may be able to “move mountains” with stronger faith.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 17:22-27

#413 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#413 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
“Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him,
“Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 17:22-27

This passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel begins with the second passion prediction (the first immediately followed the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 16:21). The first time Jesus made this prediction there was argument from the disciples, in this instance they are overwhelmed with grief. (This can be contrasted with St. Mark’s statement that they did not understand. Mark 9:32)

The second element of the reading deals with Jesus and Peter (again we note the special emphasis on Peter as leader of the disciples) and the payment of the temple tax. According to Exodus 30:13-15, each adult male Jew owed a half-shekel each year for the maintenance of the temple. Jesus uses the example of “tolls or census tax” to indicate that they should be exempt from paying the tax. (Roman taxes were for those who were not Roman Citizens; hence Roman taxes were for those who were aliens or allies. Claiming the same logic, since Jesus is of God’s family, Jesus (with his disciples) was exempt from the temple tax.)

Yet, the Lord instructs Peter that the tax should be paid regardless, “that we may not offend them.” This implies Christ’s compassion for those who do not understand his identity. God provides what is needed in these situations. (The fish with a coin would be symbolic to the early Christian community of Christ (symbolized by the fish) providing all that was needed.)

CCC: Mt 17:23 554; Mt 17:24-27 586
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

#414 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#414 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

Jesus, in this selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel, summarizes what is known as “church order.”  It is called this because, in response to the question: “who will be greatest in the Kingdom of heaven,” Jesus refutes the rank and privilege of the secular world, and indicates that those whose faith is like a small child will find greatness in heaven.  He goes on to remind the disciples that angels of God watch over those with child-like faith, and that there is no greater sin than leading a child to sin.  He also tells the disciples there is no greater duty than seeking a child who is lost (to sin).

CCC: Mt 18:3-4 526; Mt 18:3 2785; Mt 18:10 329, 336 ; Mt 18:14 605, 2822
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:1-5, 10

#650 Proper of Saints Context (Memorial of Guardian Angels, Oct 2)

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:1-5, 10

This Gospel passage is used on the Feast of the Guardian Angels each year. The event is also recorded in St. Luke’s Gospel at Luke 9:46-50. The major difference is that here, in St. Matthew’s Gospel the Lord speaks directly of the Guardian Angels who protect and watch over the children in the presence of the Heavenly Father as opposed to going on to another saying of Jesus. The emphasis in this passage changes from a treatise on humility to one which emphasizes God’s care for those who are most helpless, His children.

CCC: Mt 18:3-4 526; Mt 18:3 2785; Mt 18:10 329, 336 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:1-5

#523 Proper of Saints Context (St. John Bosco, Jan 31)

#549 Proper of Saints Context (St. John Baptist De La Salle, Apr 7)

#631 Proper of Saints Context (St. Joseph Calasanz, Aug 25)

#649 Proper of Saints** Context (St. Thèrése of the Child Jesus, Oct 1)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:1-5

Jesus, in this selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel (also recorded in St. Luke’s Gospel at Luke 9:46-50), summarizes what is known as “church order.” It is called this because, in response to the question “who will be greatest in the Kingdom of heaven,” Jesus refutes the rank and privilege of the secular world, and indicates that those whose faith is like a small child will find greatness in heaven. The beginning allegory is thought to deal less with the innocence of a child and more with the child’s complete dependence upon its parents. The lesson then drives home the fact that the faithful disciple must be dependent upon God alone.

CCC: Mt 18:3-4 526; Mt 18:3 2785
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:12-14

#182 Weekdays I & II Context (Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Advent)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:12-14

This passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew is part of a larger discourse about how to correct those who have gone astray, but are still within the Christian community. In this short passage the image of the Good Shepherd is used to demonstrate the Father’s love for all those given to his son: “…it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”

CCC: Mt 18:14 605, 2822
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:15-20

#127A Solemnities A Context (23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#415 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#415 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#831 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 1. For the Church, 2.)

#842 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 4. For a Council or Synod or for a Spiritual or Pastoral Meeting, First Option)

#956 Mass for Various Needs Context (IV. For Various Needs, 28. For the Promotion of Charity or to Foster Harmony or for Family and Friends, First Option)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:15-20

St. Matthew relates the Lord's instructions to his disciples (and to the Christian Community at large). “Passing from the duty of Christian disciples toward those who have strayed from their number, the discourse now turns to how they are to deal with one who sins and yet remains within the community. First there is to be private correction; if this is unsuccessful, further correction before two or three witnesses; if this fails, the matter is to be brought before the assembled community (the church), and if the sinner refuses to attend to the correction of the church, he is to be expelled. The church's judgment will be ratified in heaven, i.e., by God. The section ends with a saying about the favorable response of God to prayer, even to that of a very small number, for Jesus is in the midst of any gathering of his disciples, however small.”[19]

CCC: Mt 18:16 2472; Mt 18:18 553, 1444; Mt 18:20 1088, 1373
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:19-22

#871 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 10. For the Unity of Christians, 1.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there I am in the midst of them."

Then Peter approaching asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you,
not seven times but seventy-seven times."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:19-22

This discourse from St. Matthew has been dealing with how the Christian community was to behave toward its members. The first part of this selection reminds the disciples that God is with them, even if only a few ("two or three") call upon the Lord in prayer, they shall be heard.

In the second part of the reading, St. Peter broaches the issue of forgiveness; asking Jesus how often must forgiveness be shown. Using Hebrew numerology to enhance the drama of the dialogue, Peter asks "As many as seven times?" Seven, the perfect of complete number meaning; must we forgive completely? Jesus response reflects that perfect forgiveness must be offered, a level of forgiveness he later displays himself as he forgives from the cross.

CCC: Mt 18:20 1088, 1373; Mt 18:21-22 982, 2227, 2845
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:21–19:1

#416 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#416 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,


‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee
and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:21–19:1

This selection from the Gospel from St. Matthew provides a teaching moment, as Jesus explains how his followers must forgive others. Peter asks Jesus how many times person who sins must be forgiven. Jesus responds that forgiveness must be without limits. Jesus uses Hebrew numerology in this illustration. Seven in Hebrew terms is the perfect or complete number. So when Peter asks “…how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” he is asking if he must forgive him completely. The metaphor the Lord uses in reply “seventy times seven” would imply and absolute forgiveness. "Jesus contrasts the behavior expected of the apostles with the boundless vengeance of Lamech in Genesis 4:24 (LXX), where the same figures of 'seven' and 'seventy times seven' are contrasted (CCC 982)."[28]

Jesus illustrates the requirement for Christian forgiveness with the parable of the unmerciful servant. As in many of the parables, the one who does what is wrong, in this case failing to show mercy and forgiveness even when it was shown to him, suffers a much worse fate in the final judgment.

CCC: Mt 18:21-22 982, 2227, 2845; Mt 18:23-35 2843; Mt 19:1-12 2364
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 18:21-35

#130A Solemnities A Context (24th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#238 Weekday Years I & II Context (Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Lent)

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 18:21-35

This passage begins with the discourse on “Forgiveness.” Peter asks the question that paraphrases one asked in the book of Genesis by Lamech (Genesis 4:24). He is looking for guidance in the form of a finite amount of forgiveness, and in answer receives the command that forgiveness must be infinite (represented by the multiples of seven and ten).

To emphasize this need for forgiveness, the Lord launches into the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. The moral of this particular parable is the measure we use to judge others is the same measure that will be used by God to measure us, when we come before him. “The model is the forgiveness of God, which knows no limit; and neither should man's forgiveness. If man does not forgive, he cannot expect forgiveness; if he does not renounce his own claims, which are small, he cannot ask God to dismiss the claims against him.”[8]

CCC: Mt 18:21-22 982, 2227, 2845; Mt 18:23-35 2843
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:3-12

#417 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#417 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#736 Commons Context (Common of Virgins)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#815 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 4.)

#856 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 7.For Religious, 3.)

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:3-12

This passage from Matthew’s Gospel is foundational to our understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Here we find Jesus challenged by Pharisees (possibly being asked to take sides in an argument but more likely to be tricked). Jesus comments on the origins of marriage and its sanctity are attacked again using Mosaic Law. Jesus once more goes back to the Father’s intent but does give an out – “unless the marriage is unlawful”, that is, the sacramental bond did not exist from the beginning.

The discourse then switches to one between Jesus and his disciples as they discuss the idea of living the celibate life. Again the Lord tells them that this is not for everyone but “only for those to whom that is granted.” The Gospel links the call to marriage and celibacy, both are gifts from God.

CCC: Mt 19:1-12 2364; Mt 19:3-12 1620; Mt 19:3-9 2382; Mt 19:4 1652; Mt 19:6-12 2053; Mt 19:6 796, 1605, 1614, 1644, 2336, 2380; Mt 19:7-9 2382; Mt 19:8 1610, 1614; Mt 19:10 1615; Mt 19:11 1615; Mt 19:12 922, 1579, 1618
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:3-6

805 Ritual Mass Context (VI. For the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, 4.)

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
  "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"
He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning
  the Creator made them male and female and said,
  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
  and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has Joined together, man must not separate."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:3-6

This passage from Matthew’s Gospel is foundational to our understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Here we find Jesus challenged by Pharisees (possibly being asked to take sides in an argument but more likely to be tricked). Jesus comments on the origins of marriage and its sanctity are attacked again using Mosaic Law. The passage is concluded with the seminal statement on the indelible nature of the sacrament.  If that union is the will of God, man may not break that union.

CCC: Mt 19:1-12 2364; Mt 19:3-12 1620; Mt 19:3-9 2382; Mt 19:4 1652; Mt 19:6-12 2053; Mt 19:6 796, 1605, 1614, 1644, 2336, 2380
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:13-15

#418 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

#418 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
"Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:13-15

In this passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel we see Jesus inviting everyone to come to him, this time including the children. There are two important lessons here. First we remember that the Lord said earlier in the Gospel that the Kingdom of God belonged to those who possessed the faith of a child. The Lord continues to teach his disciples, in this case combining the reality and the metaphor of little children. Second, this account is understood by some as justification for the practice of infant baptism. That interpretation is based principally on the command not to prevent the children from coming, since that word sometimes has a baptismal connotation in the New Testament (see Acts 8:36ff). The children are claimed for Christ in that sacrament.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:16-26


#513 Proper of Saint Context (St. Anthony Jan 17)

#815 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 5.)

Someone approached Jesus and said,
"Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
He asked him, "Which ones?"
And Jesus replied, "You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The young man said to him,
"All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?"
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me."
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
"Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,
"For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:16-26

Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man is also captured in Mark 10:17-31. In St. Matthew’s account, the young man asks Jesus what “good” he must do to attain “eternal life?” (This is equivalent to entering into life or being saved, as used in other parts of St. Matthew’s Gospel – see Matthew 19:17 and Matthew 16:25.) Following the Lord’s grammatical clarification (“there is only One who is good,” a statement implying only God possesses the ability to act without sin, completely good), the young man asks which commandments he must follow.

“The first five commandments cited are from the Decalogue (see Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20). Matthew omits Mark's "you shall not defraud" (Matthew 10:19; see Deuteronomy 24:14) and adds Leviticus 19:18. This combination of commandments of the Decalogue with Leviticus 19:18 is partially the same as Paul's enumeration of the demands of Christian morality in Romans 13:9.”[20]

The disciples were dismayed at the asceticism required and asked the Lord who could be saved, since all people, to some degree, desire comforts and possessions. The Lord then provides the answer that for God, all things are possible, and that through their faith in Him they will find their reward.

CCC: Mt 19:16-19 2052; Mt 19:16-17 2075; Mt 19:18 2400; Mt 19:21 2053; Mt 19:23-29 2053; Mt 19:23-24 226; Mt 19:26 276, 308, 1058
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:16-22

#419 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#419 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:16-22

Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man is also captured in Mark 10:17-31. In St. Matthew’s account the young man asks Jesus what “good” he must do to attain “eternal life” (equivalent to entering into life or being saved as used in other parts of St. Matthew’s Gospel – see Matthew 19:17 and Matthew 16:25). Following the Lord’s grammatical clarification (“There is only One who is good” a statement implying only God possesses the ability to act without sin – completely good.) the young man asks which commandments he must follow.

“The first five commandments cited are from the Decalogue (see Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20). Matthew omits Mark's "you shall not defraud" (Matthew 10:19; see Deuteronomy 24:14) and adds Leviticus 19:18. This combination of commandments of the Decalogue with Leviticus 19:18 is partially the same as Paul's enumeration of the demands of Christian morality in Romans 13:9.”[20]

The Lord’s concluding remarks tell the Christian community that wealth can be a barrier to achieving eternal life. This thought is continued in verses 23-30.

CCC: Mt 19:16-19 2052; Mt 19:16-17 2075; Mt 19:18 2400; Mt 19:21 2053
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:23-30

#420 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#420 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,

“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:23-30

St. Matthew’s Gospel continues the focus on valuing the spiritual life above the material pursuits of earthly existence. The disciples were dismayed at the asceticism required for discipleship. They ask the Lord who could be saved, since all people have fallen prey to the desire for comfort for themselves and material wealth, and even the poorest of people desire material possessions.

The Lord then provides the answer that, for God, all things are possible, and that through their faith in him they will find their reward. Jesus continues his discourse with an eschatological description of who shall receive the gift of eternal life. All who come to the Lord, regardless of when they come to faith, may find the reward (“the last shall be first”).

CCC: Mt 19:23-29 2053; Mt 19:23-24 226; Mt 19:26 276, 308, 1058; Mt 19:28 765
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 19:27-29

#533 Proper of Saints Context (Seven Founders of the Servite Order, Feb 17)

#597 Proper of Saints Context (St. Benedict, Jul 11)

#604A Proper of Saints Context (St. Sharbel Makhlue, Jul 24)+

#619 Proper of Saints Context (St. Clare, Aug 11)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

Peter said to Jesus,
"We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 19:27-29

St. Matthew’s Gospel continues the focus on valuing the spiritual life above the material pursuits of earthly existence. The disciples were dismayed at the asceticism required by the discipline and sacrifice required by Christ. In response to Peter’s expression of this concern, Jesus, in an eschatological discourse, provides a vision of the heavenly kingdom in which those who have faithfully followed the Lord will receive an inestimable reward.

CCC: Mt 19:23-29 2053; Mt 19:23-24 226; Mt 19:26 276, 308, 1058; Mt 19:28 765
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 20:1-16a

#133A Solemnities A Context (25th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#421 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#421 Weekday Year I Context (Wednesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 20:1-16

The parable of the Laborers Hired Late continues the dialogue from Matthew 19:30 “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” The inference here changes slightly: in Matthew 19:23-30 the Lord referred to those who would follow him into eternal life, while here he broadens the scope to imply that those called later to faithful service would receive the same reward as those first called.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 20:17-28

#232 Weekday Years I & II Context (Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent)

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 20:17-28

St. Matthew’s Gospel reading gives us the third and most detailed description of the coming passion. Emphasizing the lack of understanding of this event, the mother of James and John asks Jesus to elevate them to places of honor in his kingdom. The Lord questions the two, asking if they can drink the cup he will drink (accept the fate of martyrdom). When they answer in the affirmative, the Lord almost pronounces their acceptance as a sentence of death.

The squabbling that occurs between the disciples following this exchange prompts the Lord to define Christian leadership again, saying that those who would lead must be servants. They cannot be like the scribes and Pharisees.

CCC: Mt 20:19 572 Mt 20:26 2235
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 20:20-28

#605 Proper of Saints Context (St. James, Jul 25)

#826 Ritual Mass Context (IX. For the Blessing and Dedication of a Church, 3. Blessing of a Chalice and Paten, First Option)

#847 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 5. For Priests, 1.)

#851 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 6. For Ministers of the Church, 1.)

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
"What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 20:20-28

This exchange takes place immediately following the Lord's description of his coming passion in Jerusalem. The sons of Zebedee, James and John, are pushed forward by their mother who (naturally) wishes them to achieve places of honor in the Kingdom of God. Jesus uses this event to speak first of his own passion and then about Christian leadership. The Servant Leader, as Jesus describes, leads through example.

CCC: Mt 20:26 2235
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 20:25-28

#774 Ritual Mass Context (II. For the Conferral of Holy Orders, 4.)

Jesus summoned his disciples and said to them:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 20:25-28

This passage is part of the Lord's response to the sons of Zebedee, James and John. They had been pushed forward by their mother (Matthew 20:20) who (naturally) wishes them to achieve places of honor in the Kingdom of God. Jesus uses this event to contrast the leadership style of the secular world (the Gentiles in this case) with the Servant-Leader model he exemplifies. The Servant Leader, as Jesus describes, leads through example; sacrificing himself for the benefit of the people.

CCC; Mt 20:26 2235
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 21:1-11

#37A Sundays A Context (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion A)

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
‘The master has need of them.’

Then he will send them at once.”
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

Say to daughter Zion,
“Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”

And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”
And the crowds replied,
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 21:1-11

In this selection, Jesus is coming back to Jerusalem. The focus in St. Matthew’s Gospel is that Jesus came in fulfillment of scriptures. In spite of the fact that the cheering crowds must expect the “Royal Messiah” who comes according to the line of David, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” we see the author quoting two distinct Old Testament prophecies: Isaiah 62:11 (Say to daughter Zion), and Zechariah 9:9. The true stature of the Lord is meant to correct the misunderstanding of the crowd as he reminds his Christian audience: “Behold, your king comes to you, meek and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” The king the Jews expected would have been riding in a royal chariot.

CCC: Mt 21:1-11 559; Mt 21:9 439
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 21:23-27

#187 Years I & II Context (Monday of the 3rd Week of Advent)

When Jesus had come into the temple area,
the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him
as he was teaching and said,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
And who gave you this authority?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me,
then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.
Where was John’s baptism from?
Was it of heavenly or of human origin?”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd,
for they all regard John as a prophet.”
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
He himself said to them,

“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 21:23-27

Jesus has made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem and has purged the temple of money-changers. He now encounters the chief priests in the first of five controversies. Referring to his purging the temple, they ask: “By what authority are you doing these things?”

The exchange of question and counter question that follows exposes the Jewish leadership as being incompetent to fulfill one of their basic duties, discerning true and false teachers. When asked about John the Baptist, they reply,“We do not know.” By their inability to decide about John, the most prominent figure in their day, they display their incompetence and free Jesus from submitting to their judgment. (“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 21:28-32

#136A Solemnities A Context (26th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#188 Weekdays I & II Context (Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent)

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the Kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 21:28-32

This passage is the first of three parables concerning the judgment of the people of Israel. The parable could be taken simply as the difference between saying and doing (see also Matthew 7:21; 12:50). Jesus clarifies his meaning by posing a question to religious leaders using the hypothetical situation of the “two sons.”

The point of his example is intended to be analogous to the difference between those who disbelieved the message of repentance taught by St. John the Baptist and those who believed it, the sinners (tax collectors and prostitutes) who have repented. Presented as it is, as a question to the Jewish leaders, the chief priests are forced to admit that (in the story of the two sons) the son who did the father’s will was the one justified (those who accepted the message of St. John the Baptist). Ultimately the example tells the Jewish leaders that those they look down upon (the sinners who had rejected the Law), because of their acts of repentance and devotion, are achieving the inheritance of God before the leaders themselves.

CCC: Mt 21:28-32 546; Mt 21:32 535
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 21:33-43

#139A Solemnities A Context (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?
Therefore, I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 21:33-43

St. Matthew describes Jesus applying the Parable of the Vineyard as he confronts he Jewish leadership. His motivation is clearly to let them know that by rejecting Jesus and his message about the Kingdom of God, they have forfeited their place in the that kingdom. The description used for the vineyard is remarkably similar to Isaiah 5:1ff (above). Reference to the servants who were beaten and killed refers to the prophets similarly treated. The reference to the landowner’s son is an obvious reference to Jesus as the Son of God. The scripture quote of Psalm 118:22-23 was seen in the early church as a reference to Jesus’ resurrection. This is seen as the vindication of the Lord and God.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

#234 Weekday Years I & II Context (Friday of the Second Week of Lent)

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 21:33-43, 45-46

In the Parable of The Wicked Husbandmen from Matthew, Jesus reflects upon God's invitation to the Jewish people. The tenants who wish to first withhold what they owe and then kill the son of the land owner so they can take his inheritance reflect jealousy and greed, a thinly veiled allusion to Jesus' rejection by the chief priests and the elders of the people.

This story is an allegory of Christ’s mission and purpose. God sent him to open the gates of heaven through the forgiveness of sin for all peoples, fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. The Jews, seeing themselves as the custodians of salvation, would reject such a messenger, even the Son of God. They would ultimately kill him to maintain their false belief that in doing so they would continue as sole owners of the keys to the kingdom of God.

The symbolism that runs through the parable is rich and we will not try to capture it in this short commentary (see the Archive for more complete analysis)

CCC: Mt 21:33-43 755; Mt 21:34-36 443; Mt 21:37-38 443; Mt 21:42 756
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 22:1-14*

#142A Solemnities A Context (28th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)(Shorter Form Offered)

#422 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#422 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus again in reply spoke to them (the chief priests and elders of the people)
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Matthew 22:1-14

St. Matthew’s Gospel presents us with the parable of the King's Wedding Feast. The reference to the first servants sent to invite the guests were the Prophets, rejected or misunderstood by the Jewish Leadership. The second servants sent represent Christ himself, who here predicts his own death at the hands of the people he was sent to invite.

In the second section, we see that the feast that was prepared for God’s chosen people, the Hebrew Nation who were first invited, is left unattended. Therefore, God’s mercy is extended to all people of all nations. There is a warning at the end. Those not clothed in Christ who attempt to enter by deception will be punished severely. This caution can be seen in two connotations.  First, that those not properly disposed to participate in the wedding feast, recreated in the Eucharistic sacrifice, commit a serious sin. It also can be seen as the rationale for Purgatory, since the process of purification dresses the faithful for the eternal banquet in heaven.

CCC: Mt 22:1-14 546, 796
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OR
Shorter Form: Matthew 22:1-10

Jesus again in reply spoke to them (the chief priests and elders of the people)
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Matthew 22:1-10

With the omission of the caution to those who attempt to enter the heavenly banquet through deception, this shorter form places a stronger emphasis on the broadened invitation expressed in the story. When those first invited (the Hebrews) rejected Christ’s invitation to revelation, his message was expanded to include all peoples. The joined imagery of the banquet and the invitation recall that similar invitation extended in Isaiah 25:6-10a.

CCC: Mt 22:1-14 546, 796
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 22:15-21

#145A Solemnities A Context (29th Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#886 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, 13. For the Country or a City or for Those Who Serve in Public Office or for the Congress or for the President or fr the Progress of Peoples, 4.)

The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion,
for you do not regard a person's status.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?"
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax."
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?"
They replied, "Caesar's."
At that he said to them,
"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 22:15-21

St. Matthew describes this incident between Jesus and the Pharisees (with support of those who followed King Herod – Herodians who were fiercely loyal to Rome). In this instance a trap was intended to be laid for Jesus by asking him if the Census Tax should be paid. The Lord would have been condemned if he answered yes of no. If he said yes, the Hebrews would have called him heretic based on idol worship since Caesar considered himself to be a God. If he said no, the Herodians would have pounced because Jesus would have been encouraging disobedience to the civil government.

The Lord finds the trap and avoids it by using the coin’s (graven) image of a false God to be paid to that God. At the same time he encouraged the Hebrew faithful to provide the necessary sacrifices and tythes to the temple.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 22:34-40

#148A Solemnities A Context (30 Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#423 Weekday Year I Context (Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#423 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#540 Proper of Saints Context (St. Francis of Rome, Mar 9)

#583 Proper of Saints Context (St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Jun 21)

#630 Proper of Saints Context (St. Louis of France, Aug 25)

#669 Proper of Saints Context (St. Martin De Porres, Nov 3)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 22:34-40

The story of Jesus delivering the Great Commandment is the fourth of the “Controversy Stories” in St. Matthew’s Gospel (stories in which Jesus argues with the Jewish leadership). Jesus has just refuted those Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection (v. 23-33) and now is challenged by the Pharisees. The question posed by the “Scholar of the Law” (probably a scribe; see also Luke 10:25-28) “…which commandment in the law is the greatest?” is asked in a rabbinical sense, meaning; which of the 613 distinct statutes was considered greatest. Within this body of law, 248 of these precepts were positive and 365 were prohibitions. In addition these precepts were further divided into “Light” and “Heavy”. This was a fairly typical type of exchange for a rabbinical debate.

In answering Jesus quotes two texts of the law that now form the foundation for a new morality in the Gospel. He first quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 “Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” This text forms part of the Shema, the Jewish profession of faith. This first quote would not be surprising. What makes this exchange novel and important is that Jesus adds the quote from Leviticus 19:18b “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This juxtaposition of quotes makes them equally “Heavy” and there is no parallel In Jewish literature.

CCC: Mat 22:23-34 575; Mat 22:34-36 581; Mat 22:36 2055; Mat 22:37-40 2055; Mat 22:37 2083; Mat 22:40 1824
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 22:35-40

#760 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 2. Conferral of Infant Baptism, 1.)

#805 Ritual Mass Context (VI. For the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, 6.)

One of the Pharisees, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 22:35-40

The story of Jesus delivering the Great Commandment is the fourth of the “Controversy Stories” in St. Matthew’s Gospel (stories in which Jesus argues with the Jewish leadership). The question posed by the “Scholar of the Law” (probably a scribe; see also Luke 10:25-28) “…which commandment in the law is the greatest?” is asked in a rabbinical sense, meaning; which of the 613 distinct statutes was considered greatest. Within this body of law, 248 of these precepts were positive and 365 were prohibitions. In addition these precepts were further divided into “Light” and “Heavy”. This was a fairly typical type of exchange for a rabbinical debate.

In answering Jesus quotes two texts of the law that now form the foundation for a new morality in the Gospel. He fist quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 “Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” This text forms part of the Shema, the Jewish profession of faith. This first quote would not be surprising. What makes this exchange novel and important is that Jesus adds the quote from Leviticus 19:18b “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This juxtaposition of quotes makes them equally “Heavy” and there is no parallel In Jewish literature.

CCC: Mat 22:34-36 581; Mat 22:36 2055; Mat 22:37-40 2055; Mat 22:37 2083; Mat 22:40 1824
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 23:1-12

#151A Solemnities A Context (31st Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#231 Weekday Years I & II Context (Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Lent)

#424 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

#424 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 23:1-12

This passage is the introduction to the invective against the Scribes and Pharisees. It sets the stage for the “Seven Woes” which follow in the chapter. St. Matthew uses Jesus' teaching about the leaders of the Jewish faith as counter-examples of what the leaders of the Christian faith must be like. The scribes and Pharisees lead from the authority given by the Temple. According to the Gospel, they did not practice what they taught and performed their worship for others to see rather than out of true faith and worship of God.

St. Matthew continues the theme of authentic worship (that is, worship that changes the actions of the faithful). The author gives us Jesus' discourse that upholds the Law of Moses and, at the same time, chastises those who misuse it. He describes in detail how the scribes burden the people with ritual, but do not practice that same law. The complaint is twofold: first is the rigor with which the law is interpreted (“They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders”), and second is the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees: “All their works are performed to be seen” (see also Matthew 6:1-8).

The selection promotes an interpretation of Christian leadership which is one of humility and compassion rather than one of prideful superiority. “These verses, warning against the use of various titles, are addressed to the disciples alone. While only the title 'Rabbi' has been said to be used in addressing the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:7), the implication is that Father and 'Master' also were. The prohibition of these titles to the disciples suggests that their use was present in Matthew's church. The Matthean Jesus forbids not only the titles but the spirit of superiority and pride that is shown by their acceptance. Whoever exalts . . . will be exalted: cf Luke 14:11.”[7]

CCC: Mt 23:9 2367; Mt 23:12 526
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 23:8-12

#510 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. Basil the Great
and Gregory Nanzianzen, Jan 2)

#522 Proper of Saints Context (St. Thomas Aquinas, Jan 28)

#600 Proper of Saints Context (St. Bonaventure, Jul 15)

#633 Proper of Saints Context (St. Augustine, Aug 28)

#724 Commons Context (Common of Pastors)

#730 Commons Context (Common of Doctors of the Church)

#810 Ritual Mass Context (VII. Blessing of Abbots and Abbesses, First Option)

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples:
"Do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father,
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 23:8-12

Jesus has launched an attack on the Jewish Leadership for their authoritarian style, placing burdens on the people and seeking places of honor and titles for themselves. In this selection he describes his example of spiritual leadership. He speaks of the humility he exemplifies, placing God the Father in the place of the one true master and all who follow him as servants. See also Luke 14:11.

CCC: Mt 23:9 2367; Mt 23:12 526
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 23:13-22

#425 Weekday Year I Context (Monday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#425 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.
You do not enter yourselves,
nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You traverse sea and land to make one convert,
and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna
twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say,
‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’
Blind fools, which is greater, the gold,
or the temple that made the gold sacred?
And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’
You blind ones, which is greater, the gift,
or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;
one who swears by the temple swears by it
and by him who dwells in it;
one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God
and by him who is seated on it.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 23:13-22

This selection from St. Matthew’s Gospel lays down the first three of the “Seven Woes” in which Jesus condemns Pharisaic practices. The first condemnation directly attacks their authority as shepherds tasked with leading the people to God. He accuses them of “locking the kingdom of heaven” (recall earlier Jesus gave St. Peter the keys to that lock Matthew 16:19). The inference is that they lack the authority, principally because their own actions do not merit them entry into God’s Kingdom.

The second “Woe” is probably a reflection about the vehemence with which new converts to Judaism persecuted the early Christian Church. The inference is that, in the conversion process, the Pharisees' teaching closed the minds of those converts to the truth, and thereby took them off the path to salvation. The Lord goes on to ridicule these “false guides” because what they do does not match what they teach.

The third “Woe” attacks the whole concept of the language used in making a binding oath. The essence of the Lord’s attack is that, if one makes a promise, the underlying honesty of the person should be the bond, not some legal construct based upon the exact language used. If one swears an oath based upon a object that points to God, they have sworn on God himself. Though Jesus forbids his disciples from making oaths of any sort, he tells the Jewish leaders that, because they only value oaths associated with the value it brings to the temple, their reward will be in “Gehenna.

CCC: Mt 23:16-22 2111; Mt 23:21 586
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 23:23-26

#426 Weekday Year I Context (Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#426 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 23:23-26

This reading from Matthew continues the dialogue of the “Seven Woes.” In this selection we hear how the Pharisees have extended the law of tithing down to the smallest of crops, herbs. The implication is they are lost in the minutia of the Law, and have forgotten larger faith issues. The same reference is made when he says: “Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

The final part of this section is concerned with “...a metaphor illustrating a concern for appearances while inner purity is ignored.”[26]  (See also Mark 7:4.) There is a strong reference here to the lack of self-control shown by these leaders.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 23:27-32

#427 Weekday Year I context (Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#427 Weekday Year II context (Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 23:27-32

This passage concludes St. Matthew’s treatment of the “Seven Woes” with the final two exhortations against the scribes and Pharisees. In the “Sixth Woe” Jesus derides the Hebrew leadership for false piety. While their acts of worship would make them seem upright and faith-filled, their interior agendas are sinful. Their professed faith is not echoed with actions outside the temple– especially with charity.

The “Seventh Woe” attacks the pride of these leaders who engage in pompous piety. “In spite of honoring the slain dead by building their tombs and adorning their memorials, and claiming that they would not have joined in their ancestors' crimes if they had lived in their days, the scribes and Pharisees are true children of their ancestors and are defiantly ordered by Jesus to fill up what those ancestors measured out. This order reflects the Jewish notion that there was an allotted measure of suffering that had to be completed before God's final judgment would take place.”[21] Theologically, verses 29-32 provide strong support of Maccabeean Purgatory.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 24:4-13

#592 Proper of Saints Context (First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church, Jun 30)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"See that no one deceives you.
For many will come in my name, saying,
`I am the Christ,' and they will deceive many.
You will hear of wars and reports of wars;
see that you are not alarmed,
for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place.
All these are the beginning of the labor pains.
Then they will hand you over to persecution,
and they will kill you.
You will be hated by all nations because of my name.
And then many will be led into sin;
they will betray and hate one another.
Many false prophets will arise and deceive many;
and because of the increase of evildoing,
the love of many will grow cold.
But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 24:4-13

This selection is part of St. Matthew’s Eschatological Sermon in which the Lord reflects upon the end times. Here he begins by cautioning the Disciples not to interpret the trials to come as the end of the world (“…for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.“). He also cautions them about false teachers who will take advantage of those trials for their own profit. Many will be deceived he predicts. He concludes by encouraging them to persevere in their faith and salvation will be theirs.

CCC: Mt 24:12 675; Mt 24:13 161
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 24:37-44

#1A Solemnities A Context (1st Sunday of Advent A)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 24:37-44

St. Matthew’s Gospel shows us the Lord reminding his audience that the people of Noah’s time did not heed the warning of the coming flood and were destroyed because they were unprepared. He speaks of the eschaton, the end times when one person will be taken into the Kingdom of God and another, standing next to them, will be doomed to destruction.

The second section of the reading gives an analogy of the final judgment being likened to a thief who breaks in at night, unexpected, and makes off with all that is valued. The clear message taken from this reading is the call to preparedness and constant vigilance.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 24:42-51

#428 Weekday Year I Context (Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#428 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 24:42-51

This discourse from St. Matthew’s Gospel follows his reflections about the end times, and the need for vigilance.  The Lord speaks to those who follow him, especially the leaders of the community he leaves behind, telling them they will not know the time when they will be called to the Kingdom of Heaven. In the second section he tells his followers that those who are found to be vigilant will be rewarded at the end of all things, while those who have fallen away will be punished.

CCC: Mt 24:44 673
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 25:1-13

#154A Solemnities A Context (32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#429 Weekdays I Context (Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#429 Weekdays II Context (Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#599A Proper of Saint Context (St. Kateri Kekakwitha Jul 14)

#681 Proper of Saint Context (St. Cecilia Nov 22)

#692 Proper of Saint Context (St. Lucy Dec 13)

#736 Commons Context (Common of Virgins)

#742 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#815 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 6.)

#967 Mass for Various Needs Context (IV. For Various Needs, 31. For the Grace of a Happy Death, First Option)

#1016 Mass for the Dead Context (3.)

#46O-3 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Gate of Heaven)

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 25:1-13

St. Matthew’s Gospel gives us the parable of the Ten Virgins continuing the Gospel theme of preparedness and vigilance (although strictly speaking this parable is about foresight). In this story the idea of vigilance is expanded to include being prepared. The Jewish wedding customs of the time would have dictated a procession [at night] from the house of the bride to the house of the groom. The whole act is symbolic of the coming of the messianic era also portrayed as a wedding in Matthew 9:15, Matthew 22:1-14 and John 3:29. The wise virgins brought oil for their lamps while the foolish ones did not. The oil is interpreted by some scholars as referring to good works.

The overarching symbolism is the lamp of faith (light of the indwelling Holy Spirit) being kept burning with oil (good works). Hence, without good works (oil), the lamp will not continue to burn (James 2:17) and the virgins, so deprived of light, are excluded from the heavenly kingdom.

CCC: Mt 25:1-13 672, 796; Mt 25:1 672; Mt 25:6 1618; Mt 25:13 672
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 25:14-30

#157A Solemnities A* Context (33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time A)

#430 Weekday Year I Context (Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#430 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time)

#623 Proper of Saints Context (St. Stephen of Hungary, Aug 16)

#686 Proper of Saints Context (St. John of Damascus, Dec 4)

#742 Commons* Context (Common of Holy Men and Women, 12.)

#768 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 4. Confirmation, 3.)

#866 Mass for Various Needs Context ( I. For the Holy Church, 9. For the Laity, 3.)

#886 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, For the Country or a City or for Those Who Serve in Public Office or for the Congress or for the President or for the Progress of Peoples, 5.)

#911 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In Various Public Circumstances, 18. For the Blessing of Human Labor, Second Option)

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents comes to us as part of Jesus’ dialog about being prepared and vigilant. It combines two different but connected logions or morals/teaching points. The first is to use the gifts God has given for the benefit of God, who is represented by the “Master” in the parable. The second is vigilance. This parable, directed at the disciples, exhorts his servants to use the gifts God has given them to the fullest, for the benefit of others (as well as God). It is an exclamation point to Jesus' earlier statement:those to whom much is given, even more will be expected” (see also Luke 12:48).

CCC: Mt 25:14-30 546, 1936; Mt 25:21 1029, 1720, 2683; Mt 25:23 1029, 1720
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OR
Short Form
Matthew 25:14-23

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 25:14-23

This shorter form of the Gospel focuses narrowly on the need for the faithful to use the gifts God has given them to the fullest for the benefit of others (as well as God). It is an exclamation point to Jesus earlier statement “those to whom much is given, even more will be expected.

CCC: Mt 25:14-30 546, 1936; Mt 25:21 1029, 1720, 2683; Mt 25:23 1029, 1720
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 25:31-46*

#160A Solemnities A Context (The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King A)

#224 Weekday Years I & II Context (Monday of the First Week of Lent)

#594 Proper of Saints Context (St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Jul 4)*

#668 Proper of Saints Context (The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed Nov 2)

#742 Commons Context ( Common of Holy Men and Women)*

#886 Mass for Various Needs Context (II. For Public Needs, For the Country or a City or for Those Who Serve in Public Office or for the Congress or for the President or for the Progress of Peoples, 6.)

#926 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. Various Public Circumstances, 21. In Time of Famine or for Those Who Suffer From Famine, First Option)

#931 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. Various Public Circumstances, 22. For Refugees and Exiles, Second Option)

#932 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. Various Public Circumstances, 23. For Those Held Captive)

#1016 Mass for the Dead Context (4.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 25:31-46

Jesus, in this reading, is telling his disciples and us what will be judged at the end times, the Eschaton. The reading gives us a vision of what will be asked and how judgment will be passed. This image is used as a teaching tool, to focus those who wish to follow Jesus on loving those who are in need of help: the hungry, the stranger, the naked, the ill, the imprisoned.

This reading provides yet one more example of how Christ intends the Great Commandment to be lived. Loving God and loving neighbor would be judged by: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” We note that while the general theme is broadly applied to all people, there is special emphasis placed upon the poor and marginalized. The concluding answer expands upon the Hebrew definition in Leviticus (Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18) as St. Matthew defines "neighbor" in a more inclusive sense.

CCC: Mt 25:31-46 544, 1033, 1373, 2447, 2831; Mt 25:31-36 2443; Mt 25:31 331, 671, 679, 1038; Mt 25:32 1038; Mt 25:36 1503; Mt 25:40 678, 1397, 1825, 1932, 2449; Mt 25:41 1034; Mt 25:45 598, 1825, 2463; Mt 25:46 1038
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OR
Shorer Form: Matthew 25:31-40
*(for St. Elizabeth of Portugal and Common of Holy Men and Women Only)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
`Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
`Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
`Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me."'
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 25:31-40

This shorter form of the Gospel softens the message by omitting the response of the King to those who ignore the need to show mercy and compassion as Christ teaches. The essential focus remains unchanged- the requirement of the Christian to show compassion and mercy to those in need.

CCC: Mt 25:31-46 544, 1033, 1373, 2447, 2831; Mt 25:31-36 2443; Mt 25:31 331, 671, 679, 1038; Mt 25:32 1038; Mt 25:36 1503; Mt 25:40 678, 1397, 1825, 1932, 2449
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 25:31-40

#539*** Proper of Saints Context (St. John of God, Mar 8)

#673 Proper of Saints Context (St. Martin of Tours, Nov 11)

#795 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 6.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 25:31-40

Jesus, in this reading, is telling his disciples what will be judged at the end times, the eschaton. The reading provides a vision of what will be asked of those seeking admittance to the Kingdom of God and how judgment will be passed. This image is used as a teaching tool, to focus those who wish to follow Jesus on loving those who are in need of help: the hungry, the stranger, the naked, the ill, the imprisoned.

CCC: Mt 25:31-46 544, 1033, 1373, 2447, 2831; Mt 25:31-36 2443; Mt 25:31 331, 671, 679, 1038; Mt 25:32 1038; Mt 25:36 1503; Mt 25:40 678, 1397, 1825, 1932, 2449
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 26:14-25

#259 Weekday Years I & II Context (Wednesday of Holy Week)

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 26:14-25

This selection focuses on Judas striking the bargain with members of the Sanhedrin. The thirty pieces of silver is reminiscent of the price paid for the shepherd of the flock to be slaughtered in Zechariah (Zechariah 11:12). The event is followed by Matthew’s account of the selection of the place for the Last Supper. Jesus again tells the disciples that one of them will betray him. This time Judas, who has already committed to betray Jesus, compounds his sin as he answers, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”

CCC: Mt 26:17-29 1339
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 26:14—27:66*

#38A Solemnities A Context (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion A)

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity
to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, (My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”

He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating,
Jesus took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and giving it to his disciples said,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many
for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it with you new
in the kingdom of my Father.”
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,
“This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken,
for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed;
but after I have been raised up,
I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Though all may have their faith in you shaken,
mine will never be.”
Jesus said to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
this very night before the cock crows,
you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him,
“Even though I should have to die with you,
I will not deny you.”
And all the disciples spoke likewise.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them,
“My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
“My Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter,
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass
without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time,
saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
Behold, the hour is at hand
when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go.
Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

While he was still speaking,
Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs,
who had come from the chief priests and the elders
of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying,
“The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
“Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him,
“Friend, do what you have come for.”
Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus
put his hand to his sword, drew it,
and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him,
“Put your sword back into its sheath,
for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
and he will not provide me at this moment
with more than twelve legions of angels?

But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled
which say that it must come to pass in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
“Have you come out as against a robber,
with swords and clubs to seize me?
Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area,
yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass
that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus led him away
to Caiaphas the high priest,
where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance
as far as the high priest’s courtyard,
and going inside he sat down with the servants
to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin
kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus
in order to put him to death,
but they found none,
though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward who stated,
“This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God
and within three days rebuild it.’”
The high priest rose and addressed him,
“Have you no answer?
What are these men testifying against you?”
But Jesus was silent.
Then the high priest said to him,
“I order you to tell us under oath before the living God
whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“You have said so.
But I tell you:
From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power’
and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said,
“He has blasphemed!
What further need have we of witnesses?
You have now heard the blasphemy;
what is your opinion?”
They said in reply,
“He deserves to die!”
Then they spat in his face and struck him,
while some slapped him, saying,
“Prophesy for us, Christ: who is it that struck you?”

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.
One of the maids came over to him and said,
“You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it in front of everyone, saying,
“I do not know what you are talking about!”
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him
and said to those who were there,
“This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
Again he denied it with an oath,
“I do not know the man!”
A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter,
“Surely you too are one of them;
even your speech gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and to swear,
“I do not know the man.”
And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken:

“Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.

When it was morning,
all the chief priests and the elders of the people
took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
They bound him, led him away,
and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned,
deeply regretted what he had done.
He returned the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, saying,
“I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”
They said,
“What is that to us?
Look to it yourself.”
Flinging the money into the temple,
he departed and went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests gathered up the money, but said,
“It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury,
for it is the price of blood.”
After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field
as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet,
And they took the thirty pieces of silver,
the value of a man with a price on his head,
a price set by some of the Israelites,
and they paid it out for the potter’s field
just as the Lord had commanded me.

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, "Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
—which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
“Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“(Truly, this was the Son of God!”
There were many women there, looking on from a distance,
who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph,
and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening,
there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph,
who was himself a disciple of Jesus.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus;
then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.
Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen
and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock.
Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The next day, the one following the day of preparation,
the chief priests and the Pharisees
gathered before Pilate and said,
“Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said,
‘After three days I will be raised up.’
Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day,
lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people,
‘He has been raised from the dead.’
This last imposture would be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them,
“The guard is yours;
go, secure it as best you can.”
So they went and secured the tomb
by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 26:14—27:66

The passion according to St. Matthew recounts the “Last Supper,” the “Prayer in the Garden,” and Jesus' arrest, trial, conviction, execution, death and burial. (See also commentary on Luke 22:14 – 23:56)

Judas’ Betrayal Mt 26:14-25 

This section begins with Judas striking the bargain with members of the Sanhedrin. The thirty pieces of silver is reminiscent of the price paid for the shepherd of the flock to be slaughtered in Zechariah (Zechariah 11:12). The event is followed by Matthew’s account of the selection of the place for the Last Supper. Jesus again tells the disciples that one of them will betray him. This time Judas, who has already committed to betray Jesus, compounds his sin as he answers, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”

The Lord’s Supper Mt 26: 26-30  

St. Matthew’s account of the consecration is very close to that used in the Gospel of St. Mark and has some differences from the Pauline-Lucan formula (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 22:19-20).  “This short scene, covered also in Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, contains the essential truths of faith about the sublime mystery of the Eucharist--1) the institution of this sacrament and Jesus' real presence in it; 2) the institution of the Christian priesthood; and 3) the Eucharist, the sacrifice of the New Testament or the Holy Mass.”[31]

“Matthew's Last Supper account highlights three aspects of the Eucharist (CCC 1339-40). (1) Jesus identifies the unleavened bread and the chalice with his body and blood (Mt 26:-28). Through his spoken words the mystery of "transubstantiation" takes place. His body and blood replace the entire substance of the bread and wine.  Although his presence remains undetected by the senses, the force of the verb "is" (Gk. estin) should not be reduced to "represents" or "symbolizes". The Church's faith rests entirely on Jesus' solemn words (cf John 6:68; 2 Corinthians 5:7). (2) Jesus links the Eucharist with his forthcoming sacrifice on the Cross (27-35, John 19:34). The expression 'poured out' (26:28) recalls how Old Covenant priests poured the blood of sacrificial offerings at the base of the Temple's altar to make atonement for sin (Leviticus 4:16-20; cf Deuteronomy 12:26, 27; Isaiah 53:12). Shedding his own blood, Jesus is both the high priest and the sacrificial victim of the New Covenant; his priestly offering is present in an unbloody manner in the sacrament and secures for us the forgiveness of sins. (3) Christ's presence in the Eucharist makes the sacrament a true communion with Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:16). The phrase 'blood of the covenant' is drawn from Exodus 24:8, where God entered a covenant of love and communion with Israel through sacrifice. The consumption of blood - always forbidden under the Old Covenant (Leviticus 17:11-12) - is now enjoined in the New, since it communicates Christ's divine life to the believer (John 6:53; CCC 1329,1374,1381).[32]
Following the Lord’s Supper, Jesus and the disciples go to the Mt. of Olives.  Along the way Jesus prophetically tells his closest friends that their faith will soon be tested and they will all run away in fear. He does this using a citation from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 13:7).  Peter’s profession of faith is refuted by the Lord, again predicting his three-fold denial of the Lord: “’Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows,you will deny me three times.’” (which will be reversed by his three-fold profession of faith on the shores of Sea of Tiberias (John 21:15ff).

Gethsemane Mt 26:36-46

Jesus, and his disciples’ time in the garden at Gethsemane (translated literally meaning “oil press”) is broken into Jesus’ passionate prayer to his Father, and his arrest.

The Lord invites Peter, James and John to join him.  This is the third time they have been selected.  The first was when they witnessed the Lord raise the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37) and the second at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1). 

The Lord is fully man and, as such, fears his coming ordeal.  His prayer reflects this fear: “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it,” but in the end, he conforms his will to his Father’s with: “your will be done!” Jesus places perfect trust in the Father (Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:7).

Jesus’ Arrest Mt 26:47-56

Jesus has finished his passionate prayer.  He is just finished chastising his friends for not having the strength to stay awake when Judas ("my betrayer") approaches with a large group, probably temple guards since we are told they were sent by "the chief priests and elders of the people."

In a greeting typical of one between friends and frequently accompanied by "Shalom" (peace), Judas identifies Jesus to those who will arrest him.  In Matthew's Gospel we are told this was a prearranged signal. Unlike Luke's account, Jesus does not express knowledge of this fact.

Jesus is seized by the guards, and one of the disciples (Peter- John 18:10 ) strikes the high priest's servant (Malchus also from John's Gospel).  This is a likely response to a part of the Lord's discourse at the Last Supper captured in Luke 22:35-38 in which the Lord predicts the coming conflict, specifically telling the disciples (in metaphor) to arm themselves with swords. While no mention is made of Jesus healing the servant with a touch (Luke 22:51), here the Lord rebukes those who would defend him, telling them that he is fully capable of calling on heavenly powers to rescue him if it were not the will of his Heavenly Father and to fulfill prophetic scripture. The passage concludes with Jesus pointing out that this deed (his arrest) was predicted *(Isaiah 53:8ff)

The Trials Mt 26:57-73; 27:1-33

The real trial by the Sanhedrin (“entire Sanhedrin” 71) plays out in fulfillment of scripture.  Various charges are laid against Jesus and his prophetic words are taken out of context and used against him.

“26:64 You have said so: Jesus breaks silence under oath. According to Mark 14:62, Jesus' response to Caiaphas is unambiguous: he accepts fully the charge to be Israel's divine Messiah and king. But I tell you: Jesus appears to be the victim, but he claims to be the victor. Drawing from two OT texts (Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13), Jesus anticipates his vindication by God. In context, Psalm 110 and Daniel 7 share common images. Both envision a heavenly throne room in God's presence (Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:9); both depict a royal Messiah who reigns with God (Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:14); and both present this figure triumphing over his enemies (Psalm 110:2, 5-6; Daniel 7:23-27). Jesus here weaves these texts into a self-portrait: he is the royal Son of man soon to be vindicated over his enemies and enthroned at God's right hand. By contrast, the high priest and the council are cast as the Messiah's adversaries seeking his death. Caiaphas in particular is toppled from his high position. As Israel's head representative, he is the only person permitted to enter the Temple's innermost chamber. Jesus claims something still greater for himself: as Messiah, he is now the true head of faithful Israel in the Church and will assume his throne in the inner shrine of God's heavenly presence at his Ascension (Mark 16:19; CCC 663-64)."[33]

The trial before Pilate is clearly superficial. Pilate does not want to condemn Jesus.  He seeks to have Barabbas take his place but the Sanhedrin intimidates the crowd to call for Jesus’ death. Pilate, likely not the sentimental leader portrayed in the Gospel, agrees.

Crucifixion Mt 27:33-50

The crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross is recorded by Matthew. The Way of the Cross described in Luke's Gospel (Luke 23:26ff) leads Jesus to Golgotha "The Place of the Skull." (The later term Calvary comes from the Latin word for skull –calvaria.) The guards attempt to drug Jesus with gall (fulfilling yet another piece of prophecy - Psalm 69:22) but he refuses. The scene plays out as the guards, having crucified Jesus; now cast lots for his clothing, once more recalling the prophetic song of David in Psalm 22:19.

Ironically the charge against Jesus, inscribed on a sign attached to his cross correctly identifies the Lord as Christ the King.  Once more recalling Isaiah 53 "...smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked." Jesus is joined by two others, condemned criminals.  Even these joined passersby and members of the Sanhedrin in mocking the Lord as he hung upon the cross.

Matthew records Jesus calling out his final plea quoting the opening line of Psalm 22. Those attending misunderstood his passion as a call for Elijah to come to his aid. He called out loudly once more and gave up his spirit.

Burial Mt 27:62-66

The details related about the nature of Jesus’ tomb and the measures taken to secure it became factors in the acceptance by many converts to Jesus' resurrection.

CCC: Mt 26:17-29 1339; Mt 26:20 610; Mt 26:26 1328, 1329; Mt 26:28 545, 610, 613, 1365, 1846, 2839; Mt 6:29 1403; Mt 26:31 764; Mt 26:36-44 2849; Mt 26:38 363; Mt 26:39 536, 612; Mt 26:40 2719; Mt 26:41 2733, 2846; Mt 26:42 612; Mt 26:52 2262; Mt 26:53 333, 609; Mt 26:54 600; Mt 26:64-66 591; Mt 26:64 443; Mt 26:66 596; Mt 27:25 597; Mt 27:39-40 585; Mt 27:48 515; Mt 27:51 586; Mt 27:52-53 633; Mt 27:54 441; Mt 27:56 500

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OR
Shorter Form: Matthew 27:11-54

Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, "Barabbas!”

Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the
praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.
And when they came to a place called Golgotha
— which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.

Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 27:11-54

This shorter form of the Passion Narrative omits the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest and begins after the Sanhedrin has already sent him to Pilate so the Roman Governor could be encouraged to execute him (something the Sanhedrin was unwilling to do, claiming that Roman authority precluded them from exacting this punishment). We note that no such prohibition was mentioned at the stoning of St. Stephen (Acts 7:51ff), presumably under the same government. We must therefore infer from the narrative that the Sanhedrin acted in this way because there was no popular support for stoning Jesus for his supposed blasphemy in claiming the Messianic mantle.

CCC: Mt 27:25 597; Mt 27:39-40 585; Mt 27:48 515; Mt 27:51 586; Mt 27:52-53 633; Mt 27:54 441
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew 26:47-56

#975 Votive Mass Context (Mystery of the Holy Cross, Readings from the Account of the Lord's Passion, 1.)

While Jesus was still speaking to his disciples,
  Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
  accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs,
  who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying,
  "The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him."
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
  "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Jesus answered him,
  "Friend, do what you have come for."
Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus
  put his hand to his sword, drew it,
  and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him,
  "Put your sword back into its sheath,
  for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
  and he will not provide me at this moment
  with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled
  which say that it must come to pass in this way?"
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
  "Have you come out as against a robber,
  with swords and clubs to seize me?
Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area,
  yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass
  that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled."
Then all the disciples left him and fled.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 26:47-56

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus has finished his passionate prayer.  He is just finished chastising his friends for not having the strength to stay awake when Judas ("my betrayer") approaches with a large group (probably temple guards since we are told they were sent by "the chief priests and elders of the people."

In a greeting typical of one between friends and frequently accompanied by "Shalom" (peace), Judas identifies Jesus to those who will arrest him.  In Matthew's Gospel we are told this was a prearranged signal. Unlike the Luken account, Jesus does not express knowledge of this fact.

As Jesus is seized by the guards, and one of the disciples (Peter- John 18:10 ) strikes one of the high priest's servant (Malchus also from John's Gospel).  This is a likely response to a part of the Lord's discourse at the Last Supper captured in Luke 22:35-38 in which the Lord predicts the coming conflict; specifically telling the disciples (in metaphor) to arm themselves with swords. While no mention is made of Jesus healing the servant with a touch (Luke 22:51), here the Lord rebukes those who would defend him, telling them that he is fully capable of calling on heavenly powers to rescue him if it were not the will of his Heavenly Father and to fulfill prophetic scripture. The passage concludes with Jesus pointing out that this deed (his arrest) was predicted *(Isaiah 53:8ff)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 27:33-50

#975 Votive Mass Context (Mystery of the Holy Cross, Readings from the Account of the Lord's Passion, 2.)

They came to a place called Golgotha
(which means Place of the Skull ),
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 27:33-50

The crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross is recorded by Matthew. The Way of the Cross described in Luke's Gospel (Luke 23:26ff) leads Jesus to Golgotha "The Place of the Skull". (The later term Calvary comes from the Latin word for skull –calvaria.) The guards attempt to drug Jesus with Gall (fulfilling yet another piece of prophecy - Psalm 69:22) but he refuses. The scene plays out as the guards, having crucified Jesus now cast lots for his clothing, once more recalling the prophetic song of David in Psalm 22:19.

Ironically the charge against Jesus, inscribed on a sign attached to his cross correctly identifies the Lord as Christ the King.  Once more recalling Isaiah 53 "...smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked", Jesus is joined by two others, these condemned criminals.  Even these joined passers by and members of the Sanhedrin in mocking the Lord as he hung upon the cross.

Matthew records Jesus calling out his final plea quoting the opening line of Psalm 22. Those attending misunderstood his passion as a call for Elijah to come to his aid. He called out loudly once more and gave up his spirit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 28:1-10

#41A Solemnities A Context (Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter A)

#42A^ Solemnities A Context (The Mass of Easter Day A)

#15E BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Resurrection of the Lord, Easter 15)

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
“Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
‘He has been raised from the dead,
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.’
Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 28:1-10

St. Matthew’s account of the empty tomb has much in common with Mark and Luke. Unique in this account is the dramatic action which rolls the stone away from the tomb, and the proactive angelic presence announcing the resurrection. In none of the Gospel accounts do we actually see Christ rising from the dead. The empty tomb, and the reminder that Jesus told his disciples that he would rise after three days, is the evidence of the great salvific event.

The two women’s encounter with Christ as they ran to tell the disciples is unique in the synoptic Gospels, but is similar to the account from St. John. They embraced him, a physical form, raised from the dead.

CCC: Mt 28:1 500, 2174, 2174; Mt 28:6 652; Mt 28:9-10 641; Mt 28:9 645; Mt 28:10 654
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 28:8-15

#261 Weekday Years I & II Context (Monday in the Octave of Easter)

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me."

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, "You are to say,
'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.'
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 28:8-15

From Matthew’s Gospel we are told of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Christ as she returned from the empty tomb. In this account, Mary is described as actually touching him. This differs from the description in the Gospel of St. John (John 20:17), where Jesus asks Mary not to hold on to him because he has not yet ascended to the Father. This scripture also tells us something we would expect of those who did not want to believe, that is the rumor that it was the disciples of Jesus who took the body rather than letting the truth get out. What was not disputed was that the tomb was empty.

CCC: Mt 28:9-10 641; Mt 28:9 645; Mt 28:10 654; Mt 28:11-15 640
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 28:16-20

#58A Solemnities A Context (Ascension of the Lord A)

#165B Solemnities B Context (Sunday after Pentecost, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity B)

#528 Proper of Saints Context (St. Paul Miki and Companions, Feb 6)

#556A^ Proper of Saints Context (St Louis Mary de Montfort, Apr 27)

#662 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. John De Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues and Companions, Oct 19)

#724 Commons Context (Common of Pastors, 4.)

#831 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 1. For the Church, 3.)

#847 Mass for Various Needs Context ( I. For the Holy Church, 5. For Priests, 2.)

#876 Mass for Various Needs Context ( I. For the Holy Church, 11. For the Evangelization of Peoples, 1.)

The Eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with yon always, until the end of the age."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 28:16-20

This passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew presents “The Commissioning” monolog that concludes this Gospel. The doubting disciples are reassured that all the Lord had predicted, all the prophets had foretold, had come to pass, and the Lord had now assumed his place with the Father. He then sends them out to continue his earthly mission. His command to them is an important one: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” In this statement, we receive the proper “form” and institution of the Sacrament of Baptism and the command to bring all nations to follow the Lord. Finally, he reassures them that he will be with them always.

CCC: Mt 28:16-20 857, 1444; Mt 28:16-17 645; Mt 28:17 644; Mt 28:18-20 1120; Mt 28:19-20 2, 767, 849, 1223, 1257, 1276
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew 28:18-20

#755 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, Christian Initiation Apart from the Easter Vigil, 2.)

#760 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 2. Conferral of Infant Baptism, 2.)

Jesus Said to the Eleven disciples:
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with yon always, until the end of the age."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 28:18-20

This passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew presents “The Commissioning” monologue that concludes this Gospel. The doubting disciples are reassured that all the Lord had predicted, all the prophets had foretold had come to pass and the Lord now assumed his place with the Father. He then sends them out to continue His earthly mission. His command to them is an important one. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” In this statement we receive the proper “form” and institution of the Sacrament of Baptism and the command to bring all nations to follow the Lord. He finally reassures them that he will be with them always.

CCC: Mt 28:16-20 857, 1444; Mt 28:18-20 1120; Mt 28:19-20 2, 767, 849, 1223, 1257, 1276
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Shorter Form is offered
**Note: The citation of this Feast is incorrect in the index. Should be Matthew 5:1-4
***Note: The citation for this reading is incorrect in the published index
^ Citation omitted from Lectionary Index
[i] This feast has no article number in the lectionary. A provisional number has been assigned.
[ii] Note in many older Bible translations, taken from the Latin Vulgate, this citation is Malachi 4:1-5.  In the original Hebrew and in the Septuagint there were three (3) chapters.  In the Latin Vulgate, there were 4.  The break point was at 3:19. 
[1] See NAB footnote on Matthew 1: 18-25
[2] See NAB footnote on Matthew 2:15
[3] See NAB Footnote on Matthew 18-19
[4] See NAB Footnote on Matthew 5:27ff
[5] The Didache was written in the first or second century A.D. and was recommended by Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 265-c. 340)
[6] See NAB Footnote on Matthew 4:1-11
[7] See NAB footnote on Matthew 23:8-12
[8] Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., © 1968, 43; 127
[9] Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., © 1968, 43:34, pp. 70
[10]See NAB footnote on Matthew 7:1-12
[11]Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp.18
[12]The Navarre Bible, “Gospels and Acts”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp 95
[13]See NAB footnote on Matthew 13:3ff
[14]See NAB footnote on Matthew 11:25ff
[15]See NAB footnote on Matthew 12:1-8
[16]See NAB footnote on Matthew 13: 10-17
[17]See NAB footnote on Matthew 13:52
[18]See NAB Footnote on Matthew 13: 10-17
[19]See NAB footnote on Matthew 18:15ff
[20]See NAB footnote on Matthew 18-19
[21]See NAB footnote on Matthew 23:29-32
[22] See NAB footnote on Matthew 5:31-32
[23] The Navarre Bible, “Gospels and Acts”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp 101
[24] See NAB footnote on Galatians 1:19
[25] The Navarre Bible, “Gospels and Acts”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp. 136
[26] See NAB footnote on Matthew 23:25-26
[27] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp.36
[28] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 8
[29] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 39
[30] The Navarre Bible, “Gospels and Acts”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp 69
[31] The Navarre Bible, “Gospels and Acts”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp. 196
[32] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 55
[33] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 57


No comments:

Post a Comment