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February 13th 2011 - Ordinary Time, Matthew 5:17-37 

Catholic Homilies

February 13th 2011

"He who does the commandments and teaches them shall be called great”

Matthew 5:17-37 

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Background:

  Matthew's version of the temptation of Jesus in the desert incorporates his view of Jesus as the one who relives the history of Israel. He is the New Moses. We often associate the forty days in the desert as a sign of forty days of fasting for Lent. However, Matthew does not see the fast as penance but as recalling the forty days in the Sinai. Jesus only experiences hunger at the conclusion of his period of solitude.

 Then the tempter approaches and seeks to lead the Son of God into a denial of his sonship. Jesus responds* to each of the three tests with a quote from the Book of Deuteronomy demonstrating that he is the true Son of God who does not fail as the old Israel failed. He refuses to play the political and social Messiah. He does not misuse God's promise of protection. And he will not practice idolatry but reminds us that we are to worship only the one true God. Matthew emphasizes that there will always be false Gods seeking our homage. The only response to this is to seek to understand God's message in scripture and live according to it.

Fr. Greeley's Last Book:Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church

00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

 Once upon a time a certain mother was tempted to quit – quit her job, quit her family, quit her parish, quit everything. When the parish priest suggested she read about the temptation of Jesus, she said that she had already and that all the demands which were made on her, presumably with God’s approval and even connivance were about the same as being asked to jump off the parapet of the temple. How was she supposed to do everything in the family – bring in money, cook the meals, clean the house, worry about the kids, help with the home work, keep an eye on the TV the kids were watching – when no one else seemed worried about these things. She loved her job and she loved her family, but she was tired and all she wanted to do was quit. Well, said the parish priest, why not go on strike.

 The woman thought about that and decided she would. She contracted a case of blue flu – too sick to go to her job, too sick to take care of the house, too sick to help with homework, too sick to worry about the kids, to sick to do anything but lay in bed and watch TV. The doctor was summoned and suggested that she needed a long rest. You know what happened then? The mother found that it was all BORING. The daytime soaps were particularly BORING! So she improved rapidly, especially when everyone promised that they would help (which they did, but often just made the mother’s task more complicated). Temptations said the mother look a lot better before you give into them than afterwards.

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February Homilies:  6th | 13th | 20th | 27th
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The daytime soaps were particularly BORING! So she improved rapidly, especially when everyone promised that they would help (which they did, but often just made the mother’s task more complicated). Temptations said the mother look a lot better before you give into them than afterwards
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Psalm 119:1--5,17-18,33-34

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
4 Thou hast commanded thy precepts to be kept diligently.
5 O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping thy statutes!
17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live and observe thy word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep thy law and observe it with my whole heart.

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Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women
Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women
Father Greeley
strips away centuries of false and mistaken interpretations to get at the essential truth of who Jesus really was and what he believed.
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