Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Lectionary: 76
Read Sunday’s Gospel: Matthew 5:17–37

Gospel Summary
Matthew’s Gospel this week highlights what seem to be an unattainable ideal. What Jesus asks of his followers requires an extraordinary interior conversion of heart. Mere external compliance seems impossible; only love as the basis for action could render possible the ethic proposed here by Jesus. Jesus’ teaching — how he deliberately pushes his hearers beyond mere observance of the Law to a way of following the commandments that springs from a radical love of God and neighbor — is our focus.

Reflection for Parents
Life is full of choices for us and for our children. What to wear, what to cook, what to watch on television, what game to play on our computers. Every choice we make involves an exercise of free will, which is how we grow in goodness and mature in faith. Talking with our children about the more critical choices: how to treat others how to acknowledge mistakes and own up to them, how to reach out to those in need — can never begin too early.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
At mealtime, talk together about the day’s choices, from the most basic to the more complex. As a parent you might talk about choices made at work, in traffic, at a social gathering. You might talk about the American enthusiasm for freedom, and the responsibility that comes with that freedom — to make moral choices in all we do.

Discussion Starters

  1. Today I decided to . . .
  2. I could have done what instead? And the consequence might have been . . .?
  3. The most difficult decision I have ever faced in my call to truly follow Jesus was when . . .