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Gospel for the Friday of the 1st Week of Lent

Matthew 5:20-26

Summary: Jesus emphasized the need for a righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, highlighting that internal attitudes like anger equate to serious offenses such as murder. He stressed the importance of reconciliation, advising to settle disputes swiftly to avoid judgment. This teaching underscores a deeper understanding and practice of the law, focusing on the heart's condition and relationships.

Righteousness Beyond the Law

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.”

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