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Sunday Micro Retreat – February 12, 2023

As you begin your time of reflection, try to realize that you are standing on holy ground and in the presence of God, who wants to talk to you and listen to you.

Make the Sign of the Cross. The Holy Spirit is opening your heart and mind so the Word of God that you are about to read can flourish in you for God's glory. Pray that you continue to work with his grace. Let the words or your prayer flow from your mind through your heart. Try to "feel" what you are saying.

Is there anything you would like to ask God now? What graces does your heart desire?
Talk to God about it.

Today, we ask for the grace of understanding God's desires for our lives.

Now read the Sunday's Gospel:

Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved. Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven. You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother "Fool" will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him "Traitor" will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. In truth I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny. You have heard how it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say this to you, if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should be your downfall, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should be your downfall, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body go to hell. It has also been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you, everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of an illicit marriage, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Again, you have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you, do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God's throne; or by earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is "Yes" if you mean yes, "No" if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the Evil One. (Matt 5:17-37)

The Word of God touches everyone differently. If there is anything that really stood out for you in this reading, meditate on it. Go to the depths of your heart and listen to what God is trying to say to you.

Next, let's spend some time reflecting on the following point:

1.Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets

The way this sentence is formulated can suggest that some people or specific religious communities believed that Jesus came to abolish the Law. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but he brought a new understanding of what it means to follow God's commandments. He presented this explanation in a way that made people follow him and listen to what he was talking about.

Jesus still talks to us today. His voice and message are as powerful as they were 2000 years ago. Now, think about your own contact with the Word of God. What does it do in your life? Are you able to hear what God is telling you today? or are you perhaps "blaming" God that he does not "follow the law of the world."

Take a look at some of today's trends: the value of life (and its contradiction: abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide); the value of the family (and its contradiction: the gender ideology); and other "hot button topics." If Jesus were to speak against all of the contractions today, would you blame him for his coming to abolish the law? How would you react? What would you support? Would you listen to the law of the world? or to the law of love that Jesus talks about?

2. All you need say is "Yes" if you mean yes, "No" if you mean no

This command invites us to reflect on our commitment and our ability to do what we say. How often do you say "Yes" while thinking that, in the end, you have zero intentions to "follow up" with the "Yes" answer? For example, think about the sacraments in which you participate. As a parent bringing your child for baptism, you promised God to guide this child in the faith. You said "yes" to the spiritual formation of your son or daughter. How are you fulfilling this promise? or do you fulfil it at all?

When you receive the Holy Communion, at the hearing of the words "The Body of Christ" you respond with "Amen," which means that you truly believe that you are receiving Christ and also that you are an active participant in your faith community. Does your "Amen" resonate in your daily life? or do you say "Amen," and this is the end of the story?

We need to be conscious of our "Yes(es)" to God, as one day God will be asking why we said "Yes" but this "Yes" was never reflected in our actions.

Spend some time reflecting on all the "yes"(es) that you said to God.

You may end this retreat by saying or singing the Magnificat canticle.

It is good to keep a personal journal in which reflections that stood out for you are recorded. The outcome of those Sunday Micro Retreats is good material that you can talk about in your spiritual direction.

be the salt and the light of the world, meditation with Matt 5:17-37


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