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Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - July 14, 2019

In the Epistle (1 Peter 3, 8-15) for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, St. Peter impresses upon us the great duty of the forgiveness of injuries.
In the Gospel for this Sunday (Matthew 5, 20-24) St. Matthew relates that Jesus condemns not only the exterior act of murder but also the interior motive of anger which leads us to it, for in this is the desire of ridding ourselves of our neighbor.
“This anger has three degrees,” says St. Augustine.  “The first is when one retains in the heart the disturbance that has been created there (Postcommunion), the second when one expresses the feeling by exclamation and thirdly, when one makes it known by speech (Epistle).

Corresponding to these three degrees are three maxims of an increasingly grave character” (Matins).  “The true sacrifice is reconciliation with our brother,” says St. John Chrysostom.  “The first sacrifice necessary to offer to God,” adds Bossuet, “is a heart free from all coldness and unfriendliness towards one’s brother” (Meditations, 14th day).   (St. Andrew Missal)

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