NOVEMBER 27 was the first Sunday of Advent – from the Church’s viewpoint the first Sunday of a new year.
For the past 12 months, the gospel readings for mass have mostly come from Saint Luke’s gospel.
Now, for 12 months, they’ll come mostly from Saint Matthew’s gospel.
Matthew is probably the gospel least compatible with the “discernment-type” belief system of Pope Francis.
Matthew’s first two chapters describe Jesus’ family tree, his birth and the three wise men visiting.
Then comes John the Baptist, his predecessor prophet, with the message: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Soon after that, John is arrested – and that’s when Jesus starts his own public teaching ministry.
His theme? “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
But there’s a difference.
Jesus makes it clear that his message is to be even tougher than previous prophets.
More demanding in at least six areas.
They are spelt out in Matthew’s gospel chapter five (from verses 21 to 48).