Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A, February 16, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.


Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

With Israel about to enter the Promised Land, Moses addresses the nation for the last time. In dramatic fashion he beseeches them to follow the ways of the Lord in order to be successful in the Land. They must choose life with blessings or death with judgment.

Psalm (119:1-8)

The Psalmist affirms that blessings are in store for those who truly follow the Lord’s commandments. Strongly desiring to do so himself, he commits to understanding and keeping the divine laws. Praising God for them, he is confident of not being forsaken.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)

St. Paul laments that the divisions among the Corinthians reveal their immaturity in Christ. They are more “of the flesh” than “of the spirit” in following various leaders instead seeing them as humble servants of Christ, working to build up the whole church.

Gospel (Matthew 5:21-37)

Jesus calls his disciples to a way of life that understands that even the attitudes that lead to sinful action, not just sinful action itself, are liable to judgement. Sin is to be avoided at all costs. Jesus demands purity of thought and honourable behaviour.


  • Following the Lord is a serious business
  • The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart
  • Following God’s ways ultimately leads to blessing and life while disobedience ultimately leads to judgment and death
  • The Christian life is a constant struggle against our “natural” inclinations and cannot be successful without dedication and the inner work of the Holy Spirit
  • The Christian life is a matter of constantly choosing to follow the Lord