Saint Matthew's Church, Voorheesville New York Home   |   Contact   |   Directions

25 Mountainview Street
Voorheesville, New York 12186
Phone (518) 765-2805
Fax (518) 765-3701

Our Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement

Pastor's weekly message

In this Sunday's Gospel Jesus continues the sermon on the mount. In this passage according to St. Matthew, Jesus deepens and enriches Jewish law about murder, adultery, divorce and making oaths. Our church leaders (Bishops, Popes, and theologians) have continued this great teaching of Jesus by trying to apply the wisdom of the Bible to modern moral issues like war, hunger and poverty, and sexual ethics among others. St. Augustine is famously quoted Love and do what you will in a sermon on the first epistle of John 4: 4-12 when he was explaining the role of law in the behavior of a Christian. How are we as Christians to decide what is right and wrong in an increasingly complex world?

Our first reading from the book of Sirach states If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live... Notice the free will that each individual has in choosing the right behavior. We have been given free will and it is our responsibility to educate ourselves to what is best and right. The church has always acknowledged that our individual free will is inviolable. Each Christian must listen to the teaching of the church and inform our conscience (understand what and why the church teaches what it does) but in the end our conscience must be our guide. The Holy Spirit speaks to each of us in our hearts and so, as is stated in the Vatican II document on the Church in the Modern World, For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged. Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths. In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor. (sic)

Paul in his letter to the people of Corinth in today's second reading says, We speak a wisdom to those who are mature, not a wisdom of this age...we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory... We have been given the wisdom of God in our hearts and minds and so we are tasked to study that wisdom, share it with the community and proclaim it to the world.

The Gospel for this Sunday invites us to go deeper than laws against murder, adultery, divorce and swearing. Jesus invites us to ponder and study a world that has murder, adultery, divorce and swearing in it and ask "why?" Why does anger against another ever lead to murder? Why do people sometimes treat others like objects instead of persons? Why do people reject and abandon one another? Why do people feel the need to make false promises and to lie to one another? Jesus is inviting us to read the signs of our times, to seriously reflect on them and listen carefully to the wise teachers of our church and world. But finally the Lord asks us to choose how we will keep his law. For the final judgment will be how we informed our conscience and how we followed the call to love one another as Jesus commanded.

Fr. Chris

Mass Schedule
Saturday Vigil at 5:00 PM
Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 AM
Tues, Wed, and Fri at 8:30 AM
Rosary and Novena
Monday at 6:30 PM
(September through May)
Saturday at 4:00 PM
(or by appointment)
Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9 AM to 3 PM