In ordinary time the daily scriptures are done as a “continuous reading” — going through each reading chapter by chapter. They are not meant to comment on each other… which makes today’s two selections very interesting since they seem to contradict each other! St. Paul said, the letter brings death. Jesus said, “Not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law,” Is the “letter” of the law important or not? One way to think of it: Paul warns against minimalist thinking — figuring out what is the least I can do and still not violate the law. Jesus encourages maximal thinking — the law of God is an ideal to aspire to that we strive to live up to daily.