Sunday, June 15, 2014
Monday 11th Week in Ordinary Time
Monday 11th Week in Ordinary Time
1 Kgs 21: 1-16 / Ps 5: 2-3ab, 4b-6a, 6b-7 / Mt 5: 38-42
Reading: 1 Kgs 21: 1-16
Now Naboth, a man from Jezreel, owned a vineyard just beside the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. Ahab asked Naboth, "Give me your vineyard which is near my house that I may use it for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange. Or, if you prefer, I will pay you its price." But Naboth said to Ahab, "Yahweh forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers." So Ahab went home angry and sad because of what Naboth had told him, that he would not give him the inheritance of his fathers. So he lay down on his bed with his face turned toward the wall and refused to eat. His wife Jezebel came to him and said, "Why are you so angry that you refuse to eat?" He answered, "I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and asked him to sell me his vineyard or to exchange it for another better one but he answered: I will not give you my vineyard." His wife Jezebel said to him, "Are you not king of Israel? Get up and eat and be joyful, for I will give you the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel." So Jezebel wrote letters using Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and important persons living near Naboth. This is what she wrote in the letters, "Declare a fast and put Naboth on trial. Get two worthless fellows to accuse him in this way: 'You have cursed God and the king.' Then take him out and stone him to death." The people, the elders and the important persons who lived in his city did as Jezebel had instructed them in the letters she sent to them. They declared a fast and put Naboth on trial. The two worthless fellows came in and sat facing him, accusing Naboth before the people, "Naboth cursed God and the king!" So the people took him outside the city and stoned him to death. They then sent word to Jezebel that Naboth had been stoned and was dead. As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, she told Ahab, "Now take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the man of Jezreel who refused to sell it to you, for Naboth is now dead." As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he went down to the vineyard of Naboth and took possession of it.
Gospel: Matthew 5:38-42
You have heard that it was said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you this: do not oppose evil with evil; if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn and offer the other. If someone sues you in court for your shirt, give your coat as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give when asked and do not turn your back on anyone who wants to borrow from you
Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. This commandment is never easy. When we watch crime news on television especially of innocent children being raped and killed, of parents molesting their own children, we get angry and react wishing death penalty for the criminals. We consider these criminals as enemies. But Jesus calls us to love our enemies. What a commandment! Is it possible really to love our enemies? Human as we are, even forgiving them is hard. Some of us may say it is possible but very difficult. However, a proactive and true follower of Christ would say difficult but possible. For in God and with God, nothing is impossible.
The gospel did not end with just the commandment, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. These words are added: … so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust...
Don't we all want to be called children of God? With the commandment, knowing how difficult it is, we cannot be other than become children of God. The commandment will oblige us to come to God and ask for help. It will help us see that for God and with God, nothing is impossible. Being able to love our enemies will tell us that we really are children of God, created in His image and likeness and goodness. We are reminded that there is a place for everyone in the present world and that God directs everything for the benefit of all: He lets the sun shine on both the just and the wicked. God's blessings are poured on both the wicked and the good. This does not justify us to do bad things because anyway God's blessings will be upon us. Yes, God's blessing is generously poured on everyone, but if we continue to do bad deeds and continue sinning, we keep ourselves away from God, and we might fail to see His blessings. We are reminded that everyone is created in God's image and likeness, and that everyone receives the same goodness and generosity from God. We are reminded then to see the good in others. It might be difficult to imagine, but yes, even the criminals whom we hate were created by God, and receive the same blessings we receive. God allowed the weeds to grow with the plants. Sometimes, it is hard to comprehend the purpose of the existence of evil in the world. It is more difficult to comprehend how God can also let the sun shine on the wicked and give rain to the unjust. But these are realities of life. The commandment is difficult but possible to follow if we come to God for help and if we see God in others, especially in the enemies.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
… for families who are in need of healing.
… for world peace and reconciliation.
… for the special intentions of Frances de Guzman
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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