June 15 2020
Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 1KGS 21:1-16
Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
“I will not give you my ancestral heritage.”
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.
His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
“Why are you so angry that you will not eat?”
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’
But he refused to let me have his vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him,
“A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
“Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.”
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
“Naboth has cursed God and king.”
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.
When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.
Responsorial Psalm 5:2-3AB, 4B-6A,6B-7
R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
Alleluia PS 119:105
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
10 It is therefore no surprise that catechesis in the Church has again attracted attention in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, which Pope Paul Vl considered the great catechism of modern times. the General Catechetical Directory (1971) the sessions of the Synod of Bishops devoted to evangelization (1974) and catechesis (1977), the apostolic exhortations Evangelii nuntiandi (1975) and Catechesi tradendae (1979), attest to this. the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985 asked “that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed” The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, made the Synod’s wish his own, acknowledging that “this desire wholly corresponds to a real need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches.” He set in motion everything needed to carry out the Synod Fathers’ wish.
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
MONDAY, JUNE 15TH Mt. 5:38-42 “But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.”
- “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is about exacting justice according to the Law of Talon – the punishment had to be proportionate to the harm inflicted. Once again, Jesus turns our attention from justice to His greatest attribute: Mercy. Mercy is not a natural operation; it is a supernatural operation. Only a heart softened by grace can be merciful!
- At the moment we were baptized, sanctifying grace was infused into our soul and we began living a supernatural life of union with Christ, “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of men, but of God.” (Jn. 1:13)
- St. Paul says of the union between the head and the members of the body – the same blood courses through them. One with Christ, we are one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and their life of sanctifying grace courses through us and enlivens us!
- Our communion of life with the most Holy Trinity is more distinct, more powerful, and more intimate than any communion possible between human beings! However the graces of Baptism have to be cultivated through prayer, frequent Confession and Holy Communion, and almsgiving.
- At the Last Supper, Jesus gave His last will and testament. He looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. I pray for them.” (Jn. 17:1,6,9)
- “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (Jn. 17: 20,23)
- “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (Jn. 17: 24) For this reason Jesus says to us, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect!” (Mt. 5:48)
- Today Jesus tell us how to become perfect with the supernatural help of sanctifying grace, so that we may increase in communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit here, and be with them forever in heaven!
1. “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.”
- Jesus was scourged and crowned with thorns; insulted, ridiculed, mocked, slapped, punched, and spat upon; and finally forced to climb the hill to Calvary under the crushing weight of the cross. There He was stripped of His clothes and nailed to the cross where He hung for three long hours until He breathed His last. In the end, they pierced His Heart with a sword, so that every last drop of His blood was poured out for us!
- Yet His first words as He hung on the cross were: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Those words should burn our soul! He was speaking about you and me; it was our sins that nailed Him to the cross! What could anyone do to us that could equal what our sins did to Jesus? What injury done to us could match the injury we have done to Jesus? Our Creator and Redeemer, who loved us until the end!
- When are we going to start showing others the mercy Jesus has shown us and continues to show us??? When will His words become our words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Let us begin now! Justice demands it! Mercy demands it! Love demands it! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16)
2. “If anyone wants your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.”
- First we have to decide to give him our tunic!!! Jesus knows that! He is showing us just how lacking we are in generosity and charity!
- Young Martin of Tours (+397) was a soldier stationed at Amiens, in Gaul. Riding into town one winter day he came across a beggar, thinly clad and shivering with cold. Martin had nothing with him but the clothes he wore. Without hesitating, he drew his sword from its scabbard and cut his woolen cloak in two, giving one half to the beggar and wrapping himself in the other.
- In a dream the following night, Martin saw Jesus Christ surrounded by angels and dressed in the half of the cloak that Martin had given away. A voice told him to look at it well and say whether he knew it. Then he heard Jesus say to the angels, “Martin, as yet only a catechumen, has covered me with his cloak.” A friend of Martin’s recorded that after this vision, Martin “flew to be baptized.”
- Let’s consider a more modern “Martin of Tours”… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Turin, Italy (1901-1925). Although the Frassati family was well-to-do, the father was frugal and never gave his two children much spending money. Pier Giorgio used what little he had to help the poor.
- When Pier Giorgio was a child, a poor mother with a boy in tow came begging at the Frassati home. Pier Giorgio opened the door and seeing the boy’s shoeless feet, gave the boy his own shoes. Knowing how blessed he was, Pier Giorgio’s heart was moved with pity for the poor.
- When he was older and friends asked why he often rode third class on the trains, he would reply with a smile, “Because there is not a fourth class.” So he could give more money to the poor.
- Sometimes he gave up even the train fare for charity and then ran all the way home to be on time for meals in a house where punctuality was law.
- At graduation, given the choice by his father of money or a car, Pier Giorgio chose the money, for his poor. With that money and his earnings from work, Pier Giorgio provided for a bed in a hospice for a consumptive invalid, paid rent on a room for a poor old woman evicted from her tenement, and supported three children of a sick and grieving widow.
- Only God knew of these charities; Pier Giorgio never mentioned them to others. He kept a small ledger book containing detailed accounts of his transactions. As he lay dying of polio at age 24, he gave instructions to his sister, asking her to see to the needs of those depending on his charity.
- He even took the time, with a near-paralyzed hand, to write a note to a friend in the St. Vincent de Paul Society with instructions about keeping up their weekly Friday visits to help the poor.
- How charitable are we with our money, our possessions, our talents, our time? Do we give enough to assuage our conscience? Or do we give, as Mother Teresa said, until it hurts?
- Pier Giorgio was more interested in bringing comfort to those who had little or no comfort, than in enjoying the comforts of life himself. What was his secret? As a young man, Pier Giorgio had a lively prayer life, sacramental life, and devotion to Mother Mary!
3. “If anyone presses you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.”
- How freely do we give of our time, often more precious than money! How often do we say Yes to people who ask us for help? Better yet, how often do we offer to help without being asked?
- Sometimes we “walk two miles” with someone by simply listening to their problems. How willing are we to share someone else’s suffering… ease their loneliness… lift the weight of the cross off their shoulders for just a little while? They say a problem shared is a problem halved!
4. “Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on the one who wants to borrow.”
- When we open our hearts to God, we open our hands to others! One other thought about that, if we have the money to lend – we have the money to give! Without placing the burden on someone to have to repay it.
5. The Holy Family…
Let us end by reflecting on the charitable life of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph. How often do you think the Holy Family saw the needs of their neighbors and did what they could to help them? May they inspire our hearts with courageous generosity!