Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection June 12, 2024


Published on:

R/. Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Teach me your paths, O Lord. Guide me in your truth.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

1.      Very many times, faith is identified with allegiance to a religious group and adherence to a code of laws and religious observances. In this process, many are easily caught up with the mere externals and carried away by shallow passions, prejudices, and hateful actions toward others. That is why in the name of the very God who is always kind and never harmful, many religious followers become fanatical and destructive. This is a contradiction!

2.      It is here that Jesus makes it clear what true faith and religious adherence are. It is not blind allegiance or stubborn subscription to the laws and tradition. It is not ill-directed fanatical zeal. It is not a puritan or policing attitude toward others. It is also not an arrogant self-projection as the “saviours” of God himself.

3.      True faith is faithfulness. But mind! Faithfulness is not merely to some rules and regulations, distorted to suit human convenience. It is faithfulness to God, a God who is never violent or condemnatory or revengeful toward anyone. It is faithfulness to the true spirit of religion, the kingdom of God.

4.      Jesus clearly cautions that “whoever relaxes/twists even one of the least of the commandments and misleads others also will be the least in the kingdom of heaven”. It is this fidelity to the true God that filled the prophet Elijah in the first reading with a passion to challenge the priests of Baal and call them for a contest.

5.      The contest between Elijah and Baal’s prophets should not be understood as a “test of true religion” or a fight between religions. In no way, Elijah can be wrongly interpreted in line with the fanatics. Defeating the false prophets and the false god Baal and eventually killing them is not a justification for the so-called “just killings” for God.

6.      The contest is a clear call to leave the false ways and immorality in the name of religion and to return to the true God. It is a call to avoid our wavering and unsteady nature. Elijah speaks of this as “the limping between two different opinions”, referring to Israel’s oscillating between true God and false images.

Catholic Leaf is website that provides Sundays and Weekdays catholic reflections. Please use catholic leaf as a tool for preparing your Homily.