Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection June 14, 2024


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R/. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. You shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

1.      Elijah discovers God’s Presence not in heavy wind, nor in the earthquake nor in a fire but in a gentle whisper. We need to get accustomed to this way of God’s presence and intervention in our life. Usually, we expect Him to display His power in a mighty impressive way. We want God to come to our rescue as soon as we make a prayer. We want “fast reliefs”, and “magical results”.

2.      Success and effectiveness are mostly linked with big impressions, mighty displays, and lots of recognition and applause. This is truly a “show culture”, seeking publicity and cheap popularity. The same mentality is reflected toward God as well. We want Him to show His power in a mighty way by “heavy wind or earthquake or fire”.

3.       What is needed is to cultivate a sensitive spirit that is susceptible to even simple details of life. God comes to us, in simple ways, through ordinary details. Often, He walks amidst us unnoticed, He speaks to us unattended, and He accompanies us unobserved.

4.      Like Elijah, we too may shelter ourselves in our “caves” of either depressed or bloated selves. The Lord tells us as He told him, “Go, return on your way”. He has to continue his mission! We cannot evade our simple tasks expecting always big interventions. 

5.       This sensitivity and attendance to the simpleness of life imply that we be conscious and cautious about the gravity of sin. The gravity of sin is not so much in terms of big sin or small sin. It is also not simply whether you keep or don’t keep the law. For instance, one may perfectly keep the law by not committing the act of adultery. But he may be so lustful.

6.      Therefore, sin is more a matter of interior purity and a holy desire and resolve not to displease God. It is a matter of spiritual wholeness. It is in this context we must understand Jesus’ words:  a lustful eye is as grievous as physical adultery; divorce is abominable because it is infidelity to the marital inseparability; losing physical limbs is better than subjecting them to sin and being liable to judgment.

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