Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection June 17, 2024


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R/. O Lord, give heed to my sighs

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: 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, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

1.      Greed, deception, and harm to others mark the world of today. Greed drives many to deceive and destroy others so that they get what they desire. They are never satisfied with what they have; even the abundance they may possess will not content them. They become so deceitful and manipulative. They go to any extent even to eliminate others and achieve what they aspire to.

2.      Ahab the king of Samaria and his wife Jezebel in the first reading stand as typical examples of this mentality of the world above-mentioned. Despite the abundance of their lands, they covet Naboth’s small vineyard. Naboth refuses to part with his land. They should have respected his decision. Instead, Jezebel plots and implicates Naboth in a false case of cursing God and the king. Consequently, Naboth gets stoned and killed and his land is confiscated by the king.

3.      Against such a worldly mentality of false values, Jesus proposes a contrast-set of values. It is not the spirit of unforgiveness, grudge, and retaliation that seeks “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. But it is Christ’s spirit of forbearance and forgiveness that offers the other cheek also to the one who slaps on one.

4.      It is not the spirit of greed or profit or self-interest. But it is the new spirit of sensitivity and generosity that gives readily to those who beg or borrow. It is not the spirit of fighting for rights suing you to take away your tunic. But it is the contrast-spirit of giving up one’s legitimate rights and parting with the cloak as well. It is not the spirit of becoming so calculative and refusing to walk a mile with the other. But it is the generous spirit of walking an “extra mile”.

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