Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection June 21, 2024


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R/. The Lord has chosen Sion; he has desired it for his dwelling.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

1.      Often, the heart of many is deviated and distorted and eventually destroyed. It is because it has become the hub of false or inadequate treasures. A treasure is something that one holds precious and intact. One remains clung to his treasure and never lets his treasure snatched away from him. Accordingly, a treasure demands one’s total attention. concentration and preoccupation. In the face of a treasure, all other things lose their importance.

2.      Therefore, the quality and the nature of the treasure determine the quality of heart and also the quality of life. For example, if my treasure is only earthly and worldly, then my whole struggle and effort will be to acquire and accumulate as much money, possessions, power, and position as possible.

3.      Consequently, my whole sight and vision will become so earth-bound and low. I will not be able to raise my eyes to heaven or the higher things of life. I will become disinterested and negligent toward the heavenly, the spiritual, and what is really lasting. I will become least bothered about the right ethics or relationships.

4.      This is what happened in the case of Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah in the first reading. Her treasure was the kingly throne and her heart coveted it so much. Her heart was fully possessed and corrupted by this wrong treasure. Consequently, her whole vision and pursuit of life become so evil. She kills all the royal family and enthrones herself.

5.      On the other hand, Jehosheba, the sister of Ahaziah, protects his son Joash, brings him up, and eventually with the support of the priests and people, dethrones Athaliah and kills her, enthroning Joash. At the same time, they also destroy the false worship of Baal and re-enthrone their true God. This is because for these God-fearing people, God was their greatest treasure and their hearts were constantly seeking fidelity to Him.

6.      In this context, how to extricate ourselves from this web of false treasures and deviated hearts? Purify the perspective, and rectify the inner vision. Jesus indicates this by the metaphor, the image of the “eye”. He says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness”.

7.      Here, the eye stands for our perspective, our outlook, and our inner vision. Therefore, what is needed is to change our perspective, to brighten and heighten it. This happens when our perspective becomes wise. Wisdom is the light of our perspective that discerns between the earthly and the heavenly treasures and makes our hearts seek the real treasure.

8. St Aloysius Gonzaga whom we commemorate today was wise to discern what the true treasure was. Consequently, he practised outstanding purity and devoted himself fearlessly to the care of the plague-victims and died of the same.

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