Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection June 25, 2024


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R/. God establishes his city forever.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; Whoever follows me will have the light of life.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

1.      One dominant theme in today’s word of God is divine discernment. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria does not realise and discern between God’s unsurpassable might and his own limited human resources and army capacities. He does not discern that the God of Israel is the supreme warrior, victor, and protector of His people.

2.      Consequently, he ridicules Hezekiah, the king of Israel that there is no rescue for him other than surrendering to the hands of Assyria. God thwarts his plans and frustrates his human capacities. He declares explicitly, “I will defend the city and save it”. Failure in discernment brings humiliation and destruction.

3.      In the gospel, 3 further cases call for discernment: not throwing what is holy to the dogs, and pearls before the pigs; doing to others what we want them to do to you; entering through the narrow gate and way and not the broader.

4.      What is holy and precious like a pearl may be our faith, our life. They are so sacred and valuable. So we must always safeguard and preserve them intact. We should not tamper with them or taint them.

5.      We should not expose them to dogs and pigs, meaning evil forces or pressures. We should not deal with our faith and life thoughtlessly and carelessly. This is also a caution against evil to be careful and not be taken for a ride.

6.      The second aspect of discernment is to opt for altruism. In Jesus’ words, it is to “do to others what you want them to do to you”. Accordingly, it would mean that we always think, feel, speak and do only what is good and positive toward others. No one would wish bad or harm for one’s own self. This in fact is the “Golden Rule”.

7.      The third aspect of discernment is between the narrow gate and way and the broader gate and way. The former is difficult but leads to salvation. But the latter, the broader is easier but leads to destruction.

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