11th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 K 21:17–29
Then Yahweh spoke to Elijah of Tishbe, “Go down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, in Samaria. He is taking possession of the vineyard of Naboth. Say to him: ‘Have you killed and have taken possession at the same time?’ Then give him this word of mine: ‘Dogs shall lick your blood in the very place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth.’”
Ahab then said to Elijah, “Who, better than my enemy, could find me here and now!” Elijah answered, “I have come to you because you have done what Yahweh abhors. This is Yahweh’s word: I will bring disgrace on you. I will sweep you away and cut off every male of your family, from the lowliest to the greatest. Your family will disappear like the families of Jeroboam and Baasa, because you have offended me and have dragged Israel into sin. There is another word of Yahweh to Jezebel: ‘The dogs shall devour Jezebel within the territory of Jezreel.’ If anyone of Ahab’s line dies in the city, he shall be devoured by dogs; if in the green country, the birds of the air shall feed on him.”
There was no one like Ahab, urged by his wife Jezebel, in doing what Yahweh abhorred. He did horrible things and ran after unclean idols just as the Amorites had done, from whom Yahweh had taken the land to give it to Israel.
On hearing these words, Ahab tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He fasted as he lay in sackcloth and moved around despondently. Then Yahweh said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself? Because of this I will not bring about the disaster during his reign; during his son’s reign disgrace will fall on his family.”
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust.
“If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? For your part you shall be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect.”
We cannot generate this kind of morality out of our own unaided resources. It goes beyond our individual capacity. But living by Christian morality is not a lonely struggle: we have a deep awareness that we are part of one another and joined with Christ. We do not face God in lonely solitude and depending on our own resources alone. Our eyes, our ears, our hands – all are parts of the body – are different; yet they share the one life of the body. Likewise we are all, though different, members of Christ’s body; the love in him is the love in us.
CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.
8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205
Email: www.claretianpublications.com / [email protected]
Website: [email protected]