11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 2 / (Green/White)
St. Romuald, abbot
Ps 98:1, 2b, 3ab, 3cd-4
The Lord has made known his salvation.
1st Reading: 2 Cor 6:1-10
Being God’s helpers, we beg you: let it not be in vain, that you received this grace of God. Scripture says: At the favorable time I listened to you, on the day of salvation I helped you. This is the favorable time, this is the day of salvation.
We are concerned, not to give anyone an occasion to stumble or criticize our mission. Instead, we prove, we are true ministers of God, in every way, by our endurance in so many trials, in hardships, afflictions, floggings, imprisonment, riots, fatigue, sleepless nights and days of hunger.
People can notice, in our upright life, knowledge, patience and kindness, action of the Holy Spirit, sincere love, words of truth, and power of God. So we fight with the weapons of justice, to attack, as well as to defend.
Sometimes, we are honored, at other times, insulted; we receive criticism as well as praise. We are regarded as liars, although we speak the truth; as unknown, though we are well known; as dead, and yet we live. Punishments come upon us, but we have not, as yet, been put to death. We appear to be afflicted, yet always joyful; we seem to be poor, but we enrich many; we have nothing, but we possess everything!
Gospel: Mt 5:38-42
You have heard, that it was said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you this: do not oppose evil with evil; if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn and offer the other. If someone sues you in court for your shirt, give him your coat as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give when asked, and do not turn your back on anyone who wants to borrow from you.
Vindictiveness and vengefulness, these are the kind of feelings that contributes to the escalation of violence. This may look perfectly alright in a society that is fiercely jealous of its possession. When something is exacted, a corresponding value must be paid. It has no room for forgiveness. The peace that ensues from such rigid possession rest uneasy and insecure.
This may be the reason why Jesus proposes a new way of seeing and evaluating what justice means. He wants us to embrace the violence of others and transform it with our meekness and gentleness. Now this calls for a real strength of the spirit and extraordinary self-discipline. Violence coming from violent people if faced head on with violence will not solve the problem. It will only postpone it to erupt again at a later time. Whereas violence can be transformed if the violent heart finds understanding and the willingness to suffer for his or her transformation. And once they forsake violence, we multiply the presence of people with goodwill. Let this be our silent revolution to rid the world of violence. Let our strength lie not in force but in love.
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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