Daily Bible Reading - June 18, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - June 18, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Psalter: Week 3 / (Green)

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 51: 3-4, 5-6ab, 11, 16: Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

1st Reading: 1 King 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

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? As for you, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

REFLECTION:

“Love your enemies.”

In the Gospel for today is one of the most challenging teachings in the Sermon on the Mount: to love not only one’s neighbors (cf. Lev. 19:18) but also one’s enemies. Jesus is teaching us Christians how to relate with our enemies should we aspire to become children of our heavenly Father: We must love our enemies. We should pray for those who persecute us.

Today’s Gospel ends by way of exhorting us that we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (cf. Greek teleioi).

Jesus demands of his followers the perfection which implies wholeness. Nevertheless, the sense of perfection in this context does is not merely about flawlessness but one that provides us the possibility to acknowledge our own flaws so that we may eventually come to terms with people who have wronged us.

Becoming whole is a process which entails a challenge of loving even the undeserving.

To cite, in the concrete, it is when we can already pray for the well-being of those who have caused us the deepest of pain that we become more complete. In the process, we truly become the children of the heavenly Father.

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