17 June – Tuesday in the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
1 Kings 21:17-29
Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it. You are to say this to him, “the Lord says this: You have committed murder; now you usurp as well. For this – and the Lord says this – in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.”’ Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me out, O my enemy!’ Elijah answered, ‘I have found you out. For your double dealing, and since you have done what is displeasing to the Lord, I will now bring disaster down on you; I will sweep away your descendants, and wipe out every male belonging to the family of Ahab, fettered or free in Israel. I will treat your House as I treated the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah, for provoking my anger and leading Israel into sin. (Against Jezebel the Lord spoke these words: The dogs will eat Jezebel in the Field of Jezreel.) Those of Ahab’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’
And indeed there never was anyone like Ahab for double dealing and for doing what is displeasing to the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the most abominable way, adhering to idols, just as the Amorites used to do whom the Lord had dispossessed for the sons of Israel.
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put sackcloth next his skin and fasted; he slept in the sackcloth; he walked with slow steps. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; I will bring the disaster down on his House in the days of his son.’
Jesus said, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
Love your enemies
Love has this incredible ability to forgive the many misgivings that has been committed by someone we love. It grieves us whenever we see the special someone commit actions that we know will be detrimental to their lives. I believe that this is the same way that God feels whenever we commit sin.
Today’s readings are a continuation of yesterday and we read how Ahab’s actions were responsible to lead the whole of Israel into sin. Despite his abominable actions, Ahab’s show of repentance moved God to delay punishment. God is moved whenever sinners show true contrition of their sinful lives and are willing to make amends for their actions.
Jesus tells us that we must strive for perfection just as God is perfect. The many times that we have failed to forgive our enemies and those who hurt us are missed opportunities for us to demonstrate to the world the Christian way of living. Only through the forgiveness of our enemies can we show others the language of love.
(Today’s reflection by Nick Chia)
Prayer: Lord, let us never fail to remember to love our enemies.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for our enemies for they give us an opportunity to bring God’s love to the world.
18 June, Wed – 2 Kings 2:1. 6-14; Matthew 6:1-6. 16-18
19 June, Thu – Sir 48:1-14; Matthew 6:7-15
20 June, Fri – 2 Kings 11:1-4. 9-18. 20; Matthew 6:19-23
21 June, Sat -2 Chornicles 24:17-25; Matthew 6:24-34 – Memorial of St Aloyious Gonzaga
22 June, Sun – Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33 – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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