19 June – Thursday in the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire,
his word flaring like a torch.
It was he who brought famine on the people,
and who decimated them in his zeal.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens,
he also, three times, brought down fire.
How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah!
Has anyone reason to boast as you have? –
rousing a corpse from death,
from Sheol by the word of the Most High;
dragging kings down to destruction,
and high dignitaries from their beds;
hearing reproof on Sinai,
nd decrees of punishment on Horeb;
anointing kings as avengers,
and prophets to succeed you;
taken up in the whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses;
designated in the prophecies of doom
to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks,
to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children,
and to restore the tribes of Jacob,
Happy shall they be who see you,
and those who have fallen asleep in love;
for we too will have life.
Elijah was shrouded in the whirlwind,
and Elisha was filled with his spirit;
throughout his life no ruler could shake him,
and no one could subdue him.
No task was too hard for him,
and even in death his body prophesied.
In his lifetime he performed wonders,
and in death his works were marvellous.
Jesus said, ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.
‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’
As we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
I had the opportunity to speak to a priest from China who was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution. His weathered face and quiet disposition belies a traumatic past that only those who have been through a similar experience can understand. His answer to my question of how he could survive such torture was a simple, “By the grace of God.”
The act of forgiveness is difficult for anybody to initiate especially when we have been physically and emotionally hurt. Physical scars heal with time but emotional hurts require forgiveness if we ever want the healing process to begin. Perhaps this is the most important line in the Lord’s prayer for we cannot expect God to forgive us if we ourselves do not forgive those who trespass against us.
Forgiveness is a mutual act. However, it requires one party to initiate the process. Sometimes, it may not turn out the way that we expect. We should not be concerned with this but instead to use the grace of God to lighten our burden of hatred. Only then can we truly be called sons and daughters of God.
(Today’s reflection by Nick Chia)
Prayer: Lord, give us the grace to forgive those whom we hate tremendously.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for those who seek to bring peace into the world.
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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