June 16, 2014

June 16

June 16, 2014:  Monday, 11th Week, Ordinary Time

Readings
Wordle: Readings 6-16-14
  • 1 Kgs 21:1-16  Naboth had a vineyard next to the King Ahab's palace.  Ahab / Naboth:  “Give me your vineyard to be my garden; I'll pay you or trade it for a better one.” / “God forbid I give you my heritage.”  Ahab went home angry.  His wife Jezebel / Ahab:  “Why so angry?” / “Naboth refused to let me have his vineyard.” / “Be cheerful; I'll get it for you.”  She wrote letters in his name and sent them to elders and nobles:  “Get scoundrels to accuse Naboth of cursing God and king, then stone him.”  They did as she ordered, then let her know he'd been stoned; she told Ahab, “Take possession of the vineyard; Naboth is dead.”  Ahab went to the vineyard and took possession.
  • Ps 5:2-3ab, 4b-7  "Lord, listen to my groaning."  You delight not in wickedness...
  • Mt 5:38-42  “You've heard, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' but I tell you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.  When someone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other to him too.  If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak too.  If anyone presses you into service for one mile, go with him two.  Give to the one who asks, and don't turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  The sad corruption story of Naboth's vineyard repeats itself among those who wield material, political or spiritual power.  Corrupt politicians, businessmen, and clergy are everywhere; corruption is a sin of people with authority.  When you have authority, you feels powerful, almost like God.  You become corrupt by looking for your security in well-being, money, power, vanity, and pride; then even killing is possible.  The materially and spiritually poor pay the price:  patients who don't get care, children who don't get religious education, sick who aren't visited...
    Service is the way to overcome temptation to corruption:  corruption is pride, and service humbles; it's humble charity to help others.  We pray for martyrs of political, economic, and ecclesiastical corruption; may the Lord be close to and give strength to them, so they might go forward with their witness, and may God bring us closer to them.
      Music
      Reflections
        • Creighton:   I've heard about Jezebel without thinking there might be another side to her story.  What else have I believed without considering another version?
        • One Bread One Body:  Getting even is contrary to God's mercy; let's follow Jesus, living without vengeance and conquering evil by good. (Rm 12:21).
          • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus gave a new standard of law based beyond the justice of giving each their due but based on grace, love, and freedom.  "Eye for eye" (Ex 21:23-25) was meant to limit vengeance as a step towards mercy.  The OT prescribed mercy:  don't take vengeance but love your neighbor (Lv 19:18); don't say I'll pay him back for what he did (Prv 24:29); give your cheek to the smiter (Lam 3:30).  Jesus transforms the law of mercy with grace, forbearance, and love and makes clear there's no room for retaliation; we must even seek the good of those who wish us ill.  Grace helps us treat others with love.  Only the Cross can free us from malice and resentment and give us courage to return evil with good.  Love and grace can heal and save.  We're called to show mercy as God did towards us.
          O merciful God, fill our hearts, we pray, with the graces of your Holy Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.  Teach us to love those who hate us; to pray for those who use us; that we may be the children of your love, Father, who makes the sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.  In adversity grant us grace to be patient; in prosperity keep us humble; may we guard the door of our lips; may we lightly esteem the pleasures of this world and thirst after heavenly things.  (St. Anselm)
          • Passionist:  Bullies get a false sense of power at the cost of the weaker; loving them allows them to remove their masks.  Prayer for our enemies frees us to see them and the dark areas of our own lives.
          • Universalis:  St. Richard of Chichester, bishop, turned around the family farm, reformed his diocese, showed hospitality and compassion.  Final prayer:  Thank You for the benefits you bestowed, for the pains and insults you bore.  I'm ready to bear insults, torments, and death for You; have mercy upon me, for to You I commend my soul.
          Apparel
          • "Grapes" pin:  Naboth's vineyard (1st reading)
          • "Stone" tie pin:  They stoned Naboth to death (1st reading)
          • Words on clothing:  "Hearken to my words, O Lord" (psalm)
          • "Phone" tie bar:  "Heed my 'call' for help" (psalm)
          • "Eyeball" tie pin:  They said, "an eye for an eye," but... (gospel)
          • Cheeks (above, not shown :-):  "When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other" (gospel)
          Dress your life!