Reading 1 (1 KINGS 19:9A, 11-16)

At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.
But the word of the LORD came to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”
He replied, “I have been most zealous for the LORD,
the God of hosts.
But the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant,
torn down your altars,
and put your prophets to the sword.
I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.”
The LORD said to him,
“Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.
When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king of Aram.
Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel,
and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 27:7-8A, 8B-9ABC, 13-14)

R. (8b) I long to see your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.

Alleluia (PHILIPPIANS 2:15D, 16A)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 5:27-32)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Reflection: The First Reading reminds us that in the midst of our problems and sufferings, especially our relationships with other people, we should never forget to talk to God and recognize his soft and tiny voice. He is present with us through calmness, stillness, and peace in the midst of the strong phenomenon and catastrophes such as earthquakes and fires of our lives. Whenever we encounter problems especially with others, let us not forget to turn to Christ and his teachings for our orderly way of living. Jesus in the Gospel teaches about how we Christians should deal with the 6th commandment (with the 9th related to it). The Sacrament of Matrimony is classified under the Sacraments of Vocation and Mission together with Holy Orders. It is the sacrament referring to the connecting of two fleshes, uniting them into one because of love. It is the love of God that puts them together, and ‘what God has joined together, no human must put to separate.’ (Cf. Mark 10:9). In the first and second stories of creation in the Book of Genesis, God made man and woman out of the dust, and breathed into them with his ruach (holy breath of life), symbolizing that they should be united through love by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why at the Wedding Feast at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine so that marriage can be renewed as a covenant of God through the Eucharist. In this sacrament, there are vows being made by the man and woman, and they will fulfill it even until death. But there are problems with these because of some arguments and the sins committed. The sixth commandment reads: “Thou shall not commit adultery” (Cf. Exodus 20:14). Adultery is the desire for lusting on a relationship which is very dangerous, most specifically when you are already married with your present spouse. For the Jews, if anyone commits adultery, the punishment is to be stoned to death. One of the factors that can lead to this adulterous act is divorce. Divorce is the separation of the husband and wife because of the arguments and conflicts.

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