DAILY MASS READINGS (June 18, 2019)

TUESDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR I, Green)

Reading 1 (2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-9)

A reading from the 2nd Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God
that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction,
the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For according to their means, I can testify,
and beyond their means, spontaneously,
they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part
in the service to the holy ones,
and this, not as we expected,
but they gave themselves first to the Lord
and to us through the will of God,
so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun,
he should also complete for you this gracious act also.
Now as you excel in every respect,
in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

I say this not by way of command,
but to test the genuineness of your love
by your concern for others.
For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 146:2, 5-6AB, 6C- 7, 8-9A)

R.(1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, my soul!
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free. 
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers. 
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (JOHN 13:34)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 5:43-48)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the First Reading (2 Corinthians 8:1-9), St. Paul urges the Corinthians to follow the act of St. Titus and the Macedonians who have endured with faith their trials in life, in becoming fervent and discerning of God’s will. Their devotion should be expressed in service and holy example towards their relationship with others. This is also a call for us to follow in the humble footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though rich in divinity became poor and humble in humanity, so that we may become rich in faith. In the Gospel (Matthew 5:43-48), Jesus makes a new interpretation of Leviticus 19:18, which states: “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” This last Christian interpretation in the Sermon of the Mount summarizes the interpretations of the Lord from verse 20 with our relationship with one another. The Evangelist and Apostle Saint Matthew pictures the Lord Jesus as the fulfillment of all psalms and prophecies. This statement is one of the sayings of Jesus that can be hard to accept. Why should we love our enemies even if they did many bad things against us? Why should we pray for them if they continue to live like that? We are called Christians because of our love for one another. If we love those who are closed to us and those who do good deeds, then we should also love those who have hurt. We should pray for them that they may turn away from their evil deeds. Remember when Christ as he hang upon the Cross prayed: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34a). Even the first martyr Saint Stephen prayed the same words as he was being stoned to death: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60a). No wonder Christ died for our salvation from sin’s power, and the Saints especially the Martyrs consecrated and offered their lives for the faith in order that they may save the Church from falling into sin. This shows the great love of God for us, even though we have lost his grace because of our sins. Now it is turn to love and forgive others, especially our enemies, and to pray for their conversion. But what if they do the same things over and over again? What if they won’t stop? It is the Lord who will take care of them at their judgements, yet we continue to hope that they may change for the better. So as we journey down this road, let us manifest the Christian love to one another, especially those who have done many wrong things. And may we all strive to live in holiness and faithfulness as God’s children, just as Christ has told us: “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).Reflection: In the First Reading (2 Corinthians 8:1-9), St. Paul urges the Corinthians to follow the act of St. Titus and the Macedonians who have endured with faith their trials in life, in becoming fervent and discerning of God’s will. Their devotion should be expressed in service and holy example towards their relationship with others. This is also a call for us to follow in the humble footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though rich in divinity became poor and humble in humanity, so that we may become rich in faith.

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