Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 10.06.202
1ST KINGS 19: 9a, 11 – 16.
In those days: When Elijah came [to Horeb the mount of God,] he lodged in a cave; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him. And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.”
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 27: 7 – 9abc, 13 – 14 (R.) 8c
R/. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek
O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer me.
Of you my heart has spoken,
“Seek his face.” R/.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face from me.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
you have been my help. R/.
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord! R/.
Philippians 2: 15d, 16a
You will shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.
”Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her. “
MATTHEW 5: 27 – 32
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of un-chastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: Avoidance of Sin
June 10, 2022
“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.” (Matthew 5:29-30a)
Does Jesus really mean this? Literally?
We can be certain that this language, which is shocking, is not a literal command but is rather a symbolic statement commanding us to avoid sin with great zeal, and to avoid all that leads us to sin. The eye can be understood as a window to our soul where our thoughts and desires reside. The hand can be seen as a symbol of our actions. Thus, we must eliminate every thought, affection, desire and action that leads us to sin.
The true key to understanding this passage is to allow ourselves to be affected by the powerful language that Jesus uses. He does not hesitate to speak in a shocking way so as to reveal to us the calling we have to confront with much zeal that which leads to sin in our lives. “Pluck it out…cut it off,” He says. In other words, eliminate your sin and all that leads you to sin in a definitive way. The eye and the hand are not sinful in and of themselves; rather, in this symbolic language they are spoken of as those things that lead to sin. Therefore, if certain thoughts or certain actions lead you to sin, these are the areas to target and to eliminate.
Regarding our thoughts, sometimes we can allow ourselves to dwell excessively upon this or that. As a result, these thoughts can lead us to sin. The key is to “pluck out” that initial thought that produces the bad fruit.
Regarding our actions, we can at times put ourselves in situations that tempt us and lead to sin. These occasions of sin must be cut off from our lives.
Reflect, today, upon this very direct and powerful language of our Lord. Let the forcefulness of His words be an impetus for change and avoidance of all sin.
My demanding Lord, I am sorry for my sin and I ask for Your mercy and forgiveness. Please help me to avoid all that leads me to sin and to surrender all my thoughts and actions to You every day. Jesus, I trust in You.