Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time - 20th June 2017
Reading 1, Second Corinthians 8:1-9
3 I can testify that it was of their own accord that they made their gift, which was not merely as far as their resources would allow, but well beyond their resources;
4 and they had kept imploring us most insistently for the privilege of a share in the fellowship of service to God's holy people-
6 In the end we urged Titus, since he had already made a beginning, also to bring this work of generosity to completion among you.
7 More, as you are rich in everything-faith, eloquence, understanding, concern for everything, and love for us too -- then make sure that you excel in this work of generosity too.
8 I am not saying this as an order, but testing the genuineness of your love against the concern of others.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 146:2, 5-6, 7, 8-9
Praise the Lord, my soul!
8 Yahweh gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down.
9 Yahweh protects the stranger, he sustains the orphan and the widow. Yahweh loves the upright,but he frustrates the wicked.
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
Love your enemies and pray for them
43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;
45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?
47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?
48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'
The Gospel of the Lord
Reflection: Was Jesus exaggerating when he said we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? The original meaning of "perfect" in Aramaic is "completeness" or "wholeness - not lacking in what is essential." God gives us every good gift in Jesus Christ so that we may not lack anything we need to do his will and to live as his sons and daughters (2 Peter 1:3). He knows our weakness and sinfulness better than we do. And he assures us of his love, mercy, and grace to follow in his ways. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Ask the Holy Spirit to change and transform you in the image of the Father that you may walk in the joy and freedom of the Gospel.
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone." Amen
Christ's redeeming love and mercy frees us from all hatred and malice towards others.