Wednesday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Readings of the day: RB 16 The Hours of the Work of God During the Day
Mass: 2 K 2:1, 6-14; Resp Ps 31; Mt 6;1-6, 16-18

When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who hidden.

Every time I hear today’s Gospel, I smile. It is a Scripture passage I remember from childhood—the one read on Ash Wednesday. I remember always wanting to ‘look nice’ on that day. Those were the days when I used to play ‘altar boy’ in my room—something that dates me. 😊 It is interesting what strikes us as children and the memories we carry into adulthood. Do you have a favorite from your youth? What memories does it recall? How has your life of faith been impacted by such memories?

Your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.


Tuesday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

 Fra Angelico,  St Romuald
Saint Romuald (d. 1027)

Readings of the day: RB 15 When the Alleluia Should Be Said
Mass: 1 K 21:17-29; Resp Ps 51; Mt 5:43-48

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Jesus’ words to each and every one of us are difficult. I think of St Benedict’s words as well: ‘You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge’ (RB 4:22-23). These commands, so contrary to our first inclination, so necessary for followers of Jesus who gives us a new commandment, ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ Jesus loves and forgives without exception, for ‘our heavenly Father makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.’ 

It would do us well, today, to think of our enemy—I think all of us have one—someone who has hurt us or wants to hurt us. The Mafia’s prayer is: ‘You’ll pay me back.’ The Christian prayer is: ‘Lord, give them your blessing, and teach me to love them.’ Let us think of one enemy, and pray for them. May the Lord to give us the grace to love them.
(Pope Francis, Homily, June 19, 2018)


Monday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Readings of the day: RB 14 The Celebration of Vigils on Feasts of Saints
Mass: 1 K 21:1-16; Resp Ps 5; Mt 5:38-42

Gandhi and his spinning wheel
When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.

More of the story: ‘Indeed, no one gave himself to the doing of evil in the sight of the Lord as did Ahab, urged on by his wife Jezebel’ (1 K 21:25). Jesus, Son of the Living God, grant us the strength to go the extra mile. Although included last month, the following from Br Christophe is worth repeating:

Love, it is you who reveal to me that other cheek—my best profile—the one that belongs to eternity, and it will be the only one without any possible duplicity or ambivalence. 
The other cheek: my profile of hope.
May I contemplate it in every man and woman.
It is yourself on the face of every living person.
It is the other cheek that a kiss reveals,
my face of light
that your gaze illumines.
(C. Lebreton, Born from the Gaze of God, p. 177)

After my enemy has slapped both my cheeks, he will have run out of cheeks to slap, and perhaps he will be ashamed. After I have given him both my tunic and coat, he will perhaps learn to have pity on my nakedness. If I go the second mile with him, perhaps he will give us both the needed time and shared experience to pass from animosity to friendship. Perhaps all his aggressiveness toward me comes from lack of imagination, from a real ignorance concerning what other courses were available to him besides injustice and violence. Perhaps my open hands and silent mouth become the most eloquent of teachers, and I will have won a brother in the Lord.
(Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis)


Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Readings of the day: RB 13:12-14
Mass: Ezk 17:22-24; Resp Ps 92; 1 Co 5:6-10; Mk 4:26-34

We are courageous.

We ‘aspire to please the Lord’, as St Paul tells us. The Lord continually calls us wherever we find ourselves, ‘whether we are at home or away,’ to nurture the seed of faith received at baptism so that faith sprouts and grows, bearing fruit in order to love and serve our neighbor in small ways each and every day. We never know the far-reaching impact of sharing ‘little details of love’ with those we encounter. Therefore, ‘we walk by faith, not by sight.’ Living and true God, grant us the strength we need to persevere in faith.

The goal of the whole process is not individual development,
but how your ripeness will be harvested and become bread for others.
(J. Shea)

Alleluia, alleluia.

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