11th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1Kngs 21:17-29
After the death of Naboth the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite: “Start down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be in the vineyard of Naboth, of which he has come to take possession. This is what you shall tell him, ‘The LORD says: After murdering, do you also take possession? For this, the LORD says: In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.’” Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me out, my enemy?” “Yes,” he answered. “Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD’s sight, I am bringing evil upon you: I will destroy you and will cut off every male in Ahab’s line, whether slave or freeman, in Israel. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah, because of how you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin.” (Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared, “The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.”) “When one of Ahab’s line dies in the city, dogs will devour him; when one of them dies in the field, the birds of the sky will devour him.” Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab, urged on by his wife Jezebel. He became completely abominable by following idols, just as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD drove out before the children of Israel. When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh. He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued. Then the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son.”
Gospel: Mt 5:43-48
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.”
BEING RIGHT AND GOOD: What is more important: being right or being good? A lot of people define “being perfect” in terms of obeying a set of rules and regulations. Is the heavenly Father right or good? If He does not make the sun to rise on bad people, and makes the rain to fall only on good people, is He right? But He is good: “he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” That is His perfection. And it is to this perfection that we are called to. If I hire a casual laborer and agree to give them only food for the day, and at the end of the day I keep my promise, I am right. If I give them some money in addition to the food, then I am good.
Prayer: Lord, let me ever choose to be good, and not be complacent in being right.