Thứ Năm, 21 tháng 6, 2018


Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 369

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah,
saw that her son was dead,
she began to kill off the whole royal family.
But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah,
took Joash, his son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse,
from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain.
She concealed him from Athaliah, and so he did not die.
For six years he remained hidden in the temple of the LORD,
while Athaliah ruled the land.

But in the seventh year,
Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians
and of the guards.
He had them come to him in the temple of the LORD,
exacted from them a sworn commitment,
and then showed them the king's son.

The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded.
Each one with his men, both those going on duty for the sabbath
and those going off duty that week,
came to Jehoiada the priest.
He gave the captains King David's spears and shields,
which were in the temple of the LORD.
And the guards, with drawn weapons,
lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure,
surrounding the altar and the temple on the king's behalf.
Then Jehoiada led out the king's son
and put the crown and the insignia upon him.
They proclaimed him king and anointed him,
clapping their hands and shouting, "Long live the king!"

Athaliah heard the noise made by the people,
and appeared before them in the temple of the LORD.
When she saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom,
and the captains and trumpeters near him,
with all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets,
she tore her garments and cried out, "Treason, treason!"
Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains
in command of the force:
"Bring her outside through the ranks.
If anyone follows her," he added, "let him die by the sword."
He had given orders that she
should not be slain in the temple of the LORD.
She was led out forcibly to the horse gate of the royal palace,
where she was put to death.

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD as one party
and the king and the people as the other,
by which they would be the LORD's people;
and another covenant, between the king and the people.
Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal
and demolished it.
They shattered its altars and images completely,
and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars.
Jehoiada appointed a detachment for the temple of the LORD.
All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet,
now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword
at the royal palace.
Responsorial PsalmPS 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18
R. (13) The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
The LORD swore to David
a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
"Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"If your sons keep my covenant
and the decrees which I shall teach them,
Their sons, too, forever
shall sit upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he prefers her for his dwelling.
"Zion is my resting place forever;
in her will I dwell, for I prefer her."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David;
I will place a lamp for my anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but upon him my crown shall shine."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.

AlleluiaMT 5:3
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
GospelMT 6:19-23
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."

Meditation: "Lay up treasure in heaven"
What do you treasure and seek after the most? What do you value above all else? Jesus offers a treasure of incomparable value and worth, but we need healthy eyes - good spiritual vision - to recognize what is the greatest treasure we can possess. What Jesus said about seeking treasure made perfect sense to his audience: keep what lasts! Aren't we all trying to find something we treasure in this life in the hope that it will bring us happiness, peace, and security?
God offers us the best treasure possible
Jesus contrasts two very different kinds of wealth - material wealth and spiritual wealth. Jesus urges his disciples to get rich by investing in wealth and treasure which truly lasts - not just for a life-time - but for all eternity as well. Jesus offers heavenly treasures which cannot lose their value by changing circumstances, such as diminishing currency, damage or destruction, loss or theft. The treasure which Jesus offers is kept safe and free from corruption by God himself.
What is this treasure which Jesus offers so freely and graciously? It is the treasure of God himself - the source and giver of every good gift and blessing in this life - and a kingdom that will endure forever. The treasure of God's kingdom produces unspeakable joy because it unites us with the source of all joy and blessings which is God himself. God offers us the treasure of unending joy and friendship with himself and with all who are united with him in his heavenly kingdom. 
A life-time investment that constantly grows and lasts forever
In Jesus Christ we receive an inheritance which the Apostle Peter describes as imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us  (1 Peter 1:4). Paul the Apostle describes it as a kingdom of everlasting peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
How realistic and attainable is this heavenly treasure? Can we enjoy it now, or must we wait for it in the after-life? The treasure of God's kingdom is both a present and a future reality - like an investment which grows and matures, ever increasing and multiplying in value, and producing an endless supply of rich rewards and benefits.
Seekers of great treasure will go to any length to receive their reward. They direct all their energies and resources to obtain the treasure. We instinctively direct our energies and resources - an even our whole lives - towards that which we most value. To set one's heart on heavenly treasure is to enter into a deeper and richer life with God himself. It is only by letting go of false treasure that one can enter into the joy of a heavenly treasure that is immeasurable and worth more than we can give in exchange. Do you seek the treasure which lasts for eternity?
Sin and deception blind the heart and mind to what is good, true, and of lasting value and worth
Jesus used the image of human vision - the ability to see clearly and accurately with the human eye - to convey a deeper truth and reality of spiritual and moral vision that can distinguish between what is true or false, good or bad, wise or foolish, helpful or hurtful to body, mind, and soul. Bad eyesight serve as a metaphor for moral stupidity and spiritual blindness (for examples, see Matthew 15:14, 23:16 ff.; John 9:39-41; Romans 2 2:19; 2 Peter 1:9; and Revelations 3:17.) The eye is the window of the heart, mind, and "inner being" of a person. How one views their life and reality reflects not only their personal vision - how they see themselves and the world around them, it also reflects their inner being and soul - the kind of moral person and character they choose for themselves. If the window through which we view life, truth, and reality is clouded, soiled, or marred in any way, then the light of God's truth will be deflected, diminished, and distorted.
Only Jesus Christ can free us from the spiritual darkness of sin, unbelief, and ignorance. That is why Jesus called himself the light of the world - the one true source of light that can overcome the darkness of sin and the lies and deception of Satan.
Pride prejudice, and sin blind us to the way of truth, goodness, and love
What can blind or distort our "vision" of what is true, good, lovely, pure, and eternal (Philippians 4:8)? Certainly prejudice, jealousy, and self-conceit can distort true and clear judgment of ourselves and others and lead to moral blindness. Prejudice and self-conceit also destroys good judgment and blinds us to the facts and to their significance for us. Jealousy and envy make us despise others and mistrust them as enemies rather than friends. We need to fearlessly examine ourselves to see if we are living according to right judgment and sound principles or if we might be misguided by blind prejudice or some other conceit. Love is not jealous ...but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). Do you live your life in the light of God's truth?
"Lord Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life. May the light of your truth free me from the error of sin and deception. Take my heart and fill it with your love that I may desire you alone as my Treasure and my All."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersSeeking the right intention, by Augustine of Hippo, 430-543 A.D.
"We know that all our works are pure and pleasing in the sight of God if they are performed with a single heart. This means that they are performed out of charity and with an intention that is fixed on heaven. For 'love is the fulfillment of the law'(Romans 13:10). Therefore in this passage we ought to understand the eye as the intention with which we perform all our actions. If this intention is pure and upright and directing its gaze where it ought to be directed, then unfailingly all our works are good works, because they are performed in accordance with that intention. And by the expression 'whole body,' Christ designated all those works that he reproves and that he commands us to put to death. For the apostle also designates certain works as our 'members.' 'Therefore,' Paul writes, 'mortify your members which are on earth: fornication, uncleanness, covetousness' (Colossians 3:5), and all other such things." (excerpt from SERMON ON THE MOUNT 2.13.45)


(2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20; Psalm 132)

KEY VERSE: "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be" (v. 21).
TO KNOW: When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he instructed them to trust God for their daily needs (Mt.6:11). In his sayings on divine providence, Jesus reminded his followers to find their security in God, not in possessions. Material goods were subject to rot and decay, whereas God was their lasting treasure. Jesus equated the human eye to a window into one's heart. If a person focused on the world and its wealth, it would be the object of their heart's desire. That person was spiritually blind because his or her vision was clouded by greed and selfishness. The one who has healthy sight is the person whose inner being is illuminated by the truth that Jesus came to reveal.
TO LOVE: Is prayer one of my spiritual treasures?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, fill my heart with the light of your word.

Optional Memorial of Saint Paulinus of Nola, bishop

Paulinus of Nola was a friend of Saint Augustine, and was mentioned for his holiness by at least six of his contemporary saints. A distinguished lawyer, he held several public offices in the Empire, then retired from public work with his wife, Therasia, first to Bordeaux, where they were baptized, and then to Therasia's estate in Spain. After the death of their only son at the age of only a few weeks, the couple decided to spend the rest of their lives devoted to God. They moved to Nola, gave away most of their estates and dedicated themselves to increasing their holiness and helping the poor. Paulinus was chosen bishop of Nola by popular demand, and governed the diocese for more than 21 years while living in his own home as a monk. His writings contain one of the earliest examples of a Christian wedding song.

Optional Memorial of Saint John Fisher, bishop and martyr

John Fisher studied theology at Cambridge University and gained a reputation for his teaching abilities and became Chancellor of Cambridge. He was made Bishop of Rochester at age 35, and worked to raise the standard of preaching. When in 1527 he was asked to study the problem of Henry VIII's marriage, he became the target of Henry's wrath by opposing the King's divorce proceedings against Catherine, his wife, and steadfastly rejectingHenry's claim to be head of the Church in England. John Fisher spent 14 months in prison without trial before execution for treason. He was martyred in 1535 on Tower Hill, London, England; buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, without rites or a shroud. His head was exhibited on London Bridge for two weeks as an example, then thrown into the River Thames. He was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.

Optional Memorial of Saint Thomas More, martyr

Thomas More studied at London and Oxford. A lawyer, he was twice married, father of one son and three daughters, and a devoted family man. A friend of King Henry VIII, Thomas was made Lord Chancellor of England, a position of power second only to the king. He opposed the king on the matter of royal divorce, and refused to swear the Oath of Supremacy which declared the king the head of the Church in England. He resigned the Chancellorship, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was beheaded in 1535 for his refusal to bend his religious beliefs to the king's political needs. Thomas More's head was kept in the Roper Vault, Saint Dunstan's church, Canterbury, England, and his body at Saint Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London, England. He was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.

Friday 22 June 2018

Day of Penance.
2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20. Psalm 131(132):11-14, 17-18. Matthew 6:19-23.
The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling—Psalm 131(132):11-14, 17-18.
 ‘They made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and shouted “Long live the king!”’
The tension between material and spiritual riches emerges in today’s Gospel passage. Awareness of God’s presence is worth far more than any physical possession, no matter how satisfying. God’s presence encourages us to keep walking the path ahead with faith and courage.
This passage reads not as a rap on the knuckles but as a gentle reminder of the need for the constant correction of the heart’s material desires.
Let us pray that we can enjoy the liberating feeling of overcoming material desires and pitch our hearts in the much richer direction offered to us by the Lord.

Saint Thomas More
Saint of the Day for June 22
(February 7, 1478 – July 6, 1535)
Sir Thomas More | Hans Holbein the Younger
Saint Thomas More’s Story
His belief that no lay ruler has jurisdiction over the Church of Christ cost Thomas More his life.
Beheaded on Tower Hill, London, on July 6, 1535, More steadfastly refused to approve King Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.
Described as “a man for all seasons,” More was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children, and chancellor of England. An intensely spiritual man, he would not support the king’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Nor would he acknowledge Henry as supreme head of the Church in England, breaking with Rome, and denying the pope as head.
More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial for treason: not swearing to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. Upon conviction, More declared he had all the councils of Christendom and not just the council of one realm to support him in the decision of his conscience.

Four hundred years later in 1935, Thomas More was canonized a saint of God. Few saints are more relevant to our time. In the year 2000, in fact, Pope John Paul II named him patron of political leaders. The supreme diplomat and counselor, he did not compromise his own moral values in order to please the king, knowing that true allegiance to authority is not blind acceptance of everything that authority wants. King Henry himself realized this and tried desperately to win his chancellor to his side because he knew More was a man whose approval counted, a man whose personal integrity no one questioned. But when Thomas More resigned as chancellor, unable to approve the two matters that meant most to Henry, the king had to get rid of him.

Saint Thomas More is the Patron Saint of:
Civil Servants
Court Clerks
Public Servants

Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, June 22, 2018
Ordinary Time

Almighty God,
our hope and our strength,
without You we falter.
Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to Your will.
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. "The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."
• In today’s Gospel we continue our reflection on the Sermon on the Mount. The last few days we have reflected on the practice of the three works of piety: almsgiving (Mt 6:1-4), prayer (Mt 6:5-15), and fasting (Mt 6:16-18). Today’s and tomorrow’s Gospel presents four recommendations on the relationship with material goods, clearly explaining how to live the poverty of the first Beatitude: (a) not to accumulate (Mt 6:19-21); (b) to have a correct idea of material goods (Mt 6:22-23); (c) to not serve two masters (Mt 6:24); (d) to abandon oneself to Divine Providence (Mt 6:25-34). Today’s Gospel presents the first two recommendations: not to accumulate goods (6:19-21) and not to look at the world with diseased eyes (6:22-23).
• Matthew 6:19-21: Do not accumulate treasures on earth. If, for example, today on TV, it is announced that next month sugar and coffee will be lacking in the market, we might all buy the most coffee and sugar we can. We accumulate because we lack trust. During the forty years in the desert, the people were tested to see if they were capable of observing God’s Law (Ex 16:4). The test consisted of this: to see if they were capable of gathering only the necessary manna for a single day and not accumulate for the following day. Jesus says: “Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and woodworm destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal. What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? It is a question of knowing where I place the basis of my existence. If I place it on material goods of this earth, I always run the danger of losing what I have stored up. If I place the basis in God, nobody will be able to destroy it and I will have interior freedom to share with others what I possess. In order that this may be possible and feasible it is important to reach a community life which will favor sharing and reciprocal help, and in which the greatest richness or the treasure is not material riches, but rather the richness or the treasure of fraternal living together born from the certainty brought by Jesus: God is Father and Mother of all. Because there, where your treasure is, is your heart.
• Matthew 6:22-23: The light of your body is the eye. To understand what Jesus asks it is necessary to have new eyes. Jesus is demanding and asks very much; do not store up (6:19-21), do not serve God and money together (6:24), do not worry about what you are to eat or drink (6:25-34). These demanding recommendations have something to do with that part of human life where people are anguished and worried. It also forms a part of the Sermon on the Mount that is more difficult to understand and practice. This is why Jesus says: “If your eye is diseased ....". Some translate this as diseased eye and healthy eye. Others translate as mean or poor eye and generous eye. It is the same, in reality, the worse sickness that one can imagine is a person closed up in herself and in her goods and who trusts only worldly things. It is the sickness of being stingy! Anyone who looks at life with this eye lives in sadness and in darkness. The medicine to cure this sickness is conversion, a change of mentality and ideology. To place the basis of life on God allows our look to become generous and life becomes luminous, because it makes sharing and fraternity emerge.
•Jesus wants a radical change. He wants the observance of the Law of the sabbatical year, where it is said that in the community of believers there cannot be poor (Dt 15:4). Human living together should be organized in such a way that a person should not have to worry about food and drink, about dress and house, about health and education (Mt 6:25-34). But this is possible if we all seek the kingdom of God and His justice first (Mt 6:33). The kingdom of God means to permit God to reign: it is to imitate God (Mt 5:48). The imitation of God leads to a just sharing of goods and of creative love, which brings about a true fraternity. Divine Providence can be mediated by the fraternal organization. It is only in this way that it will be possible to eliminate any worry or concern for tomorrow (Mt 6:34).
• We are stewards of what God gives us and He tells us not to store up these goods for ourselves. How do I manage this in real life? What have I stored up? Should I share a little part or everything?
• When I share, or give to others, do I give a little and keep most of it, or give most and keep only what I need for the day?
• In giving, the Church talks of time, talent, and treasure. What would be ways of hoarding these instead of sharing them? Are there other things from God to be given to others? Do I share a little and enjoy the most for myself?
For Yahweh has chosen Zion,
He has desired it as a home.
Here shall I rest for evermore,
here shall I make My home as I have wished. (Ps 132:13-14)