Chủ Nhật, 11 tháng 6, 2017

JUNE 12, 2017 : MONDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 359

Reading 12 COR1:1-7
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the Church of God that is at Corinth,
with all the holy ones throughout Achaia:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad. 
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him. 
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

AlleluiaMT 5:12A
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad;
for your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 
He began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you."



 Meditation: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven"
What is the good life which God intends for us? And how is it related with the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not our desire and longing for true happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. The heart of Jesus' message is that we can live a very happy life. The call to holiness, to be saints who joyfully pursue God's will for their lives, can be found in these eight beatitudes. Jesus' beatitudes sum up our calling or vocation - to live a life of the beatitudes. The word beatitude literally means "happiness" or "blessedness".
God gives us everything that leads to true happiness
What is the significance of Jesus' beatitudes, and why are they so central to his teaching? The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. They teach us the final end to which God calls us, namely the coming of God's kingdom 
(Matthew 4:17), the vision of God (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 2;1), entering into the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21-23) and into his rest (Hebrews 4:7-11).  Jesus' beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal. 
Jesus' tells us that God alone can satisfy the deepest need and longing of our heart. Teresa of Avila's (1515-1582) prayer book contained a bookmark on which she wrote: Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass - God never changes. Patience achieves all it strives for. Whoever has God lacks nothing -God alone suffices.
Is God enough for you? God offers us the greatest good possible - abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) and the promise of unending joy and happiness with God forever. Do you seek the highest good, the total good, which is above all else?
The beatitudes are a sign of contradiction to the world's way of happiness
The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world's understanding of happiness and joy. How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution? Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest treasure possible. Hunger of the spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God's word and Spirit. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression. 
God reveals to the humble of heart the true source of abundant life and happiness. Jesus promises his disciples that the joys of heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world. Thomas Aquinas said: "No one can live without joy. That is why a person deprived of spiritual joy goes after carnal pleasures." Do you know the happiness of hungering and thirsting for God alone?
"Lord Jesus, increase my hunger for you and show me the way that leads to everlasting peace and happiness. May I desire you above all else and find perfect joy in doing your will."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersPerfect blessedness is humility of spirit, by Hilary of Poitiers (315-367 AD)
"'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' The Lord taught by way of example that the glory of human ambition must be left behind when he said, 'The Lord your God shall you adore and him only shall you serve' (Matthew 4:10). And when he announced through the prophets that he would choose a people humble and in awe of his words [Isaiah 66:2], he introduced the perfect Beatitude as humility of spirit. Therefore he defines those who are inspired as people aware that they are in possession of the heavenly kingdom... Nothing belongs to anyone as being properly one's own, but all have the same things by the gift of a single parent. They have been given the first things needed to come into life and have been supplied with the means to use them." (excerpt from commentary ON MATTHEW 4.2)


MONDAY, JUNE 12, MATTHEW 5:1-12
Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

(2 Corinthians 1:1-7; Psalm 34)

KEY VERSE: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven" (v 12).
TO KNOW: Some scholars note that there are five discourses, or sermons, by Jesus in Matthew's gospel, which may parallel the five books of the Torah. The Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) is the first sermon. Matthew depicted Jesus as the authoritative teacher who, like Moses, went up a mountain to proclaim God’s Law. In the beatitudes (vs 1-12), Jesus overturned human expectations of those who were thought to be blessed – the rich, powerful and happy people. In the time of Christ, affliction was considered to be punishment for sin. Blessings of health and material prosperity were seen as rewards for one's righteousness. Jesus reversed this concept and announced that true happiness was not found in wealth and power. The anawim, the poor and the outcast, exemplified the attitude of trust and humility needed to enter God's reign. These poor lacked the basic necessities of life; they had no prestige or reputation to uphold. Because they knew they had nothing, they trusted God to provide for all their needs. Jesus promised spiritual reward for all who were compassionate, just, and humbly sought to do God's will despite persecution.
TO LOVE: Lord Jesus, teach me to give generously and trust you for all my needs.
TO SERVE: Do I share my material blessings from God with those in need?



Monday 12 June 2017

2 Corinthians 1:1-7. Psalms 33(34):2-9. Matthew 5:1-12.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord — Psalms 33(34):2-9.
‘How blessed are the poor in spirit …’
Today’s readings deal with poverty and hardship but are really words of encouragement and hope. The memorable lines of the Beatitudes fill us with joy as we ponder the promise they hold. They can empower our efforts towards justice and peace. Paul’s words resonate well with the Beatitudes: ‘The sufferings of Christ overflow into our lives; so too does the encouragement we receive through Christ … He supports us so that we are able to come to the support of others.’
Paul encourages us to work in solidarity with the disadvantaged, to comfort those who mourn and to be peacemakers. Jesus encourages us to be his hands and feet, to speak his words of peace. We take confidence in this as we work towards the betterment of our world.

ST. GASPAR BERTONI

St. Gaspar was a well known preacher and spiritual director. He was born to a rich family in Verona, Italy, in 1777. At his first Communion, he received a vision and message that he was to enter the priesthood. He entered the seminary in 1796, when French troops began a 20-year occupation of northern Italy. Gaspar volunteered to help those who were wounded, ill or displaced.
After his ordination in 1800, he helped to establish free schools for the poor. He also helped to organize a European movement to offer prayers for Pope Pius VII, who was imprisoned by Napolean Bonaparte.
In 1816, he founded the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He died 19 years later, in 1835,  after years of fighting an infection in his right leg. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1989.

LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 5,1-12
Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, June 12, 2017

1) OPENING PRAYER
God of wisdom and love,
source of all good,
send your Spirit to teach us your truth
and guide our actions
in your way of peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) GOSPEL READING - MATTHEW 5,1-12
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him.
Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.
Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
'Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.
3) REFLECTION
• From today, beginning of the 10th week of Ordinary Time, up to the end of the 21st Week of Ordinary time, the daily Gospels are taken from the Gospel of Matthew. Starting from the beginning of the 22nd week of Ordinary Time, up to the end of the Liturgical Year, the Gospels are taken from the Gospel of Luke.
• In Matthew’s Gospel written for the communities of the converted Jews of Galilee and Syria, Jesus is presented as the New Moses, the new legislator. In the Old Testament the Law of Moses was codified in five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Imitating the ancient model, Matthew presents the New Law in five great discourses spread over in the Gospel: a) the Sermon on the Mountain (Mt 5,1 to 7,29); b) the Discourse on the Mission (Mt 10,1-42); c) The Discourse of the Parables (Mt 13,1-52); d) The Discourse of the Community (Mt 18,1-35); e) The Discourse of the Future of the Kingdom (Mt 24,1 a 25,46). The narrative parts, which have been put in among the five Discourses, describe the practice of Jesus and show how He observed the New Law and incarnated it in his life.
• Matthew 5, 1-2: The solemn announcement of the New Law. In agreement with the context of the Gospel of Matthew, in the moment when Jesus pronounces the Discourse on the Mountain, there were only four disciples with him (cf. Mt 4, 18-22). Few people. But an immense multitude was behind him (Mt 4, 25). In the Old Testament, Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Law of God. As it happened to Moses, Jesus went up to the Mountain, and seeing the crowd, he proclaimed the New Law. The solemn way in which Matthew introduces the proclamation of the New Law is significant: “Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: How blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of Heaven is theirs”. The eight Beatitudes open in a solemn way the “Discourse on the Mountain” – the sermon on the Mountain. In them Jesus defines who can be considered blessed, who can enter into the Kingdom. There are eight categories of persons, eight entrance doors to the Kingdom, for the community. There are no other entrances! Anyone who wants to enter into the Kingdom should identify himself with at least one of these eight categories.
• Matthew 5, 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit. Jesus acknowledges the richness and the value of the poor (Mt 11, 25-26). He defines his own mission in these words: “to proclaim the Good News to the poor” (Lk 4, 18). He himself lives poorly. He possesses nothing for himself, not even a stone where to rest his head (Mt 88, 20). And to anyone who wants to follow him, he orders to choose: God or money! (Mt 6, 24). In Luke’s Gospel it is said: “Blessed are you who are poor!” (Lk 6,20). But who is poor in spirit? It is the poor person who has the same spirit that animated Jesus. It is not the rich person, neither the poor person who has the mentality of a rich person. But rather it is the poor person who acts as Jesus, he thinks of the poor and recognizes the value in him. It is the poor person who says: “I think that the world will be better when the little one who suffers thinks of the least.
1. Blessed the poor in spirit => for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
2. Blessed the meek => they shall have the earth as inheritance
3. Blessed those who mourn => they will be consoled
4. Blessed those who hunger and thirst for justice => they shall have their fill
5. Blessed are the merciful => they shall have mercy shown them
6. Blessed are the pure in heart => they shall see God
7. Blessed are the peacemakers => they shall be recognized children of God
8. Blessed those persecuted in the cause of justice => theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
• Matthew 5, 4-9: The new project of life. Every time that in the Bible they try to renew the Covenant, they begin by re-establishing the rights of the poor and of the excluded. Without this, the Covenant cannot be renewed! This is the way the Prophets did, this is how Jesus did. In the Beatitudes, he announces the new Project of God which accepts the poor and the excluded. It denounces the system which excludes the poor and which persecutes those who fight for justice. The first category of the “poor in spirit” and the last category of those “persecuted for the cause of justice” receive the same promise of the Kingdom of Heaven. And they receive it beginning now, in the present, because Jesus says: “theirs is the Kingdom!” The Kingdom is already present in their life. Between the first and the last category, there are six others categories which receive the promise of the Kingdom. In them there is the new project of life which wants to reconstruct life totally through a new type of relationship: with material goods (the first two); with persons among themselves (2nd two); with God (3rd two). The Christian community should be an example of this Kingdom, a place where the Kingdom begins ands takes shape, form beginning now.
• The three duos: First one: the meek and those who mourn: the meek are those poor of whom Psalm 37 speaks. They have been deprived of their land and they will inherit it again (Ps 37, 11; cf. Ps 37.22.29.34). Those who mourn are those who weep in the face of injustices in the world and in people (cf. Ps 119,136; Ez 9,4; Tb 13,16; 2 P 2,7). These two Beatitudes want to reconstruct the relationship with material goods: the possession of the land and of the reconciled world.
Second duo: those who hunger and thirst for justice and the merciful: Those who are hungry and thirsty for justice are those who desire to renew human living together, in such a way that once again it may be according to the demands of justice. The merciful are those who feel in their heart the misery of others because they want to eliminate the inequality between brothers and sisters. These two Beatitudes want to reconstruct the relationship among persons through the practice of justice and solidarity.
Third duo: The pure in heart and the peacemakers: The pure in heart are those who have a contemplative look which allows them to perceive the presence of God in everything. Those who promote peace, the peacemakers, will be called children of God, because they make an effort so that a new experience of God can penetrate in everything and can integrate all things. These two Beatitudes want to build up the relationship with God: to see the presence of God which acts in everything, and be called son and daughter of God.
• Matthew 5, 10-12: The persecuted for the cause of justice and of the Gospel. The Beatitudes say exactly the contrary of what society in which we live says. In fact, in society, those who are persecuted for the cause of justice are considered as unhappy, wretched persons. The poor is unhappy. Blessed is the one who has money and can go to the Supermarket and spend as he wishes. Blessed is the one who is hungry for power. The unhappy and wretched are the poor, those who weep! In television, the novels diffuse this myth of the happy and fulfilled person. And without being aware, the novels become the model of life for many of us. Is there still place in our society for these words of Jesus: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice and of the Gospel? Blessed are the poor! Blessed are those who weep!”? And according to me, being a Christian, in fact, who is blessed?
4) PERSONAL QUESTIONS
• We all want to be happy. All of us! But are we truly happy? Why yes? Why no? How can we understand that a person can be poor and happy at the same time?
• In which moments of your life have you felt truly happy? Was it a happiness like the one proclaimed by Jesus in the Beatitudes, or was it of another type?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
where is my help to come from?
My help comes from Yahweh
who made heaven and earth. (Ps 121,1-2)