Thứ Hai, 26 tháng 6, 2017


Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 371

Reading 1GN 12:1-9
The LORD said to Abram:
"Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.

"I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you."

Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him.
Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
Abram took his wife, Sarai, his brother's son Lot,
all the possessions that they had accumulated,
and the persons they had acquired in Haran,
and they set out for the land of Canaan.
When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land
as far as the sacred place at Shechem,
by the terebinth of Moreh.
(The Canaanites were then in the land.)

The LORD appeared to Abram and said,
"To your descendants I will give this land."
So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.
From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel,
pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east.
He built an altar there to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name.
Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb.

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,'
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."

Monday (June 26): "First take the log out of your own eye"

Meditation: How do you wish to be judged by others? Everybody is a critic, but who wants to be judged negatively? Judgmentalism is rampant, even among Christians. So how can we avoid this poisonous sin and not be contaminated by the world's view of who is good and who is bad? "Thinking the best of other people" is necessary if we wish to grow in love. And kindliness in judgment is nothing less that a sacred duty. The Rabbis warned people: "He who judges his neighbor favorably will be judged favorably by God."
Who can judge rightly?
How easy it is to misjudge and how difficult it is to be impartial in judgment. Our judgment of others is usually "off the mark" because we can't see inside the person to their inner motives and intentions, or we don't have access to all the facts, or we are swayed by instinct and unreasoning reactions to people. It is easier to find fault in others than in oneself.
Why did Jesus calls his critics hypocrites? Listen to Augustine of Hippo's (354-430 A.D) explanation of this passage:
"The word hypocrite is aptly employed here, since the denouncing of evils is best viewed as a matter only for upright persons of goodwill. When the wicked engage in it, they are like impersonators, masqueraders, hiding their real selves behind a mask, while they portray another's character through the mask. The word hypocrites in fact signifies pretenders. Hence we ought especially to avoid that meddlesome class of pretenders who under the pretense of seeking advice undertake the censure of all kinds of vices. They are often moved by hatred and malice.
"Rather, whenever necessity compels one to reprove or rebuke another, we ought to proceed with godly discernment and caution. First of all, let us consider whether the other fault is such as we ourselves have never had or whether it is one that we have overcome. Then, if we have never had such a fault, let us remember that we are human and could have had it. But if we have had it and are rid of it now, let us remember our common frailty, in order that mercy, not hatred, may lead us to the giving of correction and admonition. In this way, whether the admonition occasions the amendment or the worsening of the one for whose sake we are offering it (for the result cannot be foreseen), we ourselves shall be made safe through singleness of eye. But if on reflection we find that we ourselves have the same fault as the one we are about to reprove, let us neither correct nor rebuke that one. Rather, let us bemoan the fault ourselves and induce that person to a similar concern, without asking him to submit to our correction." (excerpt from SERMON ON THE MOUNT 2.19.64)
Merciful healing and removal of sin 
Jesus states a heavenly principle we can stake our lives on: what you give to others (and how you treat others) will return to you in like manner. The Lord knows our faults, weaknesses, and sins and he sees everything, even the imperfections and hidden sins of the heart which we cannot recognize in ourselves. Like a gentle father and a skillful doctor he patiently draws us to his seat of mercy and removes the cancer of sin which inhabits our hearts.
Do you trust in God's mercy and grace? And do you submit to his truth about what is right and wrong, good and evil, helpful and harmful for your welfare and the welfare of your neighbor as well? Ask the Lord to purify your heart with his loving-kindness and mercy that you may have ample room for charity and forbearance towards your neighbor.
"O Father, give us the humility which realizes its ignorance, admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice, accepts rebuke. Help us always to praise rather than to criticize, to sympathize rather than to discourage, to build rather than to destroy, and to think of people at their best rather than at their worst. This we ask for thy name's sake. (Prayer of William Barclay, 20th century)
Daily Quote from the early church fathersJudge from justice, forgive from grace, by Ephrem the Syrian, 306-373 A.D.
"Do not judge, that is, unjustly, so that you may not be judged, with regard to injustice. With the judgment that you judge shall you be judged (Matthew 7:2). This is like the phrase 'Forgive, and it will be forgiven you.' For once someone has judged in accordance with justice, he should forgive in accordance with grace, so that when he himself is judged in accordance with justice, he may be worthy of forgiveness through grace. Alternatively, it was on account of the judges, those who seek vengeance for themselves, that he said, 'Do not condemn.' That is, do not seek vengeance for yourselves. Or, do not judge, from appearances and opinion and then condemn, but admonish and advise." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON TATIAN’S DIATESSARON 6.18B)


(Genesis 12:1-9; Psalm 33)

KEY VERSE:  "Stop judging, that you may not be judged" (v 1).
TO KNOW:  In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught his disciples that God would judge them in the same way that they judged others. He was not telling them to determine whether an act was right or wrong. They had God's Law to help them to decide that. Nor was he saying that they should approve of the wrongdoing of others. What he did speak about was their hypocritical and judgmental attitude toward the faults of others while refusing to acknowledge their own defects. Jesus used the analogy of trying to remove a tiny splinter from someone's eye, while ignoring the huge plank lodged in their own. With the help of divine light, they would clearly see their own failings and not be looking to condemn the same or worse fault in someone else. St. John Chrysostom explains: "Jesus is not saying we cannot prevent a sinner from sinning; we have to correct him, indeed, though not as the enemy seeking revenge but, rather, as a doctor applying the cure."
TO LOVE: Lord Jesus, help me to repair someone's reputation that I may have damaged.
TO SERVE: How harshly do I judge? How generously do I love?

Monday 26 June 2017
Genesis 12:1-9. Psalms 32(33):12-13, 18-20, 22. Matthew 7:1-5.
Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own — Psalms 32(33):12-13, 18-20, 22.
Bear the burden of another’s failings.
Jesus condemns those who judge, for in making judgements we cut ourselves off from God and God’s love and block the channel of God’s peace. When we can accept ourselves as we are, knowing that is how God loves us, we see that we are walking on the road of the pilgrim church, sharing with all, picking up the stragglers or being picked up, camping on the road, stopping with one who is overcome by grief.
This is a journey of love and empathy, with Jesus and his mother leading us in love and peace.
And when we come to the end, may we be pleasing in his eyes and our journey be fruitful in his love.


St. Pelagius was a thirteen year old Christian who was martyred for refusing to denounce his faith and convert to Islam in Cordoba, Spain in 925.
10th century Cordoba was the most powerful and glorious time in the world for the muslim caliphates and they boasted the largest mosque outside of the Caaba in Mecca.
Pelagius, as a ten year old boy, was taken hostage by the Moors of Cordoba during a rampage in a Christian town. He was in captivity for three years and nobody had made any attempt to ransom him.
The Emir of Cordoba offered him his freedom if he would convert to Islam. The boy refused and the Emir had him tortured and killed. He is said to have endured six hours of constant excruciating pain until he died.
Saint Pelagius is venerated in Leon, Cordoba, and Oviedo, where his relics have been kept since they were transferred there in 985.

Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, June 26, 2017
Ordinary Time

guide and protector of your people,
grant us an unfailing respect for your name,
and keep us always in your love.
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.
Jesus said to his disciples: 'Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the great log in your own? And how dare you say to your brother, "Let me take that splinter out of your eye," when, look, there is a great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother's eye.'
• In today’s Gospel we continue to meditate on the Sermon on the Mountain found in chapters 5 to 7 of the Gospel of Matthew. During the 10th and 11th week we have seen chapters 5 and 6. Beginning today, we will see chapter 7. These three chapters, 5, 6, and 7 offer an idea of how the catechesis was done in the communities of the converted Jews in the second half of the first century in Galilee and in Syria. Matthew unites and organizes the words of Jesus to teach how the new way of living the Law of God should be.
• After having explained how to re-establish justice (Mt 5, 17 a 6, 18) and how to restore the order of creation (Mt 6, 19-34), Jesus teaches how the life in community should be (Mt 7, 1-12). At the end he presents some recommendations and final advice (Mt 7, 13-27). Then follows an outline of the entire Sermon on the Mountain:
Matthew 5, 1-12: The Beatitudes: solemn openness of the New Law.
Matthew 5, 13-16: The new presence in the world: Salt of the earth and light of the world.
Matthew 5, 17-19: The new practice of justice: relationship with the ancient law. Matthew 5, 20-48: The new practice of justice: observing the new law.
Matthew 6, 1-4: The new practice of the works of piety: alms giving.
Matthew 6, 5-15: The new practice of the works of piety: prayer.
Matthew 6, 16-18: The new practice of the works of piety: fasting.
Matthew 6, 19-21: The new relationship to material goods: do not store up.
Matthew 6, 22-23: The new relationship to material goods: a correct vision.
Matthew 6, 24: The new relationship to material goods: God or money.
Matthew 6, 25-34: The new relationship to material goods: trust in Providence
Matthew 7, 1-5: The new community life together: do not judge.
Matthew 7, 6: The new community life together: do not despise the community
Matthew 7, 7-11: The new community life: trust in God produces sharing
Matthew 7, 12: The new community life together: the Golden Rule
Matthew 7, 13-14: Final recommendations to choose the sure way.
Matthew 7, 15-20: Final recommendations, the prophet is known by his fruits.
Matthew 7, 21-23: Final recommendations not only speak but also practice.
Matthew 7, 24-27: Final recommendations, construct the house on rock
The community lived experience of the Gospel (Mt 7, 1-12) is the touchstone. It is where the seriousness of the commitment is defined. The new proposal of life in community embraces diverse aspects: do not observe the sprinter in your brother’s eye (Mt 7, 1-5), do not throw your pearls in front of pigs (Mt 7,6), do not be afraid to ask God for things (Mt 7,7-11). These advices reach their summit in the Golden Rule: Always treat others as you would like them to treat you (Mt 7, 12). The Gospel of today presents the first part: Matthew 7, 1-5.
• Matthew 7, 1-2: Do not judge and you will not be judged. The first condition for a good life together in community is not to judge the brother or the sister, that is, to eliminate the preconceptions which prevent a transparent community life. What does this mean concretely? John’s Gospel gives an example of how Jesus lived in community with the disciples. Jesus says: “I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father” (Jn 15, 15). Jesus is an open book for his companions. This transparency comes from his total trust in the brothers and sisters and has its origin in his intimacy with the Father who gives him the force of opening himself up totally to others. Anyone who lives in this way with his brothers and sisters accepts others as they are, without any preconceptions, without previously imposing any conditions, without judging. Mutual acceptance without any pretension and with total transparency! This is the ideal of the new community life, which has come from the Good News which Jesus has brought to us: God is Father and Mother and, therefore, we are all brothers and sisters. It is a difficult ideal but a very beautiful and attractive as the other one: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
• Matthew 7. 3-5: You observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own. Immediately Jesus gives an example: Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye, and never notice the great log in your own? And how dare you say to your brother, ‘Let me take that splinter out of your eye, when look, there is a great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye”. When hearing this phrase we usually think of the Pharisees who despised the people, considering them ignorant and they considered themselves better than others (cf. Jn 7, 49; 9, 34). In reality, the phrase of Jesus serves for all of us. For example, today many of us Catholics are less faithful to the Gospel than the non-Catholics. We observe the splinter in the eye of our brothers and we do not see the big log of collective powerful pride in our own eyes. This log causes many persons today to have much difficulty to believe in the Good News of Jesus.
• Do not judge others and eliminate all preconceptions: which is my personal experience on this point?
• Splinter and log: which is the log in me which makes it difficult for me to participate in the life of the family and in community?
Your kindnesses to me are countless, Yahweh;
true to your judgements,
give me life. (Ps 119,156)