Gospel: Luke 6:27-38

But I say to you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who treat you badly. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek; from the one who takes your coat, do not keep back your shirt. Give to the one who asks, and if anyone has taken something from you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have others do to you. If you love only those who love you, what kind of grace is yours? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do favors to those who are good to you, what kind of grace is yours? Even sinners do the same. If you lend only when you expect to receive, what kind of grace is yours? For sinners also lend to sinners, expecting to receive something in return. But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend when there is nothing to expect in return. Then will your reward be great, and you will be sons and daughters of the Most High. For he is kind toward the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Don’t be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.”

Reflections

For many people, the challenge of Jesus is the most difficult passage in the Gospel. It seems to express a way of life that is totally unrealistic and unattainable. We live today in a world of great violence, of terrorism, of violence and murder, of summary executions and extrajudicial killing. Where do Jesus’ words fit in? “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.” We may feel that we are unable to follow this teaching. We think it would only encourage those people to behave even worse. But Jesus is extending love to the enemy and the sinners. This is the core of Jesus’ teaching, which he himself lived. The Golden Rule which is often expressed as “Do not do to others what you would not want them do to you” is expressed positively by Jesus. This, in fact, is the love that God has for us. It is a an expression of unconditional love. God reaches out in merciful love to every single person without exception. God wills the fullest well-being of every single person. To love as God loves is to focus more on the needs of others. What is hurting inside them that drives them to such behavior? We begin to ask why do they have to act in this way. We can only do this if we have a strong inner sense of security and self-acceptance and above all having ourselves experienced God’s prodigal love.

 © Copyright Bible Diary 2018

Gospel: Mt 24:42-51

Stay awake then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Obviously, if the owner of the house knew at what time the thief was coming, he would certainly stay up and not allow his house to be broken into. So be alert, for the Son of Man will come at the hour you least expect. Imagine a faithful and prudent servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time. Fortunate, indeed, is that servant, whom his master will find at work when he comes. Truly I say to you, his lord will entrust him with everything he has. Not so with the bad servant, who thinks, ‘My master is delayed.’ And he begins to ill-treat his fellow servants, while eating and drinking with drunkards. But his master will come on the day he does not know, and at the hour he least expects. He will punish that servant severely; and place with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Reflections

Stay awake then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come. On his deathbed, St. Stanislaus Kostka was asked if he feared death. He replied, "None at all. My heart is ready, O God! My heart is ready!" Wheelchair-bound, Karl Rahner was asked whether he feared death. He replied that to die is to be thrust into the awaiting arms of God. We fear dying because of our fear of pain. We may fear death because of the uncertainty of what lies beyond. We may fear judgment because of the manner we have lived our lives. Let us pray for readiness to encounter the Lord at any moment in our life.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

 

 

Gospel: Mt 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I say to you: it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, believe me: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for the one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” On hearing this, the disciples were astonished and said, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and answered, “For human beings it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter spoke up and said, “You see, we have given up everything to follow you. What, then, will there be for us?” Jesus answered, “You, who have followed me, listen to my words: on the Day of Renewal, when the Son of Man sits on his throne in glory, you, also, will sit, on twelve thrones, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. As for those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or property for my Name’s sake, they will receive a hundredfold, and be given eternal life. Many who are now first, will be last, and many who are now last, will be first.

Reflections


It will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven Wealth in itself is not intrinsically evil. It is how we use it that can be sinful or virtuous. Similarly, knowledge and power are morally neutral entities. They may be used either for good or evil. The possession of any of these carries with them the responsibility to use them for the welfare of others. The possession of these though can enslave or sway a person to use them for one’s own selfish gain. Let us thank the Lord for all he has given us. And let us ask the grace to use all we have for the greater good.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

Gospel: Mt 20:1-16

This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven: A landowner went out early in the morning, to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay each worker the usual daily wage, and sent them to his vineyard. He went out again, at about nine in the morning and, seeing others idle in the town square, he said to them, ‘You also, go to my vineyard, and I will pay you what is just.’ So they went. The owner went out at midday and, again, at three in the afternoon, and he made the same offer. Again he went out, at the last working hour — the eleventh — and he saw others standing around. So he said to them, ‘Why do you stand idle the whole day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ The master said, ‘Go, and work in my vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wage, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ Those who had gone to work at the eleventh hour came up, and were each given a silver coin. When it was the turn of the first, they thought they would receive more. But they, too, received one silver coin. On receiving it, they began to grumble against the landowner. They said, ‘These last hardly worked an hour; yet, you have treated them the same as us, who have endured the heavy work of the day and the heat.’ The owner said to one of them, ‘Friend, I have not been unjust to you. Did we not agree on one silver coin per day? So, take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last the same as I give to you. Don’t I have the right to do as I please with what is mine? Why are you envious when I am kind?’ So will it be: the last will be first, the first will be last.”

Reflections

Take what is yours and go.

The parable about the vineyard workers who are all paid a full daily wage despite having labored unequal number of hours underscores God’s inclusive love. The daily wage is God’s love or salvation which is offered to all, whether one’s people had been called first or later on in history; whether one has been virtuous all one’s life or had turned to God at the end of one’s life. Like those who labored all day, we sometimes accuse God of dealing with us unfairly, perhaps because we cannot fathom the breadth and depth of God’s infinite love.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

 

Gospel: Mt 19:16-22

It was then, that a young man approached him and asked, “Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One, only, is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.” The young man said, “Which commandments?” Jesus replied, “Do not kill; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother. And love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these commandments. What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell all that you possess, and give the money to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.” On hearing this, the young man went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Reflections

Sell all that you possess, and give the money to the poor The rich young man, though morally upright, could not leave behind his wealth in order to follow Jesus. Some, Jesus calls to literally leave everything behind and live a mendicant’s life, relying on God’s providence. Others, Jesus calls to renounce private ownership and take a vow of poverty. All of us however are invited to examine ourselves and identify our attachments — whether to persons or positions, to material things or comfort zones — that hinder us from following Jesus more perfectly. Let us ask for the grace of interior freedom so that we might be free to go wherever Jesus bids.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

 

Claret School of Quezon City | Mahinhin St., UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City | 921-7317 | 921-7316 | 921-7399 | 921-7376 | 921-7555 | 921-7554 | 921-6472 |  Registrar's Local: 264, 237, 210, 221