Daily Gospel – Friday, June 14, 2024 – Matthew 5,27-32 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (1 Kings 19,9a.11-16)

Reading of the First Book of Kings.

In those days, upon arriving at Horeb, the mountain of God, the prophet Elijah entered a cave, where he spent the night. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him in these terms: “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord will pass by.” But before the Lord came a fierce and strong wind, which tore the mountains apart and broke the rocks. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, a fire came. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a murmur of a light breeze. Hearing this, Elijah covered his face with his cloak, went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. Then he heard a voice saying: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied: “I am burning with zeal for the Lord, God Almighty, because the children of Israel abandoned your covenant, demolished your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone escaped. But now they also want to kill me.”

The Lord said to him, “Go and take your way back toward the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, you will anoint Hazael as king of Syria. Also anoint Jehu son of Namsi as king of Israel, and Elisha , son of Shafat, of Abel-Meulah, as prophet in your place.”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 5,27-32)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you: Whoever looks at a woman with the desire to possess her has already committed adultery with her in your heart. If your right eye is an occasion of sin for you, pluck it out and throw it away from you! Indeed, it is better to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand is an occasion of sin for you, cut it off and throw it away from you! Indeed, it is better to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go to hell.

It was also said: ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce’. But I say to you: Whoever divorces his wife, except for an irregular marriage, causes her to become an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are invited to delve deeply into the Scriptures, listening to the still small voice of God and reflecting on the purity of heart that Jesus calls us to live. Today’s readings take us to two powerful moments of divine revelation: Elijah’s encounter with God on Mount Horeb and Jesus’ teaching on adultery and divorce. In both, we find lessons about God’s presence in our lives and the holiness to which we are called.

Let’s start with the First Reading, from the First Book of Kings. We meet the prophet Elijah, a man of great faith and courage, but also someone who, like all of us, experiences moments of discouragement and doubt. He had faced the wrath of Queen Jezebel and fled for his life. He arrived at Mount Horeb, the mountain of God, seeking guidance and comfort.

Elias finds a cave and takes refuge there. The Lord says to him, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is going to pass by.” Elijah, like many of us, expects to encounter God in grand and powerful manifestations. However, the Lord was not in the mighty wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire. After all these phenomena, there came a sound of a gentle breeze. It was in this whisper that Elijah found the presence of God.

This episode teaches us that God often speaks to us in moments of silence and tranquility. In a world full of noise and distractions, we can easily miss God’s presence. We are constantly bombarded by information, responsibilities and worries. However, God calls us to find a moment of stillness, a place where we can hear Him in the softness of our hearts.

Let us think about our own lives. How many times do we seek God’s presence in grandiose events and forget to seek Him in the simplicity of everyday life? God is present in the little things: in the smile of a friend, in the kindness of a stranger, in the silence of personal prayer. We need to learn to silence our hearts and listen to the gentle breeze of the divine presence.

Now, let’s go to the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus teaches us about the purity of the heart. He says, “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus raises the standard of the Mosaic law by not only condemning the physical act of adultery but also the impure desire that takes root in the heart.

Jesus continues with language that may seem harsh: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. ” What Jesus is telling us is that we must be radical in the fight against sin. We must not tolerate even small compromises with evil that can grow and corrupt our hearts.

This message is a call to purity of intention and integrity. In a world where we are constantly tempted to compromise our values and seek instant gratification, Jesus reminds us that true holiness begins in the heart. Purity is not just a matter of external behavior, but of internal transformation.

We can think about our own lives and how we face temptations. How do we deal with the thoughts and desires that take us away from God? Jesus challenges us to cut out of our lives everything that leads us to sin. This could mean moving away from certain situations, avoiding certain content or even changing our daily habits. It is a call to continuous conversion and a serious commitment to holiness.

Let’s reflect on the connection between these two readings. Elijah found God in the gentle breeze after a time of turmoil and discouragement. Jesus calls us to find purity and the presence of God by radically dealing with sin in our lives. Both passages invite us to deep introspection and a renewal of our commitment to God.

Imagine a tree planted next to a river. Its roots are firmly anchored in the earth, and it is constantly nourished by river water. Even when strong winds come, the tree remains firm. We are like that tree. If our roots are deeply anchored in God, and if we are constantly nourished by his presence, we will be able to weather the storms of life and live in holiness.

Let us now commit to seeking God in every moment of our lives. May we find time for silence, for prayer, for listening to the gentle breeze of his voice. And may we be courageous in the fight against sin, allowing God to transform our hearts and make us truly pure.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to seek Your presence in the stillness of our hearts and to be radical in the fight against sin. May we live in holiness, reflecting Your love and Your purity in every aspect of our lives. Amen.

As we leave here today, let us take with us the determination to live as true followers of Christ. May God’s grace accompany us and may we be instruments of His peace and love in the world. Remember, we are called to be light and salt – let us shine and flavor the world with the goodness, justice and love of God. Amen.