Daily Gospel – Saturday, June 15, 2024 – Matthew 5,33-37 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (1 Kings 19,19-21)

Reading of the First Book of Kings.

In those days, the prophet Elijah departed from there and found Elisha, son of Shaphat, plowing the land with twelve yoke of oxen; and he himself drove the last one. Elijah, as he passed by Elisha, threw his cloak over him. Then Elisha left the oxen and ran after Elijah, saying, “Let me first go and kiss my father and mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah replied, “Go back and forth! For what have I done to you?” He withdrew, took the yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. With the wood from the plow and the yoke he roasted the meat and fed it to his people. Then he got up, followed Elijah and served him.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 5,33-37)

— 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 to those of old: ‘You shall not swear falsely’, but ‘you shall fulfill your oaths made to the Lord’. But I say to you: Do not swear at all: neither by heaven, because it is the throne of God; nor by earth, because it is the support upon which his feet rest; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Great King. Do not swear so little by your head, for you cannot become white. or black a single hair. Let your ‘yes’ be: ‘Yes’, and your ‘no’: ‘No’.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, the readings invite us to reflect deeply on our commitment to God and our integrity before others. Passages from 1 Kings and the Gospel of Matthew present us with valuable lessons about God’s calling on our lives and the importance of truth and honesty.

Let’s start by reading the First Book of Kings. Here we find the story of Elisha’s calling. “Departing from there, Elijah found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him. Elijah went to him and threw his cloak over him.” This scene is rich in symbolism and offers us deep insight into what it means to be called by God.

Elisha was hard at work in the field, a powerful image of someone committed to his daily responsibilities. However, when Elijah finds him and throws his mantle over him, it symbolizes the transfer of his prophetic role. The mantle represents God’s call and the new mission that Elisha must embrace.

Elisha’s response is immediate and decisive. He leaves the oxen and runs after Elijah, asking only to say goodbye to his parents. Elijah allows him this, and Elisha, in a gesture of total commitment, sacrifices the oxen and burns the plow equipment to cook the meat, sharing it with the people. This act symbolizes his total renunciation of his old way of life and his complete commitment to God’s calling.

This story challenges us to reflect on how we respond to God’s call in our own lives. Are we able to leave behind our worries and comforts to follow God’s will? Elisha shows us that God’s true calling requires a radical and complete response, an abandonment of everything that prevents us from fully following his will.

Now, let’s turn to the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus teaches us about the importance of integrity and truth. He says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but you shall fulfill your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all… Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’; and your ‘no’, ‘no’. Everything beyond that comes from the evil one.”

Jesus is calling us to a life of honesty and integrity, where our words truly reflect our intentions and actions. In contemporary society, we are often tempted to embellish our words, make grandiose promises, or exaggerate to impress others. However, Jesus reminds us that true faithfulness to God and others manifests itself in our ability to be direct and honest.

Let’s imagine a builder who promises to build a house with high-quality materials, but secretly uses low-quality materials to save money. The house may look beautiful on the outside, but over time, its internal flaws will become evident. Likewise, our words and actions must be consistent and genuine. If we promise something, we must fulfill it. If we claim to follow Christ, our lives must reflect this truth in all of our interactions.

Integrity is the basis of all healthy relationships and a fair society. When our words are true and trustworthy, we build an environment of trust and respect. However, when we speak double-talk or make empty promises, we undermine this foundation and create an environment of distrust and disrespect.

Let’s consider the life of a farmer who takes care of his crops with dedication and honesty. He prepares the soil, plants the seeds and cares for the plants with patience and hard work. He knows the harvest will reflect his effort and integrity. So too, our lives must be cultivated with truth and honesty, so that we can reap the fruits of trust and justice.

Now, let’s think about applying these lessons to our daily lives. First, we are challenged to respond to God’s call with total commitment, just as Elisha did. This may mean leaving behind certain practices or behaviors that are not aligned with God’s will. It may mean embracing new missions or vocations that God is calling us to follow.

Second, we are called to live with integrity and truth. Our words must be trustworthy, and our actions must reflect our promises. This starts in our small, daily interactions—being honest with our friends, family, and colleagues, keeping our promises, and living according to Christ’s values.

May we, as a community of faith, encourage one another to live these truths. May we be examples of commitment and integrity, lighting the way for others through our words and actions.

Let’s have a moment of silence now, asking God to reveal to us where we need to grow in our commitment to Him and in our integrity. May the Holy Spirit guide us to be true followers of Christ, committed to His will and honest in all our interactions.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to respond to Your call with total commitment and to live with integrity and truth. May we be lights in the world, reflecting Your love and truth in every action and word. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, 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 strengthen us to be examples of commitment and integrity in all areas of our lives. Remember, we are called to live the truth and respond to God’s call with all our hearts. May we, with God’s help, live these truths every day. Amen.