Daily Gospel – Wednesday, June 12, 2024 – Matthew 5,17-19 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (1 Kings 18,20-39)

Reading of the First Book of Kings.

In those days, Ahab summoned all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Then Elijah, approaching all the people, said, “How long will you walk with both feet limping? If the Lord is the true God, follow him; but if he is Baal, follow him.” The people didn’t respond a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only prophet of the Lord left, while the prophets of Baal number four hundred and fifty. Give us two bulls; let them choose one bull, and after cutting it into pieces, place it on the wood, but without putting fire under it. Then I will prepare the other bull and place it on the wood, and I will not set it on fire either. God who hears, sending fire, this is the true God.” All the people responded, saying, “A very good proposition.” Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal: “Choose a bull and begin, for you are the majority. And call on the name of your god, but do not set it on fire.” They took the bull given to them and prepared it. And they called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice and no one to respond. And they danced around the altar that they had erected. At noon, Elijah mocked them, saying: “Shout louder, for being a god, he has his occupations. Perhaps he is absent or on a journey; or perhaps he is sleeping and needs to be woken up.” Then they shouted even louder, and slashed themselves, according to their custom, with swords and spears, until the blood flowed. After noon, they went into a trance until the time of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice, no response, no sign of attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” All the people came to him. And he rebuilt the altar of the Lord that had been demolished. He took twelve stones, according to the number of the twelve tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom God had said, “Your name shall be Israel,” and built with the stones an altar to the name of the Lord. He made a trench around the altar, capable of containing two measures of seeds. He piled up the wood, quartered the bull and placed it on the wood, and said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” Then he said, “Again.” And they did so a second time. And he added: “Yet a third time.” And so it was done. The water ran around the altar and the trench was completely full. When the time for the sacrifice arrived, the prophet Elijah approached and said: “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, show today that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant and that it is by your command that I I have done these things. Hear me, Lord, hear me, so that these people may recognize that you, Lord, are God, and that it is you who convert their hearts!” Then the fire of the Lord fell, devouring the burnt offering, the wood, the stones and the dust, and drying up the water that was in the trench. Seeing this, all the people fell face down, exclaiming: “It is the Lord who is God, it is the Lord who is God!”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 5,17-19)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them in full. Truly, I tell you, before heaven and earth cease to exist, exists, not a single letter or comma will be removed from the Law, without everything being fulfilled. Therefore, whoever disobeys a single one of these commandments, however small it may be, and teaches others to do the same, will be considered the least in the Kingdom of God. Heavens. However, whoever practices and teaches them will be considered great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, we are blessed with two powerful and transformative readings that invite us to deepen our faith and commitment to God. The first reading is from the Book of Kings, where we witness the dramatic and miraculous demonstration of God’s power on Mount Carmel, while the second is from the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus tells us about the importance of fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. Let’s dive into these passages and seek out the wisdom they offer us for our daily lives.

In the first book of Kings, chapter 18, we find the prophet Elijah at a crucial moment in Israel’s history. The people were divided between worshiping God, the Lord, and following false gods, such as Baal. King Ahab and his wife Jezebel had promoted Baal worship, and the hearts of the people were confused and divided.

Elijah, a man of deep faith and courage, challenged the prophets of Baal to a confrontation on Mount Carmel. He proposed that they both prepare a sacrifice, but not light the fire. The true God would respond by sending fire from the heavens to consume the sacrifice. The prophets of Baal cried out to their god from morning until noon, but there was no answer. Elijah then called the people close and repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins. He prepared the sacrifice and, in an act of great trust, ordered the burnt offering and the wood to be filled with water three times, until the water flowed around the altar and filled the trench.

Elijah prayed to God, asking Him to show the people that He was the true God. God responded with a fire so powerful that it consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones and the earth, and even licked up the water in the ditch. When they saw this, all the people fell down and cried out, “Only the Lord is God! Only the Lord is God!”

This episode teaches us several valuable lessons. First, it shows us the power and faithfulness of God. When we put our trust in God, He responds in powerful and unmistakable ways. Elijah was alone against a multitude of false prophets, but his faith and obedience brought a stunning and indisputable victory.

Second, the story challenges us to repair the “altars” of our lives that are in ruins. We may have areas in our lives where the worship of God has been neglected or replaced by false idols. It could be the desire for power, wealth, status, or anything else that takes God’s place in our hearts. We are called to repair these altars and rededicate our lives to God with trust and obedience.

Now, turning our hearts to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verses 17 to 19, we hear the words of Jesus that complement and deepen our understanding of what it means to live as true worshipers of God. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle will pass away from the Law, until everything is fulfilled. Therefore, everyone who violates one of these commandments, however small, and teaches them in this way, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who fulfills and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven; Kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it and bring its true meaning. He shows us that the Law is not a set of archaic and meaningless rules, but a revelation of God’s holy and righteous character. Fulfilling the Law means living in accordance with God’s will, reflecting His love, justice and mercy in our daily actions.

Jesus calls us to an obedience that goes beyond mere external observance. He challenges us to fulfill and teach the Law of God in its full meaning, living in such a way that others can see the presence of God in our lives. We are called to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven, not by our own greatness, but by our faithfulness in following and teaching God’s commandments.

Let’s reflect on how we can apply these lessons to our lives today. First, like Elijah, we are called to have bold faith and trust God in all circumstances. In a world where many are clamoring for attention and worship, we must remain steadfast in our devotion to the one true God. This means repairing the altars of our lives, removing everything that separates us from God and reaffirming our commitment to Him.

Second, we must seek a deeper understanding of the Law and the Prophets, not as a list of rules to be followed mechanically, but as an invitation to live in full communion with God. Jesus shows us that the Law is fulfilled through love – love for God and love for others. Each commandment is an expression of that love, and we are called to live in ways that reflect that love in all of our interactions.

To illustrate this, let’s think of a gardener who takes care of his garden with dedication and love. He not only follows a list of tasks – watering, pruning, fertilizing – but understands that each action is interconnected and aims for the health and beauty of the garden as a whole. Likewise, our obedience to God’s Law should not be a series of disconnected actions, but an integrated expression of our love and devotion to Him.

Finally, Jesus challenges us to teach these commandments. We are not only called to live according to God’s will, but to share that truth with others. This can be done through example, direct teaching, and our daily interactions. When we live and teach God’s commandments, we help bring others into his light of truth and love.

Let us now take a moment of silence to reflect on how we can apply these lessons to our lives. Let us ask God for the grace to repair the altars of our hearts, to live in full obedience to His Law, and to teach and share His truth with others.

Lord, we thank You for Your Word today. Help us to have the bold faith of Elijah, trusting You in all circumstances. Give us the wisdom to understand and fulfill Your Law, and the courage to teach and share Your commandments with love and truth. May our lives reflect Your glory and may we be light to those around us. Amen.

My dear brothers and sisters, as we leave here today, let us take with us the challenge of living as true worshipers of God, trusting in His power, fulfilling His Law with love, and teaching His truths to others. May God’s grace accompany us and enable us to be beacons of His light in a needy world. Remember, we are called to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven – let us live in a way that honors God in all our actions and words. Amen.