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MONDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

13TH JUNE 2022


MEMORIAL OF SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH


Readings: 1 Kings 21:1-16/Psalm 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a, 6b-7/Matthew 5:38-42


FOCUS: PROTECTING YOUR ANCESTRAL HERITAGE


It may seem correct to say that most Pagan societies, in one way or the other, seem to oppress women based on such derogatory notions that women are the weaker and less spiritual sex. In today's First Reading account of the role of wicked women like Jezebel in promoting occultism in Israel. Such readings seem to accentuate this position even more that women tend to be more wicked and vengeful than men. Such negative view of women see them as more carnal than men, more avaricious and having more difficulty with letting go off little matters.


When the Bible makes such assertions like 'It is better to live on the top of the roof than in the same house with a cantankerous or a quarrelsome wife/woman', (Proverbs 21:9), it does not mean that only women could be cantankerous but perhaps unredeemed women find it more difficult to forgive/ let go of matters and offences than men. Queen Jezebel's story is one example of such situation and the tragedy came from her husband King Ahab allowing her to take over the mantle of leadership.


Jesus gives us a blueprint for peaceful societal coexistence in today's Gospel as he helps us understand the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Don't pick quarrel easily with people. 'An eye for an eye' is an old logic. The current cliche is : 'Turn the other cheek'. The idea is for people not to take laws into their own hands not for us to take Jesus literally.

Lesson 2: Don't waste your money in court cases. Lawyers won't like this but Jesus doesn't want us to over patronize them. We can minimize our court cases by being more tolerant towards our brethren.

Lesson 3: Don't retaliate offences. Two wrongs will not make one right. This is a new dispensation of spirituality and holiness that gives back the power of vengeance to God. Many pagan cultures believe in vengeance. The Lord Jesus saw the futility of the law to attain peace. Vengeance always ache to be unleashed. As a result, physical and psychological harms are inflicted on the individuals concerned. Jesus gave an example on how to deal with extreme violence. He extended His arms and died on the cross.


In some cultures, both men and women have the tendency for anger and vengeance. So this is not a matter of chauvinism or feminism. But when a man allows a negative influence from his wife like King Ahab did in today's first reading then it is a big weakness and vice versa. Jesus puts into proper perspective the old dictum, “ An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” We are asked to go to the limit in being charitable. This radical charity places a Christian to utter disregard of self to a concern for the escalation of violence.

May God bless you today!

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