friday 12 June 2020
St Onuphrius (d. 400)
Onuphrius lived as a hermit in the desert for seventy years. In the desert he suffered much from privation of food and drink, and also from many temptations. He spent his life praying and working until his death at the age of ninety. It was about the year 400.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 26: 1-2
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread? When those who do evil draw near, they stumble and fall.
O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 Kings 19:9, 11-16
When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice came to him, which said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am filled with jealous zeal for the Lord of Hosts, because the sons of Israel have deserted you, broken down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left and they want to kill me.’‘Go,’ the Lord said, ‘go back by the same way to the wilderness of Damascus. You are to go and anoint Hazael as king of Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.’
Psalm 26(27):7-9, 13-14
R/ It is your face, O Lord, that I seek.
- O Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer. Of you my heart has spoken: ‘Seek his face.’
- It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face. Dismiss not your servant in anger; you have been my help.
- I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Hope in him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 10:27
Alleluia, alleluia! The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell. ‘It has also been said: Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look kindly upon our service, O Lord, we pray, that what we offer may be an acceptable oblation to you and lead us to grow in charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 17: 3
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my saving strength.
Prayer after Communion
May your healing work, O Lord, free us, we pray, from doing evil and lead us to what is right. Through Christ our Lord.
As we read two days ago, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to complete it. The focus today is on the commandment: “You must not commit adultery”. In this case, adultery is understood as a sexual relationship between two people at least one of whom is already married to another person. Jesus presents it in another way when he says that for a man even to look at another woman with lust, he has already violated the spirit of the Law. Thus, it applies to both married and unmarried persons. The question on divorce was also clarified because in Deuteronomy 24:1, a man could divorce his wife and in most cases it was for flimsy reasons such cooking a bad meal. It was a man’s discretion to ask for a divorce and not the woman. Jesus therefore, puts man and woman morally on an absolutely equal level. A marriage covenant therefore has to be taken seriously by both parties. Divorce and adultery are serious issues in families and those who have gone through this experience need to be met with a lot of pastoral sensitivity.