Bible Diary for June 11th – 17thBible Diary
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
1st Reading: Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9
So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first and, with the two tablets of stone in his hands, Moses went up Mount Sinai in the early morning, as Yahweh has commanded.
And Yahweh came down in a cloud and stood there with him, and Moses called on the name of Yahweh.
Then Yahweh passed in front of him and cried out, “Yahweh, Yahweh is a God full of pity and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in truth and loving kindness.
Moses hastened to bow down to the ground and worshiped. He then said, “If you really look kindly on me, my Lord, please come and walk in our midst and even though we are a stiff necked people, pardon our wickedness and our sin and make us yours.”
2nd Reading: 2 Cor 13:11-13
Finally, brothers and sisters, be happy, strive to be perfect, have courage, be of one mind and live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
The grace of Christ Jesus the Lord, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Gospel: Jn 3:16-18
Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him the world is to be saved. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned. He who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
God reveals Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Pauline greeting invokes the Trinitarian essence of God. The gospel proclaims the inexhaustible depths of God’s love that gives away the Son to redeem humanity. The following characteristics of God are revealed through the readings of the day: God = fullness of mercy, abounds in truth and loving kindness; God of love and peace; giver of eternal life and salvation. And if we are created in the image and likeness of this God, how does our life reflect the above characteristics of God?
Pray for the daily gift of grace, love, and fellowship of the Trinitarian God in your life.
Spend at least 20 minutes in Holy Adoration.
1st Reading: 2 Cor 1:1-7
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the church of God in Corinth, and to all the saints in the whole of Achaia. May you receive grace and peace from God, our Father, and from Christ Jesus, the Lord.
Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus, our Lord, the all-merciful Father, and the God of all comfort! He encourages us in all our trials, so that we may also encourage those in any trial, with the same comfort that we receive from God.
For whenever the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so, through Christ, a great comfort also overflows. So, if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we receive comfort it is also for you. You may experience the same comfort when you come to endure the same sufferings we endure. Our hope for you is most firm; just as you share in our sufferings, so shall you also share in our consolation.
Gospel: Mt 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them:
Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are those who mourn; they shall be comforted.
Fortunate are the gentle; they shall possess the land.
Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.
Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy.
Fortunate are those with pure hearts, for they shall see God.
Fortunate are those who work for peace;
they shall be called children of God.
Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the
cause of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. For that is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.
Fortune and misfortune are but matters of perception. Both contain the other. It is rather the meaning attached to them that is more important. And so what may patently seem a misfortune for a world that puts the self as the center becomes a source of blessedness for those who have no choice but to bear the hardships the world imposes upon them because they are the weak, the voiceless and those without power to defend their rights. When everything else fail and there is no one to turn to, trust in God to right the patently wrong. First, He will make it a source of blessing, of a capacity for patient endurance that does not quell the spirit of the person. Rather a resiliency and quiet strength is borne. Secondly, these people purified by their experience will begin to overrun the oppressive structure of society bringing with them the learnings acquired from the experience. Lastly, there will be a new order that comes not from violent revolution but from the transformation that took place in the hearts and minds of God’s own little ones.
St. Anthony of Padua
1st Reading: 2 Cor 1:18-22
God knows that our dealing with you is not Yes and No, just as the Son of God, Christ Jesus, whom we—Silvanus, Timothy and I—preach to you, was not Yes and No; with him it was simply Yes. In him all the promises of God have come to be a Yes, and we also say in his name: Amen! Giving thanks to God. God, himself, has anointed us and strengthens us, with you, to serve Christ; he has marked us with his own seal, in a first outpouring of the Spirit, in our hearts.
Gospel: Mt 5:13-16
You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead, it is put on a lamp stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do, and praise your Father in heaven.
Salt and light are good metaphors of what we are supposed to be in this world. Salt purifies impurities. It kills bacteria that sets in decay to fresh food. Thus it also preserves. And so as salt we are enjoined to kill all things that lead to sin and to decay both in the moral and spiritual realms. We are also enjoined to preserve the teachings of the Lord. In word and deed they must be proclaimed for others to know.
As light, we prevent others from stumbling. They need not grope in the dark trying to find the way to Jesus. Our light, though feeble it is because of our weak faith, is enough to guide them and prevent them from getting lost. And even if we are far, our light shining in the dark is a beacon of hope for others.
1st Reading: 2 Cor 3:4-11
This is how we are sure of God, through Christ. As for us, we would not dare consider that something comes from us: our ability comes from God. He has even enabled us to be ministers of a new covenant, no longer depending on a written text, but on the Spirit. The written text kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The ministry of the law carved on stones brought death; it was, nevertheless, surrounded by glory, and, we know, that the Israelites could not fix their eyes on the face of Moses, such was his radiance, though fleeting. How much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be! If there is greatness in a ministry which used to condemn, how much more will there be, in the ministry that brings holiness? This is such a glorious thing that, in comparison, the former’s glory is like nothing. That ministry was provisory and had only moments of glory; but ours endures, with a lasting glory.
Gospel: Mt 5:17-19
Do not think that I have come to annul the law and the prophets. I have not come to annul them, but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the law will change, until all is fulfilled.
So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.
Sometimes we think that the radical teachings of Jesus springs from His freedom to set aside the Law and proceed instead to do what He wants. On second glance, we realize that the uniqueness and originality of the Lord that sets Him apart from the teachers of that time is His capacity to let loose the liberating power of the Law by fulfilling not its letter but its spirit. That is why the Lord can claim that He does not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it to its fullest intent and meaning. For no Laws that emanate from the will of God is meant to oppress His people. They were crafted to safeguard and guarantee their freedom, the freedom that God gifted His people when He created them. And so, obeying God’s will is not to be a slave to Him but to realize and find the highest expression of our freedom.
1st Reading: 2 Cor 3:15–4:1, 3-6
Up to this very day, whenever they read Moses, the veil remains over their understanding but, for whoever turns to the Lord, the veil shall be removed. The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
So, with unveiled faces, we all reflect the glory of the Lord, while we are transformed into his likeness, and experience his glory, more and more by the action of the Lord, who is Spirit.
Since this is our ministry, mercifully given to us, we do not weaken.
In fact, if the gospel we proclaim remains obscure, it is obscure only for those who go to their own destruction. The god of this world has blinded the minds of these unbelievers, lest they see the radiance of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is God’s image. It is not ourselves we preach, but Christ Jesus, as Lord; and, for Jesus’ sake, we are your servants. God, who said, Let the light shine out of darkness, has also made the light shine in our hearts, to radiate, and to make known the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Christ.
Gospel: Mt 5:20-26
I tell you, if your sense of right and wrong is not keener than that of the Lawyers and the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard, that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder; anyone who murders will have to face trial. But now, I tell you: whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial. Whoever insults a brother or sister is liable, to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or sister “Fool!” is liable, of being thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there, in front of the altar; go at once, and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
Don’t forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There, you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.
We tend to focus on the big stuff and conveniently forgot that it is the smaller stuff that we fail most of the time. As time goes by, these accumulated neglect becomes a fixture so as to become part of our being. Jesus warns us not to think that only those forbidden by the Law matters. Those that leads to such transgressions are what we have to safeguard ourselves the most. This is an invitation to be mindful of what we say and do.
But this is what present society lacks. The capacity to stay aware and focused on what we do. There are too many things that impact us at any given moment of our life. Thus we are not even aware of what is happening inside our heart. When such is the case, our dispersion little by little becomes a moral issue. It is not merely neglect anymore. It becomes part of our habit. Let us stop for a while and take stock of our heart. Perhaps there are many things we ought to reconcile within and without so that when we offer our gifts to the altar of the Lord, the gift comes from a peaceful heart.
1st Reading: 2 Cor 4:7-15
However, we carry this treasure in vessels of clay, so that this all surpassing power may not be seen as ours, but as God’s. Trials of every sort come to us, but we are not discouraged. We are left without answer, but do not despair; persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed. At any moment, we carry, in our person, the death of Jesus, so, that, the life of Jesus may also be manifested in us. For we, the living, are given up continually to death, for the sake of Jesus, so, that, the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence. And as death is at work in us, life comes to you.
We have received the same spirit of faith referred to in Scripture, that says: I believed and so I spoke. We also believe, and so we speak. We know that he, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us, with Jesus, and bring us, with you, into his presence. Finally, everything is for your good, so that grace will come more abundantly upon you, and great will be the thanksgiving for the glory of God.
Gospel: Mt 5:27-32
You have heard that it was said: Do not commit adultery. But I tell you this: anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body, than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to lose a part of your body, than to have your whole body thrown into hell.
It was also said: Anyone who divorces his wife, must give her a written notice of divorce. But what I tell you is this: if a man divorces his wife, except in the case of unlawful union, he causes her to commit adultery. And the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Sin does not start when the deed is done. It springs from a heart that entertains it and give it the space to take root and grow. That is why the gospel today points to our senses as avenues of sin. These are the entry points that knows what sensation the sin will bring and stimulates the heart to decide to commit sin and later expressed in the external forum.
And so Jesus counsels us to discipline our senses, He tells us to use it properly. The plucking of eyes and the cutting of hands that offend are metaphors to drive the point. It is better to be physically diminished than to be spiritually unwhole. And so we have the responsibility to teach our senses to appreciate the world in a positive way. This needs a lot of effort. And so a strong spiritual life and mindfulness of things are a must in disciplining the senses. We need to spend time to hone our spirit, mind and heart to avoid the pitfalls of having senses that always go awry.
1st Reading: 2 Cor 5:14-21
Indeed, the love of Christ holds us, and we realize, that, if he died for all, all have died. He died for all, so, that, those who live, may live no longer for themselves, but for him, who died, and rose again for them. And so, from now on, we do not regard anyone from a human point of view; and even if we once knew Christ personally, we should now regard him in another way.
For that same reason, the one who is in Christ is a new creature. For him, the old things have passed away; a new world has come. All this is the work of God, who, in Christ, reconciled us to himself, and who entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation. Because, in Christ, God reconciled the world with himself, no longer taking into account their trespasses, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we present ourselves as ambassadors, in the name of Christ, as if God, himself, makes an appeal to you, through us. Let God reconcile you; this, we ask you, in the name of Christ. He had no sin, but God made him bear our sin, so, that, in him, we might share the holiness of God.
Gospel: Mt 5:33-37
You have also heard that people were told in the past: Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept. But I tell you this: do not take oaths. Do not swear by the heavens, for they are God’s throne; nor by the earth, because it is his foot stool; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great king. Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything else you say comes from the evil one.
Our words should have weight because our faithfulness to our spoken words and our commitment to keep them shows others the kind of person we are. Either we can be trusted or not depending on how we keep our word. And so Jesus cautions us not make an elaborate display of oath and swearing in rituals to assure others of our trustworthiness. For on the contrary, only those whose words cannot be trusted need this kind of elaboration.
And so, we need to practice to mean what we say and do what we say we should do. This needs a formation that has to go with time. You cannot have trustworthiness at once. It has to be a series of repeated acts where we affirm the trust of others to our words. In short, there are trusts that are earned through time. May we cultivate this wonderful virtue and be like Jesus Christ who is trustworthy in words and deeds.