In the reading from the first book of Kings, we are presented with the unbridled greed and cunning of Ahab and Jezebel. We can be shocked at Ahab’s complicity in this crime. Our hearts respond with sympathy and even anger for Naboth, who is robbed of his property and his life. Perhaps our shock and anger arise not from just what we are reading in this event, but what we perceive is still happening in our society today. We are saddened by what the human heart is capable of through selfishness. We expect more of ourselves and others.
And yet, today, we experience responses to this terrible pandemic that, in some cases, mirror the story of Ahab and Jezebel. We see those who use the current crisis as an opportunity to make money or to engage in acts of civil disobedience. But we also see acts of great heroism those in the medical community who have put themselves at risk to save others. And so, we encounter both the dark side of humanity as well as our ability to rise above ourselves to save our human spirit.
In the gospel reading, we are challenged to rise above our need for revenge when wronged. When Jesus tells us to turn the other check; rather than an act of submission, perhaps he is asking us to force our assailant to look into our eyes and see our humanity and be reminded of his humanity in the process.
In the Eucharist, we encounter our loving and forgiving Lord. In the Rule of Life for Associates, we read: we collaborate with men and women of good will towards the building of a world of justice and solidarity. (Rule of Life for Associates, #12A). Seeing the humanity of another enables us to do this.
Am I able to stand in solidarity and justice with others?
Let us pray:
Lord listen to our groaning as we struggle to build a world of justice and solidarity. May your Spirit infuse our hearts with love and compassion, enabling us to rise above our weakness and fear. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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