9th Week, Tuesday, Jun 2nd

2 Peter 3:11-15, 17-18 / Mark 12:13-17
We await a new creation: God’s justice will reside in the new creation.
In their joint statement on Justice, the bishops of the world said something that jarred many Christians from complacency. They said it’s not enough to preach the Gospel. We must also work for justice.
Then they spelled out the kind of justice we must work for. It’s not just making sure that people get a fair shake in everyday life. It’s far more demanding than that. It’s combating those structures in society that contradict the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s declaring outright war on attitudes, structures, and procedures that exploit the poor, oppress minorities, and allow powerful special-interest groups to impose their will on the majority of citizens.
What are we doing to combat such evil structures in society? Or do we feel that’s something beyond our ken? “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can” Sydney Smith
To sabotage is to deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage. Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an entity or organization through subversion, obstruction, disruption or destruction. One who engages in sabotage is a saboteur. Saboteurs typically try to conceal their identities because of the consequences of their actions. So in other words, sabotage is usually carried out by the weaker on the stronger, by the smaller on the bigger, by those who hit and run and hide. Sabotage is not used the other way round, i.e. by the stronger on the weaker, by the bigger on the smaller.
But in the gospel, we hear of an unusual act of sabotage. There were the chief priests, the scribes and the elders sent some Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch Him out in what He said. They were out to trap Him.

They even disguised their intended devious act by addressing Jesus as "Master" and praising His as an honest man who is not afraid of anyone as a man's rank means nothing, and that He is a teacher of the way of God.

With such hypocrisy to disguise their malice, they asked a politically and religiously sensitive question: Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? It was a politically sensitive question because Caesar's Roman legions had occupied the land, and if Jesus had said "No" to paying taxes, that would mean that He was inciting a rebellion against the occupiers.

It was a religiously sensitive question because if Jesus had said "Yes" to paying taxes, then He is bowing down to Caesar and not acknowledging the sovereignty of God over His people.

But the answer of Jesus "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God" took them completely by surprise.

Not only did the Pharisees and Herodians caught nothing with their trap, it was like the hunter got into his own trap.

In effect, Jesus was asking them as to why they were resorting to the scheming and devious ways of the world in order to sabotage Him.

As religious people, why were they not aware or listening to the ways of God in their dealings with Him.

So Jesus is actually telling them to give back to the world, the ways that belong to the world. They should go back to God and walk in His ways, and not in the ways of the world.

The 1st reading urges us to live holy and saintly lives without spot or stain so that we can be at peace with God, with others and with ourselves.

Furthermore, the reading also warns us to be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled people from the firm ground that we are standing on.

Yes, we must stand firm on the ways of God and not be side-tracked by the ways of the world. We do not return evil for evil. That is the way of the world. Ours is the way of God, which is the way of love and peace.

Even if we are being sabotaged, let us trust that the way of God is truth, and the truth cannot be sabotaged. So we give back to the world what belongs to the world. We walk the way of God, and we must show that way to a world that has lost its way.
Tuesday June 2 
Tuesday of 9th Week of Ordinary Time 

Second Peter deals with the problem of the delay of the coming of Christ. The old world has to give way to a new heaven and a new earth. But the concept of time does not exist for God, and the patient God gives us time for conversion. Gospel. Sometimes, the Church is accused of meddling in politics and the affairs of the state. But the Church has to raise a prophetic voice to form consciences regarding the moral aspects of political, social and economic questions, to see to it that the laws of God and the people’s human rights and dignity are respected. A good Christian must be a good citizen and take up his responsibilities regarding the human community. 

Penitential Rite: As we listen to St. Peter’s exhoration
-according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, LHM
-be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace, CHM
-be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability, LHM

Opening Prayer 
Lord, mighty God, you lead the world and all humanity to their destiny in you. Give to the leaders of the world and of our country, a vision of the future, that is both imaginative and realistic and respectful of human rights and dignity. Help us bear witness in everyday life to the values of the Gospel and to be involved in the work of freedom, integrity and justice. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. 

Peter’s letter today exhorts us to grow in the “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” But the knowledge spoken is not mainly that of the mind, it is an experiential knowledge that is spoken of, as is so often the case when it appears in the Bible. When Mary is told by the angel that she is to become a mother, she is perplexed because she does not know man. It is the knowledge of experience that is meant. Each of us may pose the questions: How well do I know Jesus Christ? Do I understand grace as a personal extension of Christ in my life? When I hear the scriptures, does my heart grow warm within me, as in the case of the disciples on the road to Emmaus? Is the Eucharist a personal experience of Christ in my life? Knowledge here is not a question of verbalizing; there is not much to say. An elderly woman who spent long periods of time each day in church, was absorbed in prayer. When asked what she said, she answered, “I don’t say anything. I look upon him and he upon me. It is quite enough.” It is the language of love. In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ questioners are utterly amazed. But they remain closed to his invitation. Many people stand in amazement of Christ, admire him at a distance, but refuse the invitation to discipleship. “Give to God what is God’s”: our lives, our gifts, our needs, our misgivings. The knowledge of God leads to a surrender as well as to untold blessings. 

Points to Ponder 
To know is to cherish
The simplicity of prayer
Giving to God what is his. 

– That justice, love and responsible freedom may be the basis of the social order in the world and in our country, that all may live in peace and security, we pray:
– That all citizens may have a strong sense of civic responsibility and actively participate toward the common welfare, we pray:
– That the Church in our country may bear witness to God’s kingdom to all the nations of Asia; that our country may play a role of honor in the family of nations and cooperate to world peace and unity, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Lord our God, we bring this bread and wine before you as signs in which your Son, Jesus Christ, relives his commitment to us. May they also become the signs of our responsibility toward our human community, that with your Son, we may be ready to bear witness to the values of the Gospel and how these can lead society to greater peace and love and friendship. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion 
Lord our God, you are about to send your people gathered here around your Son back to the human city, to join forces with all to build up the city of God as a leaven in the dough. Make us sensitive to the needs of others and help us to give to all equal chances in life, to build up communities of friendship and love and to warm the earth with a touch of your gentleness. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. 


In this Eucharist, we have given thanks and praise to God not only as his people but also in the name of all humanity. May we fulfill our task of imbuing this world with the values of the Gospel, and may God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.