AD SENSE

10th Week, Monday, Jun 8th

1 Kings 17:1-6 / Matthew 5:1-12 
Elijah warns Ahab: “A drought will ravage the land.”

At one point in the Old Testament, the ten northern tribes of Israel broke away from the two southern tribes. One of the kings who ruled these ten tribes, before a foreign power destroyed them forever, was a man named Ahab. The Bible speaks harshly of Ahab, saying, “He sinned against the Lord more than any of his predecessors.” 1 Kings 16:30
Ahab was confronted about his sinful ways by Elijah, the first great prophet of Israel. Today’s reading describes the first confrontation between the two men. Elijah warns Ahab that a long drought will punish his people. A prophet’s job was often hard and thankless, but Elijah performed it faithfully.
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How faithful are we in our everyday job, even though we get little recognition for it? “Since you were faithful in small matters, I will put you in charge of ten cities.” Luke 19:17
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In the Bible, a blessing from God means a gift of life and love from God. A life lived with love means living life with vigour and strength and joy, and it lets a person be at peace with God, with others and with oneself.

In the gospel, we heard about what is often called the beatitudes. Beatitudes is not about attitudes. Beatitudes means blessings from God. So what Jesus is saying is that God is blessing those who are poor in spirit, those who are gentle, those who are merciful, those who work for peace. Yet we live in a world where it seems that might is right, where money calls the shots and where authority is used to dictate.
But Jesus promises God's blessings on those who follow His truth and His way. For example, being gentle and compassionate might be seen as soft and weak especially when we give way to others. But there will come a time when we ourselves will be in need of some gentleness and understanding from others. God's blessings don't come disguised. They come as realized, and almost as soon as the next moment. Blessed are we when we take time to count them.
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Monday June 8

Monday of 10th Week of Ordinary Time

BEATITUDES

Introduction
We have in the following days some readings from the cycle of the great prophet Elijah and his gigantic fight against the evils of his day. He is bold enough to face the godless king Ahab and the dreadful queen Jezebel, for he is sure that God sends him and that he is, therefore, in the hands of God.
What Jesus proposes in the beatitudes is a turning upside-down of values. But we are not too eager to take them seriously; they are too uncomfortable… Many say they are utopian, but that can be said of many parts of the Gospel, unless you believe. Followers of Christ are dreamers of a brotherhood of all people, of a better world and a better earth.

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
when your Son spoke his Good News
to people who were poor and blind, they understood him,
for they knew what it means
not to be satisfied and not to see.
Make us poor with the hungry,
groping with the blind, powerless with the defenseless
and small with the little people,
that we may experience the message of the Gospel
to the marrow of our bones
and share it as good news with all those around,
in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Commentary
The Matthean Beatitudes read today declare blessed those who work for the reign of God and those who endure for it. The mourners, the meek, and the persecuted are called to suffer with patience and to persevere for the love of the Lord. The poor in spirit (those who remain always open to God), those who pursue the cause of righteousness (those who hunger and thirst), the merciful and the peacemakers actively pursue the cause of God’s kingdom.
There are many people who question their lot in life. It is not easy to explain why good people suffer, and for some, suffering continues for years. But has it not always been so. Christ did nothing to incur the hatred and hostility of his opponents. But in enduring such a lot, he opened the door of hope in his example of goodness. We are at times at a loss to explain why people turn against us, or why one family is called to drudgery and hardship. Some people never escape the edge of poverty. And yet they never give up, and in countless instances give an example of unfailing dedication.
And we also know people who are tireless in the pursuit of good. They work for peace and harmony within family and community. And the “poor in spirit” live a life of spiritual transparency. They have no hidden agenda; honesty lies at the root of their lives. They live without recrimination, only with an outstretched hand that says, “There is someone here for you.”
These are not the qualities of which an aggressive society stands in awe, which tells people that there is room for them in what can seem a very cold and indifferent society. Heaven is comprised of people who endure to the end. The Beatitudes express what that means in practice.

Points to Ponder
Being poor in spirit
Enduring rejection
Peace making and seeking justice.

Intercessions
– Lord, you call the poor blessed, give us people who know how to live soberly, who find joy in simple things, we pray:
– Lord, God of the gentle, make us peaceful, merciful and compassionate, that your kingdom may be ours, we pray:
– Lord, strength of those persecuted, give perseverance to those who suffer persecution, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, our God,
in the poverty and emptiness of our hearts,
we place on this altar
a bit of bread and a mouthful of wine.
It is not much, Lord,
but we know what you can do with simple things
and with people aware of their indigence.
And so we pray you: turn this bread into Jesus Christ
and change us into men and women
rich with your life and enriching themselves
by giving away to others without measure
their time and attention and love.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
you write straight with crooked lines.
Let the disturbing words of your Son
wake us up and help us to see
where to find your kind of happiness,
for it is the only one that lasts.
And let your Son here with us
be our nourishment for the road
to you, our God, for ever and ever.

Blessing
The disciples of Jesus are called “blessed,” that is, happy. If we are so open to God we will let him fill us with something of his own happiness. We have to be poor, not filled with ourselves. Then, the happiness of God’s kingdom will be ours, like a foretaste of the happiness of heaven. Put yourselves in God’s hands and ask him to bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.