Reflection on the Daily Readings for 6/12/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Fri.of 2 week. II Cor.4:7-15. Psalm 116:10-11.15-16.17-18.
Matthew 5:27-32. Lectionary # 363.
Paul always writes and preaches with all of us in mind. HIs purpose in
doing so is to help us become conformed with and into Christ. His goal for
himself is expressed in what he says ,”For me to live is
Christ!” (Philippians 1:21). This is not merely an imitation of Christ but
really an assimilation of ourselves into other Christs. The experience is
possible through the Holy Spirit and through the sacrament of Baptism. It
goes much deeper than likeness or imitation. It is thoroughyly
Christo-centric and existential. There is nothing docetic about it when we
are open to what the Spirit does within us. The mystics experienced it and
all of us have the potential to be mystical in our spiritual life. It is a
call to go deeper into the myseries of faith, hope, and love.
Paul reminds us that the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus are
to be fully embraced by us and entered into through the Scriptures we
meditate upon, through the sacraments, and through the common call we all
have on the journey of faith. We do this best while being part of
communities of faith. This union with Christ is present in all of Paul’s
writings. He is said to have the expression “in Christ” about 150 times
within his epistles and letters. Today’s reading has this, “Continually we
carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the
life of Jesus may also be revealed.”
Psalm 116 is a perfect prayer for what he is saying. Its verses contain
prayers of faith, sacrifice, and thanksgiving all for the praise and glory
of God. The response is a good prayer to keep in mind throughout the hours
of this day: “To you, O Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.” In
praying this psalm we become one of the “Poor of Adonai” (the Lord) because
of the absolute trust we have in a God who is gracious, just, and merciful.
These revelatory words continue throughout the psalm and make for a perfect
prayer for imaging God in a magnificent way.Our entire being is drawn by
the words which makes our thanksgiving to God an existential experience.
The Gospel continues Jesus’ spiritual interpretation of the commandments
that deal with our neighbor. Today it is about the commandment of human
love between a husband and wife and the bond it produces so that any form
of adultery or unchastity is to be avoided. The integrity of man and woman
are implied as well as the respect they owe to each other in the marriage
bond as equal partners created in the image and likeness of God.
When temptations against wholesome and chaste living come into our
thoughts, it is worthwhile to remember these words of Jesus and to resist
the temptation at the beginning. By focusing on the reflections we have
from the Scriptures and by recalling the example of the holy ones of the
past and present we give ourselves the possibility of overcoming the
unlawful desires that rise up in our hearts. The example of Jesus and his
mother are witnesses to the honesty and transparency they had in relating
to all men and women. Amen.