June 19, 2017 – Monday in the 11th Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Romuald (c. 950 – June 19, 1027)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

2nd Corinthians 6:10 – 10   –   Psalm 98   –   Matthew 5:38 – 42

“Give to the one who ask of you, and do no turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”(the closing words from today’s Holy Gospel according to Matthew)

 This part of St. Matthew’s Gospel probably isn’t a favorite for many of us. It was especially difficult when I was a missionary in Africa.  It was made all that much more difficult when I would walk in downtown Nairobi with a cross prominently hanging around our 

This passage of Matthew’s Gospel is a continuation of what we heard on last Friday where we were told to cut off our hand if it was a cause of our sinning. How do we make sense of these dramatic admonitions? Where does the admonition to be “prudent stewards of the gifts God has given us” come in?

Becoming poor, just to be poor doesn’t really do anything for either us or those we are called to serve. So it would seem to be a matter of degrees: how much are our “things” – coats, shoes and money – treasures that we hoard? Do we use the blessings that God has put into our lives to build up those who are in need. When Jesus talks about the “hundred-fold promise” we have to remember that it’s “in the Kingdom to come!”

 If we look at the pattern that Jesus showed us in the Gospels we won’t see Him opening up a “welfare system.” Rather, we’ll find the Beatitudes and our task to heal and bring the light of hope to a people walking in darkness. If I give away all my clothes I’ll just freeze in the night. If I give people hope and a purpose for living I’ve given them something that will last. Amen!

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