“Stand upon the mount before the Lord.”
A reading from the first Book of Kings (1 Kings 19:9a. 11-16)
In those days: When Elijah came [to Horeb the mount of God,] he lodged in a cave; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him. And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm27:7-8ab.8c-9abc.13- 14 (R. 8c)
R/. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek.
O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer me.
Of you my heart has spoken,
“Seek his face.” R.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face from me.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
you have been my help. R.
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord! R.
ALLELUIA Philippians 2: 15d. 16a
Alleluia. You will shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. Alleluia.
”Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 5:27-32)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of un-chastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
God’s law is to love. Any activity, practice or even a thought that is performed for self-gratification is tantamount to breaking the law of love. Any limb in the body that becomes a hindrance to participation in the holiness of God stands to be amputated. However we realise that the amputation of limbs does not solve the problems as the limbs are not the ones sinning. Jesus wants us to move beyond our physical limbs and strive to recognize those limbs in our life which motivate and push us into sin and pluck that out ruthlessly once and for all to free ourselves. Jesus wants to see in us the resemblance God, but that will happen only when we are ready to forgive and reconcile with one another. Let us choose to kill the sin in us so that sin will not kill us.