“Naboth has been stoned,’ he is dead.”
A reading from the first Book of Kings (1 Kings 21 : 1-16)
At that time, Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house; and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?” And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it’; and he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.”’ And Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise, and eat bread, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who dwelt with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people; and set two base fellows opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out, and stone him to death.” And the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters which she had sent to them, they proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And the two base fellows came in and sat opposite him; and the base fellows brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death with stones. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.” As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM psalm 5:2-3.5-6.7 (R. 2b)
R/. O Lord, give heed to my sighs.
To my words give ear, O Lord;
give heed to my sighs.
Attend to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God. R.
You are no God who delights in evil;
no sinner is your guest.
The boastful shall not stand their ground
before your eyes. R.
R/. O Lord, give heed to my sighs.
All who do evil you despise;
all who lie you destroy.
The deceitful and those who shed blood,
the Lord detests. R.
ALLELUIA Psalm 119:105
Alleluia. Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path.
“I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 5 :38-42)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
A Spanish proverb says: “To return evil for good is devilish. To return good for good is human. To return good for evil is godlike.” In our witness of the Gospel, vengeance has no place. As Saint Paul tells us: “Do not repay evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble right in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:17-21).