What are we to make of today’s readings? What do they say to us as we go about our business on this beautiful June day?
In the first reading, Ahab and Jezebel use greed, conspiracy and ultimately murder to successfully gain a highly sought after vineyard. In the gospel, Jesus invokes the Old Testament commandment meant to moderate vengeance: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This indicates that the punishment should not exceed the crime/the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation, suggesting we respond to our better instincts. Even the response to the Psalm gives one pause: “Lord, listen to my groaning.”
These readings speak of many things, one being human nature and how we respond to the challenges and opportunities of life. How we respond to each other. On any given day we are confronted with choices. The choices we make shape the life we lead and the relationships we experience.
We all know there are shadows in all of our gardens. We know from experience that we have the capacity to be children of the light and respond in word and deed to the ways of God in whose image we are made. We also know we have the capacity to deviate from that path and do the opposite. In today’s Psalm, David expresses that divided heart as he prays for the security and protection of the temple from evildoers.
As we pray today, let’s ask the question:
For what am I groaning; what brings me pain; what or whom do I long
for; why am I distracted; what attracts me and pulls me into the
shadows of life? Then in the spirit of the psalmist we pray with
confidence today’s Psalm 5:
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