I want it NOW!

Planning a trip that never happened. In God’s time it will.

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Readings: 1 Kgs 21:1-16; PS 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a, 6b-7; Mt 5:38-42
Notes: We are drawing to the end of the continuous reading of Matthew chapter 5 and soon chapter 6, 7, together, The Sermon on the Mount.

Solemnity, Feasts and Memorials punctuate the period but the ordinary flow this year is through the gospel of Matthew as a sequence.

Now the first reading for Monday and Tuesday at first glance do not seem in harmony with the Gospel reading for both days. It is only in the Holy Spirit that it can even make sense to us to pair up these readings this way!

Ahab and Jezebel, who exhibit the worst of traits in people with power, the story told over the two days.

But the gospel today:
a. offer no resistance to one who is evil
b. turn the other [cheek] one to him as well
c. hand him your [tunic and] cloak as well
d. go with him for [one and] two miles
e. do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

The answer comes tomorrow.
Today we must contemplate the questions.

  • How can we let them get away with this?
  • Why shouldn’t we seek vengeance?
  • Where is God in all this?



Anthony should be the patron of those who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction. Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one’s life completely over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased—and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today. He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.

First reading

  1. Naboth the Jezreelite – who owned a garden
  2. Ahab, king of Samaria – who pouted for his garden
  3. Jezebel, Phoenician Princess, Spouse of Ahab, who had Naboth murdered for his garden.

Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”

His wife Jezebel said to him, {…] I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

Then they sent the information to Jezebel that Naboth had been stoned to death.

She said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you, because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”

Thus: I want it NOW!

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, listen to my groaning.

Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!

Alleluia Verse
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.

Gospel Portion
Powerful and painful problem.

We read this story and our natural instinct is to want vengeance for Naboth.
“If God won’t provide it, we will!” is the interior crying out.

a. How can we let them get away with this?
b. Why shouldn’t we seek vengeance?
c. Where is God in all this?
d. Why didn’t Naboth just give in to the swap and save his life?
e. How can Jesus propose such liberality of ideas on dealing with evil?

All worthy questions.

Jesus gives prescription today.
Jesus answers your questions tomorrow.
Yes, you see, you have to wait.

Thus: I want it NOW!

Spoiler alert: Think about each gospel reading (Monday through Saturday) as building blocks to the Gospel reading next Sunday – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

  • Monday – Teaching About Retaliation.
  • Tuesday – Love of Enemies.
  • Wednesday – Teaching About Almsgiving.
  • Thursday – Teaching About Prayer.
  • Friday – Treasure in Heaven.
  • Saturday – Dependence on God.

Concluding with Sunday – The Return of the Twelve and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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