First reading 1 Kings 19:9,11-16

The Lord was not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice came to him, which said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am filled with jealous zeal for the Lord of Hosts, because the sons of Israel have deserted you, broken down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left and they want to kill me.’
  ‘Go,’ the Lord said, ‘go back by the same way to the wilderness of Damascus. You are to go and anoint Hazael as king of Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.’
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 26(27):7-9,13-14

It is your face, O Lord, that I seek.
 
O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
  have mercy and answer.
Of you my heart has spoken:
  ‘Seek his face.’
 
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
  hide not your face.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
  you have been my help.
 
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
  in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
  Hope in the Lord!
 
 

Gospel Matthew 5:27-32

If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell.
  ‘It has also been said: Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’
 
 
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The interior transformation of the heart

‘Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’ (Matthew 5, 8). The
heart, the inner core of our being, is where we keep the secrecy of our
thought and feeling, and nobody knows if we choose not to reveal them.
Jesus looks at our hearts and knows all the intentions and desires we
have within. In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the imagery of tearing out the
eye and throwing it away to emphasise the need to examine the
intentions of the heart. Looking at someone with lust is a physical act
that links back to the desire that one has in their heart. Thus, Jesus calls
us not just to have a change in the way we behave externally but more
so to an internal change, a transformation of our hearts.
 
As we come before Jesus in prayer, let us open ourselves to allow Him
to work within us to create a heart that reflects His heart of love.
 
 
Question for reflection:
How is my heart?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.