Bible Diary English

June 13, 2022

First Reading: 1 K 21:1-16
Psalm: Ps 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a-7
Lord, listen to my groaning.
  Mt 5:38-42 


1 Kgs 21: 1-16/ Ps 5: 2-3ab. 4b-6a. 6b-7/ Mt 5: 38-42

1st Reading: 1 K 21:1-16
Now Naboth, a man from Jezreel, owned a vineyard just beside the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. Ahab asked Naboth, “Give me your vineyard which is near my house that I may use it for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange. Or, if you prefer, I will pay you its price.”
But Naboth said to Ahab, “Yahweh forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
So Ahab went home angry and sad because of what Naboth had told him, that he would not give him the inheritance of his fathers. So he lay down on his bed with his face turned toward the wall and refused to eat.
His wife Jezebel came to him and said, “Why are you so angry that you refuse to eat?” He answered, “I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and asked him to sell me his vineyard or to exchange it for another one in exchange; but he answered: I will not give you my vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him, “Are you not king of Israel? Get up and eat and be joyful, for I will give you the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel.”
So Jezebel wrote letters using Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and important persons living near Naboth. This is what she wrote in the letters: “Declare a fast and put Naboth on trial. Get two scoundrels to accuse him in this way: ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
The people, the elders and the important persons who lived in his city did as Jezebel had instructed them in the letters she sent to them. They declared a fast and put Naboth on trial. The two worthless fellows came in and sat facing him, accusing Naboth before the people, “Naboth cursed God and the king!” So the people took him outside the city and stoned him to death. They then sent word to Jezebel that Naboth had been stoned and was dead.
As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, she told Ahab, “Now take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the man of Jezreel who refused to sell it to you, for Naboth is now dead.” 16 As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he went down to the vineyard of Naboth and took possession of it.

Responsorial Psalm; Ps 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a-7
Lord, listen to my groaning.

Gospel: Mt 5:38-42
You have heard, that it was said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you this: do not oppose evil with evil; if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn and offer the other. If someone sues you in court for your shirt, give him your coat as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give when asked, and do not turn your back on anyone who wants to borrow from you.









Regulating Desire

What is the secret to happiness? Perhaps there are many. But one sure secret is to learn to be content with what one has. The poor think that they will be happy when they get rich. The rich think that they will be happy when they get richer! This is a vicious cycle. King Ahab is a classic case. Being a King, he does not lack any material or human resource. But the sight of poor Naboth’s little vineyard so sickens him with longing and leaves him miserable and depressed until he gets it! Buddha was right when he observed that desire is the root of all human miseries. Though the solution is not to eliminate desire (for, our very being is constituted by desire), but to regulate our desire in such a way that it does not violate the rights of others or leads to reciprocal violence that Jesus speaks of in today’s gospel.