LECTIO DIVINA: XXXI Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

1

Translated by Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Mt. 23:1-12

A. Invoking the Holy Spirit.

We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.

Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us and raise us up to God. (s. 128,4). Amen.

B. Lectio.

With heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them.

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.  They tie up heavy burdens [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.  They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in market places, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called “Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

C. Meditatio.

Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to St. Matthew.

“Of the wicked, on the other hand, something else is said: The Scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses; do what they tell you, but do not imitate their works. You see how on the chair of Moses, to which the chair of Christ succeeded, the wicked also are seated; they harm their hearers by not saying good things. Why did you abandon this chair because of the wicked? Return to the peace, return to the harmony, that nothing may molest you. If I speak good things and I do the good, imitate me; but if what I speak I do not put into practice, you have the advice of the Lord: do what I say, but do not imitate what I do; but do not depart from the Catholic chair. This is the first thing I learnt in the Catholic Church: not to put my trust in man. Rightly do you reprove the men because you have put your hope in man. Thus whenever they reprove me, do not mind them. Well do I know what place I have in your heart, because I also know the place you occupy in mine. Do not fight for me against them. Whatever they may say about me, forget it immediately, lest by being preoccupied about my defense, you abandon your own (en. Ps. 36:3, 20).

St. Augustine also comments: “Do what they tell you, but do not do what they are doing. The fact that they say good things, and what they say the people would hear and usefully put into practice, it was not their work, because the Lord says: They are seated on the chair of Moses. By divine providence, preaching the Law of God, they can be useful for the hearers, though not for themselves. Regarding such persons, the prophet said in another place: You sow wheat and you harvest thorns, because they teach good things but do evil. Those who heard them and did what they said, were not harvesting grapes from thorns, rather they were harvesting grapes from the vine despite the thorns. It is like putting out one’s hand through a fence and harvest a bunch from the vine surrounded by a fence; this bunch is not fruit of the thorns but of the vine (s. dom. m. 2, 79).

D. Oratio.

With the text, let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and questions that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

a. “They do everything in order to be seen by the people” (Mt. 23:5).

  • With what intention do you perform your works of mercy and piety?
  • For you, how important is what people are saying about you?

b. “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself  shall be exalted” (Mt. 23:12).

  • What does this statement mean for you?
  • Why is humility important in your life?

c. Pray with this sentence: “Give me coherence between my life and my  works.

E. Contemplatio.

I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again you need not follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

a. Contemplate Christ humiliated in his Passion and Death on the Cross. On contemplating the Cross of Christ, learn humility, remembering the words of the Gospel: “he who exalts himself shall be humbled.”  Contemplate Christ on the Cross, be thankful for his love, learn of his humility and meekness. Contemplate and learn.

b. Contemplate your own heart and ask it for what motive it does the works of piety and charity. Contemplate the moments of prayer and ask your heart what is its intention. Contemplate the moments when you do works of charity, or you give help to some person, ask your heart for what do you do it. Ask God to purify your intentions and contemplate how the love that Christ puts into your heart should fill your works and your life. Contemplate and be thankful.

F. Communicatio.

Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially about the coherence between your words and actions and of being humble. The following points can help you to share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

Final prayer of St. Augustine.

Turning towards the Lord:

Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that you deign to hear our petitions according to your goodwill, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you increase our faith, govern our mind and give us spiritual thoughts and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).

“Where there is charity there is peace, and where there is humility there is charity” (ep. Io. tr. prol.).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2021 >
June
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  • All day
    June 1, 2021

    MEETING OF THE PRE-CAPITULAR COMMISSION

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Raul Buhay Fray Russell Lapidez
    Sis. Susana Batin, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Estella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

2
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    June 2, 2021

    150th SACERDOTAL ANNIVERSARY
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    [Ordaining prelate: Manila Archbp. Gregorio Melitón Martínez]

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Constantino Real
    Sis. Consuelo de Castro, SAR (Cavite Chapter) Carl Veloso (RAY-Cavite)

3
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III (solemnly prof.) Sis. Clothie Canoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

4
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    June 4, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE BAGUIO / June 4-6

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Milagros Lagan, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

5
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    June 5, 2021

    400th ANNIVERSARY OF POPE GREGORY XVs MILITANTIS ECCLESIAE
    (which elevated the Recoletos Province to the rank of Congregation)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1985-2021)

    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Purita Crom, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Herminigilda Claver, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    June 6, 2021-June 7, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

    CARES, BAGUIO: TRANSITIO ET FORMATIO / GRADUATION

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Ma. Asuncion Zorilla, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Christine Joy Euraba (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Agustinus Agus (Archdiocese of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia)

7
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    June 7, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO / June 7

     

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Teresita Aurigue, AR
    Sis. Josefina Mangulabnan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Roberta Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL & EPISCOPAL ORDINATIONS
    Most Rev. Raul Dael (Diocese of Tandag

8
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    June 8, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Joy Dula, AR
    Sis. Cristina Crosland, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Apacible, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Layumas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Diocese of Chalan Kanoa)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Amparo del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

9
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    June 9, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE ANTIPOLO / June 9-10

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Purificacion Glimada, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lea Eseo, AR
    Sr. Evangeline Pejano, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Porferia Georpe, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
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    June 10, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Bro. Arturo Catindig, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1984-2021)

    Fray Raul Buhay
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Carmela Garcia, AR
    +Sr. Soledad Cañete, AR
    +Sis. Estela Taburada, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Daisy Soguilon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
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    June 11, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA / June 11-13

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon
    (Diocese of Antipolo) Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    Sr. Ma. Divina Caabay, AR
    Sis. Rosalinda Rios, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1983-2021)

    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Jorge Peligro

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Abraham Caballes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
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    June 12, 2021

    IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

    [Philippine’s 123rd Independence Day]

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Lucita Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Adelaida Tanchico, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Micaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR

13
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    June 13, 2021

    11TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY

    Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR (General Superior of the CARS)
    Sr. Antonia Pono, AR
    Sis. Herminia Ishii, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Lorna Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (Religious Brother)
    (1998-2021)

    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Fe de la Sgda. Familia, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Amparo Serra, AR
    +Sis. Victoria Caturay, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

14
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    June 14, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1972-2021)

    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Michaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Mo. Maria Josefa Borces, AR
    +Sis. Angelina Yap, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

15
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    June 15, 2021

    50th Inauguration Anniversary of CSNT-R
    Talisay City, Negros Occidental)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE TONDO/ June 15

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Sr. Ma. Clotilde Edora, AR
    Sr. Adoracion Pagsisihan, AR Sr. Isis Vita Villagonzalo, AR
    Sis. Hilda Socrates, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Rosario Mamon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Bro. Leo Calimutan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Ma. Sophia Navarro (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Manuela de San Agustin, AR
    +Sis. Amalia Gatuslao, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

16
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    June 16, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE MANILA / June 16-17

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Aurelia Pastidio, AR
    Sis. Miriam Ruiz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Rosalina Mangaoil, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Jane Eranista, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Salvacion Rubia, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1974-2021)

    Fray Eric Peter Silab

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Encarnacion Hynson, AR

1718
  • All day
    June 18, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Corazon Barroca, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Florendo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1978-2021)

    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, DD (Diocese of Cubao)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Victor Jose Lluch (2004-2021)
    +Sis. Erlinda Dacalos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Celia Setias, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

19
  • All day
    June 19, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1977-2021)

    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, DD (Diocese of Imus)

    (2010-2021)
    Fray Leo Alaras
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Fray James Dexter Tanquis

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Rosa de Padua, AR

20
  • All day
    June 20, 2021

    12TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Sis. Fe Enilog, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Reyson Valerio (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Leilani Alejandro, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

21
  • All day
    June 21, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples)

    Sr. Ma. Luisa Borces, AR
    Sis. Angelita de Guzman, SAR (Miranila Chapter) Sis. Edna Genete, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    (2005-2021)
    +Jaime Cardinal Sin (Brother General of the Order)

22
  • All day
    June 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Paulino Dacanay

23
  • All day
    June 23, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE CAVITE / June 23-24

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Joan Marie Ubag, AR
    Sis. Elenora Tubiona, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

24
  • All day
    June 24, 2021

    NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jesusa Pedrez, AR Sr. Juanita Payawal, AR
    Sis. Juanita Payawal, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Calderon, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Semense, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Baby Rich Pajares (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Presentacion Ramirez, AR

25
  • All day
    June 25, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE PROVINCIALATE / June 25-26

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor
    Sis. Asuncion Magalona, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Prospera Jabagat, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sean Feauna Narvasa (RAY-Balamban)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Luisa Padilla, AR

26
  • All day
    June 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius Marcos
    Fray Virgilio Calalang, Jr. (deacon)
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante (simply prof.)
    Sis. Melinda Camero, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Whagie Saronillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Winifreda Pahilanga, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Jamaicha Lapinid (RAY-Miranila)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, DD (Bishop-emeritus of Bacolod)

27
  • All day
    June 27, 2021

    13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elvira Vergara, AR
    Bro. Manuel Martinez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. David de la Torre, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucita Dimaano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2020-2021)

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan
    Fray James Esplanada
    Fray Judd Galinato
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Catalina del Amor Misericordioso, AR
    +Sr. Crisanta Lerio, AR

28
  • All day
    June 28, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Enrico Silab
    Fray Samson Silloriquez
    Sis. Sonia Ramos, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1990-2021)

    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Margarita de Lumbania, AR

29
  • All day
    June 29, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF STS. PETER & PAUL, APOSTLES

    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1967-2021)

    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (2019-2021)
    Fray Neil Robert Alilain

    (2018-2021)
    Fray Helfrid D. Palmis
    Fray Jose Enrico V. Gallego
    Fray Rey Jay Y. Quevedo
    Fray Jhoben M. Rodriguez
    Fray Renz Calex C. Soriano

    GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    Fray Rafael Cabarles (1971-2021)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Neriza Hernandez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Aleja Abellar, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

30
  • All day
    June 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Aquilino Carino, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Leticia Tayao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Teresita Bilbao, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Adelina Sacapano, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
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