Thursday, July 03, 2014
Friday 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Friday 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Am 8: 4-6, 9-12 / Ps 119: 2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131 / Mt 9: 9-13
Reading: Am 8: 4-6, 9-12
Hear this, you who trample on the needy to do away with the weak of the land. You who say, "When will the new moon or the sabbath feast be over that we may open the store and sell our grain? Let us lower the measure and raise the price; let us cheat and tamper with the scales, and even sell the refuse with the whole grain. We will buy up the poor for money and the needy for a pair of sandals." Yahweh says, "On that day I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your festivals into mourning and all your singing into wailing. Everyone will mourn, covered with sackcloth and every head will be shaved. I will make them mourn as for an only son and bring their day to a bitter end." Yahweh says, "Days are coming when I will send famine upon the land, not hunger for bread or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of Yahweh. Men will stagger from sea to sea, wander to and fro, from north to east, searching for the word of Yahweh, but they will not find it.
Gospel:Matthew 9: 9-13
As Jesus moved on from there, he saw a man named Matthew at his seat in the custom-house, and he said to him, "Follow me." And Matthew got up and followed him. Now it happened, while Jesus was at table in Matthew's house, many tax collectors and other sinners joined Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, "Why is it that your master eats with those sinners and tax collectors?" When Jesus heard this he said, "Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do. Go and find out what this means: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
In the first reading, the prophet Amos exposes the wrongdoings of exploiters and swindlers. Obviously the sins of the present time are also the sins of the past. Amos warns Israel of a mysterious punishment from God on evildoers - darkness, mourning, famine and drought of the word of God. The last punishment is the most scary. It means that God can be so fed up with us as to stop talking to us. If our sins become too much to bear, God will leave us to our depraved actions till we are so dried up and thirsty for his love and mercy. Hell is not fire and brimstone, but a place where God is absent because there He is not wanted. And there, the emptiness man feels after years of selfish actions, such as exploiting others and immoral living, will surface and gnaw at him because only God can truly fill up and make us happy. Not money, success, fame, power or prestige.
The gospel gives us hope. Jesus comes to save sinners. The tax collector Matthew must have experienced the meaninglessness of accumulating riches, exploiting others, etc. He must also have resolved to amend his ways after listening to Jesus preach. The world and all its allurements cannot satisfy man. Only Jesus, Son of God and saviour of the world, can. Do we believe this? Have you finally realized this? If you are still thinking that the world can give you happiness, true happiness, Jesus is coming to you and inviting you to change your mentality. Do not be like the Pharisees who were self-righteous and who looked down on others. Jesus is willing to dine with us even if we are sinners. Are we interested in dining with him or do we prefer the company of the devil?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
* Vanessa, Theresa, Helen
... for special intentions - Sujith, Priya, Janet, Sarita
for 95 confirmation candidates, their families, and the preparation teams
... for eternal repose - Maria Banaglorioso, Dominga Raza
... for world peace and reconciliation
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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