Thursday, July 17, 2014
Friday 15th Week in Ordinary Time
Friday 15th Week in Ordinary Time
Is 38: 1-6, 21-22, 7-8 / Is 38: 10, 11, 12abcd, 16 / Mt 12: 1-8
Reading: Is 38: 1-6, 21-22, 7-8
In those days Hezekiah fell mortally ill and the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, went to him with a message from Yahweh, "Put your house in order for you shall die; you shall not live." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to Yahweh, "Ah Yahweh! Remember how I have walked before you in truth and wholeheartedly, and done what is good in your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of Yahweh came to Isaiah, "Go and tell Hezekiah what Yahweh, the God of his father David, says: I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. See! I am adding fifteen years to your life and I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. I will defend it for my sake and for the sake of David my servant. Isaiah then said, "Bring a fig cake to rub on the ulcer and let Hezekiah be cured!" Hezekiah asked, "What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?" Isaiah answered, "This shall be for you a sign from Yahweh, that he will do what he has promised. See! I shall make the shadow descending on the stairway of Ahaz go back ten steps." So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had covered on the stairway.
Gospel: Matthew 12: 1-8
It happened that Jesus walked through the wheat fields on Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and began to pick some heads of wheat and crush them to eat the grain. When the Pharisees noticed this, they said to Jesus, " Look at your disciples they are doing what is prohibited on the Sabbath!" Jesus answered, "Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry? He went into the house of God and they ate the bread offered to God, although neither he nor his men had the right to eat it; but only the priests. And have you not read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath rest, yet they are not guilty? I tell you, there is greater than the Temple here. If you really knew the meaning of the words: it is mercy I want, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. Besides the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
The Gospel reading today tells us what the essence of Christianity is. Many people think it is a matter of just fulfilling certain obligations like going to mass on Sunday, being honest at work and providing for our families. Still others who are moralists, think of Christianity as a list of do's and don'ts. Still others think that to be Christian means to suffer a lot and to be generous to the poor. The truth is, it is all that and more.
Basically, to be a Christian is to be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful. What is mercy? For the Jews, mercy means to have compassion on others, especially the weak, the oppressed and the downtrodden. For them, another aspect of mercy is the tenderness that God feels for his children, for us. God's mercy has been shown to sinners time and time again. His love is always meant to lift us up from our failures, our faults and our betrayal and put us into the kingdom of His beloved Son. Only God can love like this. Only He can show this kind of mercy.
Yet we are called to be merciful like God. We can do this if we understand and experience God's immense love for men. We must be connected to Him as branches are to a vine. We must pray often and receive the sacraments worthily. Lastly we must truly believe that our mission on earth is to be loving and merciful as God is. It is possible to be merciful, even to those who hurt or persecute us. For this, we have Jesus as our example and model.
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.
... 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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