Thursday, August 07, 2014
Friday 18th Week in Ordinary Time
August 8, 2014
Friday 18th Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, St. Dominic]
Na 2: 1, 3; 3: 1-3, 6-7 / Dt 32: 35cd-36ab, 39abcd, 41 / Mt 16: 24-28
Reading: Na 2: 1, 3; 3: 1-3, 6-7
See, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, one who proclaims peace. Judah, celebrate your feasts and carry out your vows. For the wicked have been destroyed, they will not attack you any more. Yahweh will now restore Jacob's magnificence, like Israel's splendor. For they had been plundered, laid waste as a ravaged vineyard. Woe to the bloody city, city of lies and booty, O city of unending plunder! But what! Crack of whips, rumble of wheels and clatter of hoofs! See the frenzied chargers, the flashing swords and glittering spears, the heaps of the wounded, the dead and dying - we trip over corpses! I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make of you a shameful show, so that all who look on you will turn their backs in disgust and say: Nineveh - a city of lust - is in ruins. Who will mourn for her? Where can we find one to comfort her?
Gospel: Matthew 16: 24-28
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life for my sake will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world if he destroys himself? There is nothing you can give to recover your own self. Know that the Son of Man will come in the Glory of his Father with the holy angels, and he will reward each one according to his deeds. Truly, I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the Son of Man coming as king."
Our first reading describes how nations in the old world behave. This behavior described as "dog-eats-dog" holds true even today. We get what we desire - security, success, ambition - at the expense of others. In the business world success is usually achieved by "climbing over the backs" of people, "stepping on others' toes" and adopting an insensitive attitude, ignoring whether some people get hurt in the process. The same holds true in the leadership mentality behavior of most nations. Stronger governments use their power to great strategic advantage to exploit the situations in order to intimidate weaker and dependent nations in economic bondage.
Every year, when we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord, the gospel recalls Simeon's words to Mary and Joseph declaring that their Son Jesus would be destined to be "a sign that is rejected." Jesus' radical teachings run counter to how the world behaves and thinks. "God's ways are not man's ways" because they are intended to bring the world right side up even if it is hard. Jesus made the first great success that paved the way for a continuous flow of followers to ride on to his success. Jesus guarantees and shares this success with all who dare to follow. The irony of the situation is that people would prefer to jostle and jockey their way rushing into the worldly path described by Jesus as the wide road to perdition. The cross of Jesus is the "tree of life" and he is the "first fruit" from which we, the fallen, can partake. Some theologians describe Jesus' cross as "a Decision to Love." That is why Jesus can say: "Take my yoke and learn from me because my yoke is light." Only by doing so, can we be truly free. This freedom to follow will gain us the access to God's Kingdom.
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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