Sunday, August 24, 2014
Monday 21st Week in Ordinary Time
August 25, 2014
Monday 21st Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Louis; St. Joseph Calasanz]
2 Thes 1: 1-5, 11-12 / Ps 96: 1-2a, 2b-3, 4-5 / Mt 23: 13-22
Reading: 2 Thes 1: 1-5, 11-12
From Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God our Father and in Christ Jesus, the Lord. May grace and peace be yours from God the Father and Christ Jesus, the Lord. Brothers and sisters, we should give thanks to God at all times for you. It is fitting to do so, for your faith is growing and your love for one another increasing. We take pride in you among the churches of God because of your endurance and your faith in the midst of persecution and sufferings. In this the just judgment of God may be seen; for you must show yourselves worthy of the kingdom of God for which you are now suffering. This is why we constantly pray for you; may our God make you worthy of his calling. May he, by his power, fulfill your good purposes and your work prompted by faith. In that way, the name of Jesus our Lord will be glorified through you, and you through him, according to the loving plan of God and of Christ Jesus the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 23: 13-22
Therefore, woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor do you allow others to do so. Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel by sea and land to win a single convert, yet once he is converted, you turn him twice as fit for hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides! You say: To swear by the Temple is not binding, but to swear by the treasure of the Temple is. Blind fools! Which is of more worth? The gold in the Temple or the Temple which makes the gold a sacred treasure? You say: To swear by the altar is not binding, but to swear by the offering on the altar is. How blind you are! Which is of more value: the offering on the altar or the altar which makes the offering sacred? Whoever swears by the altar is swearing by the altar and by everything on it. Whoever swears by the Temple is swearing by it and by God who dwells in the Temple. Whoever swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.
When the Lord knocks on our door, are we ready to let him in? God offers each of us an open door to His kingdom, but sometimes we ourselves close it. Jesus declared that he is the open door and the way that makes it possible for us to reach heaven. In today's reading, Jesus laments as he issues a stern warning to religious leaders because they have misled the people. Oaths are binding but the Pharisees find clever ways to evade the obligation to their oaths. They forget that God hears and sees everything, even the person's heart.
How often have we made promises such as fasting and abstinence, but when the situation presents itself, we break our promise and say it's alright to eat beef steak because we can do a good deed or go to mass as a substitute. We take God's command lightly.
We shut the door of God's kingdom in our lives when we close our ears to Jesus. When we go to mass, do we pay attention to the readings and the homily? When we pray the prayer Jesus taught us: "Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven," do we listen to the little voice inside us where God speaks to us? Do we seek his will in the silence of our heart?
Lord, your word is life to us. Help us not to close the door to your kingdom through disobedience, disbelief or indifference. Help us to listen to your voice and align our life more fully to your word.
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
... for Almabelle Abapo, Lisa Claire Branzuela and Dale Robert's Basilla who will take the Physician Licensure Exams (Aug 23,24, 30, 31) - the grace of wisdom, understanding and clarity of mind during their preparations and exam proper.
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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