July 21, 2015 TUESDAY, 16th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Lawrence of Brindisi,
Priest and Doctor of the Church
Ex 14:21 -15:1 / Mt 12:46 – 50
[St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559 – 1619), an Italian Capuchin priest, preached against Luther.]
Reading: Ex 14: 21 - 15: 1
Moses stretched his hand over the sea and Yahweh made a strong east wind blow all night and dry up the sea.
The waters divided and the sons of Israel went on dry ground through the middle of the sea, with the waters forming a wall to their right and to their left. The Egyptians followed them and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and horsemen moved forward in the middle of the sea.
It happened that in the morning watch, Yahweh in the pillar of cloud and fire, looked towards the Egyptian camp and threw it into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly move. Then the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites for Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt."
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch your hand over the sea and let the waters come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and horsemen." Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.
At daybreak the sea returned to its place. As the Egyptians tried to flee, Yahweh swept them into the sea.
The waters flowed back and engulfed the chariots and horsemen of the whole army of Pharaoh that had followed Israel into the sea. Not one of them escaped. As for the Israelites they went forward on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the waters forming a wall on their right and their left.
On that day Yahweh delivered Israel from the power of the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore. They understood what wonders Yahweh had done for them against Egypt, and the people feared Yahweh. They believed in Yahweh and in Moses, his servant.
Then Moses and the people sang this song to Yahweh: I will sing to Yahweh, the glorious one, horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
Gospel: Mt 12: 46 – 50
While Jesus was still talking to the people, his mother and his brothers wanted to speak to him and the waited outside. So someone said to him, "Your mother and your brothers are just outside; they want to speak with you."
Jesus answered, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" Then he pointed to his disciples and said, "Look! Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is for me brother, sister or mother."
Blood runs thicker than water. This is especially true in Philippine society, where having strong family ties is the cultural norm. "Walang iwanan." When the going gets tough or rough, we know our way home. And when push comes to shove, we know where our loyalties lie.
So when our Lord calls us brother or sister or mother, do our hearts not leap with joy, or overflow with unspeakable gratitude? Despite our faults and shortcomings, he calls us family. He sides with us, stands beside us, tells us we are worth staying with. He has chosen us for his own, assuring us – walang iwanan.
All he asks is for us to choose and love him and our Heavenly Father back. He calls for our loyalty; he hopes that we choose to do heaven's work; most importantly, he seeks to be loved by us, unconditionally, the way families do.
As far as Jesus is concerned, faith runs thicker than blood.
But, like any family, there are difficult people that we encounter and remain in our circle because of blood relations. Sometimes, we wonder how we ever became related to such people. Respect, honor, and love seem to be foreign words to these characters. The challenge again, Jesus tells us, is to continually love and stretch our patience as much as possible. Maybe, this can be a reason for us to pray all the more.
We may not be able to choose our relatives, but we can decide to love them just the same. Let us continue to pray for all families that they may find their true source of joy, peace, and strength in our Lord.
Through his example, we can hopefully learn to love as he did. This can lead us to really discovering what a real family is all about. Let us also remember in our prayers those who are not so lucky to have good relations with their parents, siblings, and other relatives. May they discover that unity which is so much stronger than blood ties. It really comes from our faith in a loving Father whose mercy is for everyone and endures forever.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
APOLLO U. JIMENEZ
For the healing & recovery of Ely Ymbang who is in much pain.
For the strength & healing of Chat Pueo.
For all the intentions of Beny Chua.
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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