Chủ Nhật, 9 tháng 7, 2017


Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 383

Reading 1GN 28:10-22A
Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set,
he stopped there for the night.
Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head
and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground,
with its top reaching to the heavens;
and God's messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
"I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham
and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you are lying
I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth,
and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.
In you and your descendants
all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!"
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone
that he had put under his head,
set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it.
He called the site Bethel,
whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.

Jacob then made this vow: "If God remains with me,
to protect me on this journey I am making
and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear,
and I come back safe to my father's house, the LORD shall be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God's abode."

Responsorial PsalmPS 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15AB
R. (see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge. 
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress. 
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.

AlleluiaSEE 2 TM 1:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.

Meditation: "Take heart, your faith has made you well"
Do you take your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith and confidence in his help? People in desperate or helpless circumstances were not disappointed when they sought Jesus out. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? What did the elderly woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her? And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do about his lost beloved daughter?
Words of hope directed to God
Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!). And he also gave divine hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child.
It took considerable courage and risk for the ruler of a synagogue to openly go to Jesus and to invite the scorn of his neighbors and kin. Even the hired mourners laughed at him in scorn. Their grief was devoid of any hope. Nonetheless, Jesus took the girl by the hand and delivered her from the grasp of death. In both instances we see Jesus' personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life.
The infinite love of God
 In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as he gives freely and wholly of himself to each  person he meets. Do you approach the Lord with confident expectation that he will hear your request and act?
"Lord Jesus, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service to others."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersDaughter, your faith has made you well, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)
"So what did Messiah do? He did not let her go unnoticed but led her into the center of attention and made her visible. He had many reasons for doing this. Some might imagine that 'he did this merely for love of glory - otherwise why would he not allow her to remain concealed?' But what are they proposing who might say this? That he should keep her silent, that he should ignore her need, and thereby pass up miracles too numerous to mention, all because he is in love with glory? What an unholy thought, inspired by the most unholy one of all."
"What then is his intention in bringing her forward? First, Jesus puts an end to her fear. He does not want her to remain trapped in dread. He gives no cause for her conscience to be harmed, as if she had stolen the gift. Second, he corrects her assumption that she has no right to be seen. Third, he makes her faith an exhibit to all. He encourages the others to emulate her faith. Fourth, his subduing the fountains of her hemorrhage was another sign of his knowledge of all things. And finally, do you remember the ruler of the synagogue? He was at the point of despair, of utter ruin. Jesus is indirectly admonishing him by what he says to the woman." (excerpt from the  THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 31.2)

(Genesis 28:10-22a; Psalm 91)

KEY VERSE: "Courage daughter! Your faith has saved you" (v 22).
TO KNOW:  Among the stories of Jesus’ power over illness, blindness, speechlessness and even death, Matthew intertwines the stories of the healing of a woman with a hemorrhage and the raising to life of a young girl. In the first story, a bereaved synagogue official ("Jairus" in Mk 5:22, Lk 8:41) pleaded with Jesus to bring his dead daughter back to life. On the way to the official's house, Jesus was met by a woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for "twelve years" (in Mark and Luke, Jairus' daughter was twelve years old). The hemorrhaging woman believed that she would be healed if she could only touch the tassels on the corners of Jesus' outer garment (Hebrew, tze tze, a reminder of God's Law to the Jews, Nm 15:37-41). Although the woman should not have been among the crowd as she was considered "unclean" according to the Law (Lv 15:25), Jesus was not repulsed. The woman's courage and faith in Jesus restored her to full health. Arriving at the official's house, Jesus took the dead child's hand (the dead were also considered "unclean," Nm 19:11) and "the little girl arose" (v 25), a sign of the new life that Jesus offers in the resurrection. The older woman was at the point of death and received a new life in Jesus' healing. The twelve year old girl was now capable of generating life.
TO LOVE:  Lord Jesus, heal me of all that defiles me.
TO SERVE: In what ways do I need to reach out to Jesus today?

Monday 10 July 2017

Genesis 28:10-22. Psalm 90(91):1-4, 14-15. Matthew 9:18-26.
In you, my God, I place my trust — Psalm 90(91):1-4, 14-15.
‘Your faith has restored you.’
Serving up the Good News in snippets of a few verses can create the impression that the gospels are collections of anecdotes about Jesus. We miss the larger picture the evangelist is at pains to convey.
Matthew’s first discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, fills three chapters. Between it and the next discourse (chapter 10) we have a narrative account with three sets of ‘miracle stories’, three apiece, one of them a double—today’s snippet. Each triad is followed by teaching on discipleship.
The first group of three deal with miraculous cures, the second demonstrate Jesus’ control of superhuman powers, the third emphasises the function of faith in the saving process. While the snippets are food for contemplation, they gain added meaning when seen in the larger context.


Beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1926, these eight Franciscan friars and three Maronite laymen were offered the choice of converting to Islam or suffering death in Damascus on July 9, 1860.
Thousands of Maronite Christians had already been killed by the Druz in Southern Lebanon in that year and the Druz, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam, had turned their attention to Damascus where they killed nearly two thousand more.
When they had reached the Franciscan convent there, the superior, a spaniard named Fr. Emmanuel Ruiz, who had sheltered the Christians that lived around the convent inside the chapel, was threatened with death if he did not convert immediately.
He refused and they cut him to pieces and killed the rest of his community and the three Maronites who, refusing to flee with the other Christians, chose to die rather than deny their faith.

Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, July 10, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
through the obedience of Jesus,
your servant and your Son,
you raised a fallen world.
Free us from sin
and bring us the joy that lasts for ever.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 9,18-26
While Jesus was speaking to them, suddenly one of the officials came up, who bowed low in front of him and said, 'My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.' Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him.
Then suddenly from behind him came a woman, who had been suffering from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she was thinking, 'If only I can touch his cloak I shall be saved.' Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, 'Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you.' And from that moment the woman was saved.
When Jesus reached the official's house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion, he said, 'Get out of here; the little girl is not dead; she is asleep.' And they ridiculed him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took her by the hand; and she stood up. And the news of this spread all round the countryside.

3) Reflection
• Today’s Gospel takes us to meditate on two miracles of Jesus.  The first one was in favour of a woman considered unclean because of an irregular haemorrhage which had been lasting for more than twelve years.  The second one in favour of a girl who had just died.  According to the mentality of that time, the person who touched blood or a corpse or dead body was considered unclean and whoever touched that person became unclean.  Blood and death were factors of exclusion!  This is why those two women were marginalized persons, excluded from the participation in the community.  Whoever touched them became unclean, and therefore, would not be able to participate in the community, and therefore, could not relate with God.  In order to be admitted to participate fully in the community, it was necessary to go through the rite of purification, prescribed by the norms of the law. Now, when curing the impurity of the woman, through faith, Jesus opens a new path toward God which does not depend anymore on the rites of purification, controlled by the priests. In resurrecting the girl, Jesus conquers the power of death and opens a new horizon to life. 
• Matthew 9, 18-19: The death of the little girl. When Jesus was still speaking, behold an official of the place came to intercede for his daughter who has just died.  He asks Jesus to go to impose his hands on her and, “she will live”. The official thinks that Jesus has the power to make his daughter rise from the dead.  This is a sign of much faith in Jesus on the part of the father of the little girl.  Jesus rises and goes with him, taking only his disciples.  This is the starting point of both episodes which follow: the cure of the woman who had been suffering for the past twelve years from a haemorrhage, and the resurrection of the little girl. The Gospel of Mark presents both of these episodes, but with many details: the official was called Jarius and he was the president of the Synagogue.  The little girl was not dead as yet, and she was twelve years old, etc. (Mk 5, 21-43). Matthew gives a briefer narration of the very lively one of Mark.
• Matthew 9, 20-21: The situation of the woman. While they were on the way to the official’s house, a woman who had been suffering for twelve years because of a irregular haemorrhage got close to Jesus seeking to be cured. Twelve years with a haemorrhage! This is why she was marginalized, excluded, because as we have said, at that time blood rendered the person impure. Mark says that the woman had spent all she had with doctors, but instead of improving her situation had become worse (Mk 5, 25-26) But she had heard some speak about Jesus (Mk 5, 27).  This is why a new hope sprang in her.  She told herself: “If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved”. The catechism of that time said: “If I touch his clothes I will remain impure”.  The woman thinks exatly the contrary! This was a sign of great courage! A sign also that women were not in agreement with everything that the religious authority taught. The teaching of the Pharisees and of the Scribes did not succeed to control the thinking of the people.  Thank God! The woman got close to Jesus from behind, she touched the end of his cloak and she was cured.
• Matthew 9, 22. The word of Jesus which enlightens. Jesus turns and seeing the woman declares: “Courage, my daughter your faith has saved you”.  A brief phrase, but which makes us see three very important points: (1) In saying “my daughter”, Jesus accepts the woman in the new community which has formed around him.  She was no longer excluded. (2) What she expected and believed takes place in fact. She was cured. This proofs that the catechism of the religious authority was not correct and that in Jesus was opened a new path which gave people the possibility of obtaining the purity which the law demanded and also to enter into contact with God. (3) Jesus recognizes that without the faith of this woman, He would not have been able to work the miracle. The cure was not a magic rite, but an act of faith.
• Matthew 9, 23-24: In the house of the official. After that Jesus goes to the house of the official. Seeing the agitation of those who were mourning because of the death of the little girl, he asks everybody to get out from the room.  And he says: “The little girl is not dead, she is sleeping!”  People laugh, because they know how to distinguish when a person sleeps or when she is dead.  Death was for them a barrier that nobody could go beyond.  It is the laughter of Abraham and of Sarah, that is, of those who do not succeed to believe that nothing is impossible for God (Gn 17, 17; 18, 12-14; Lk 1, 27).  The words of Jesus still have a very deep significance.  The situation of the communities at the time of Matthew seemed to be in a situation of death.  Even though they heard said, “It is not death, you are asleep! Wake up!”    
• Matthew 9, 25-26: The resurrection of the little girl. Jesus does not give any importance to the laughter of the people. He waits for everyone to get out of the house.  Then he enters, takes the little girl by the hand and she gets up. Mark keeps the words of Jesus: “Talita kúmi!” which mean: “Little girl, I tell you to get up!” (Mk 5,41). The news spread throughout that region. The people believed that Jesus is the Lord of life who overcomes death.

4) Personal questions
• Today, which are the categories of persons who feel excluded from participating in the Christian community? Which are the factors which cause the exclusion of so many persons and render life difficult for them in the family and in society?
• “The little girl is not dead. She sleeps!” “She is not dead! You are sleeping!  Wake up! This is the message of today’s Gospel.  What does it tell me? Am I one of those who laugh?

5) Concluding Prayer
I shall praise you to the heights, God my King,
I shall bless your name for ever and ever.
Day after day I shall bless you,
I shall praise your name for ever and ever. (Ps 145,1-2)