Thứ Hai, 17 tháng 7, 2017

JULY 18, 2017 : TUESDAY OF THE FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 390

Reading 1EX 2:1-15A
A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,
who conceived and bore a son.
Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months.
When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket,
daubed it with bitumen and pitch,
and putting the child in it,
placed it among the reeds on the river bank.
His sister stationed herself at a distance
to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to bathe,
while her maids walked along the river bank.
Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it.
On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying!
She was moved with pity for him and said,
"It is one of the Hebrews' children."
Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter,
"Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the child for you?"
"Yes, do so," she answered.
So the maiden went and called the child's own mother.
Pharaoh's daughter said to her,
"Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you."
The woman therefore took the child and nursed it.
When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter,
who adopted him as her son and called him Moses;
for she said, "I drew him out of the water."

On one occasion, after Moses had grown up,
when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor,
he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen.
Looking about and seeing no one,
he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting!
So he asked the culprit,
"Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?"
But the culprit replied,
"Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us?
Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?"
Then Moses became afraid and thought,
"The affair must certainly be known."

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death.
But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian.

Responsorial PsalmPS 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34
R. (see 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am sunk in the abysmal swamp
where there is no foothold;
I have reached the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me;
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

AlleluiaPS 95:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."


Meditation: "Will you be exalted to heaven?"
If Jesus were to visit your community today, what would he say? Would he issue a warning like the one he gave to Chorazin and Bethsaida? And how would you respond? Wherever Jesus went he did mighty works to show the people how much God had for them. Chorazin and Bethsaida had been blessed with the visitation of God. They heard the good news and experienced the wonderful works which Jesus did for them. Why was Jesus upset with these communities? The word woe can mean misfortune, calamity, distress, sorrow, sadness, misery, grief, or wretchedness. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity and grief as it is of dismay over the calamity and destruction which comes as a result of human folly, sin, and ignorance.
Why does Jesus lament and issue a stern warning? The people who heard the Gospel here very likely responded with indifference. Jesus upbraids them for doing nothing! Repentance demands change - a change of heart and way of life. God's word is life-giving and it saves us from destruction - the destruction of heart, mind, and soul as well as body. Jesus' anger is directed toward sin and everything which hinders us from doing the will of God. In love he calls us to walk in his way of truth and freedom, grace and mercy, justice and holiness. Do you receive his word with faith and obedience or with doubt and indifference?
"Most High and glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our hearts and give us a true faith, a certain hope and a perfect love. Give us a sense of the divine and knowledge of yourself, so that we may do everything in fulfillment of your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)
Daily Quote from the early church fathersEven after miracles they did not repent, by Jerome (347-420 AD)
"Our Savior laments Chorazin and Bethsaida, cities of Galilee, because after such great miracles and acts of goodness they did not repent. Even Tyre and Sidon, cities that surrendered to idolatry and other vices, are preferred to them. Tyre and Sidon are preferred for the reason that although they trampled down the law, still Chorazin and Bethsaida, after they transgressed natural and written law, cared little for the miracles that were performed among them."  (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 2.11.22.1)

TUESDAY, JULY 18, MATTHEW 11:20-24
Weekday

(Exodus 2:1-15a; Psalm 69)

KEY VERSE: "Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented" (v 20).
TO KNOW: The cities, Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida formed what is called the “Evangelical Triangle,” the small area where Jesus worked most of his miracles. These "mighty deeds" were manifestations of God's power meant to turn the people away from their sins and point them toward salvation; nevertheless, many people refused to repent (Greek, metanoia; Hebrew, t’shuvah). Jesus grimly reminded the crowds that the pagan cites of Tyre and Sidon, port cities on the Mediterranean coast, were denounced by the prophets for their wickedness (Joel 4:4-7). If such miracles had been worked in Sodom, the people would have repented and that corrupt city would still be standing (Gn 19:1-29). Jesus lamented the fact that the people of Sodom would be judged less severely than his own people because he was in their midst. Yet they closed their eyes and ears to his message.
TO LOVE: What do I need to do to change my life?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, help me to see the miracles that you work in my life.

Optional Memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis, priest

Camillus entered the Capuchin novitiate three times, but each time a nagging leg injury, which he received while fighting the Turks, forced him to give up. He went to Rome for medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. Camillus moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator. Lacking education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old. Ordained a priest, he founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick (Camellians) who cared for the sick both in hospital and home. Camillus honored those who were ill as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth. ​​

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Exodus 2:1-15. Psalm 68(69):3, 14, 30-31, 33-34. Matthew 11:20‑24.
Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live — Psalm 68(69):3, 14, 30-31, 33-34.
‘He began to reproach the cities…because they did not repent.’
It was in ‘his own city’, his adopted Capernaum, that Jesus began to ‘say and do’. So he began his ministry of teaching and healing—the servant of the centurion, the ruler’s son, the man with palsy, Peter’s mother-in-law, and so many others. Capernaum was chosen by Jesus as his very own, with a touching human preference.
It is terrible, therefore, to hear him denounce it for its unbelief, its indifference, for opportunities not seized.
I, too, Lord, am the object of your deliberate choice.
You have chosen me to know you and your love and for the working in me the wonders of your grace. Let me not be another Capernaum, deserving your condemnation for indifference bred of sloth or weariness, or for hardness of heart born of lukewarmness.

ST. ELIZABETH OF SCHONAU

St. Elizabeth was a Benedictine visionary, who had the gift of prophecy. She also suffered the assaults of demonic forces.
Elizabeth was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1126. She was raised and educated in a Benedictine monastery near her birthplace from the age of 12. Elizabeth came to see the monastery as home, and she took vows in 1147.
With the help of her brother Egbert, a monk and abbot, she wrote three volumes describing her visions.
She served as the abbess at Schonau from 1157 until her death in 1164.
St. Elizabeth was never formally canonized but was added to the list of saints due to great popular devotion.



LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 11,20-24
Lectio Divina: 
 Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
God our Father,
your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ.
May all who follow him
reject what is contrary to the gospel.
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 11,20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. 'Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Still, I tell you that it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on Judgement Day than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be raised as high as heaven? You shall be flung down to hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. Still, I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on Judgement Day than for you.'

3) Reflection
• The Discourse of the Mission occupies charter 10.  Chapters 11 and 12 describe the Mission which Jesus carried out and how he did it. The two chapters mention how the people adhered to him, doubted the evangelizing action of Jesus, or rejected it.    John the Baptist, who looked at Jesus with the eyes of the past, does not succeed in understanding him (Mt 11, 1-15). The people, who looked at Jesus out of interest, were not capable to understand him (Mt 11, 16-19). The great cities around the lake, which listened to the preaching of Jesus and saw his miracles, did not want to open themselves up to his message (this is the text of today’s Gospel) (Mt 11, 20-24). The wise and the doctors, who appreciated everything according to their own science, were not capable to understand the preaching of Jesus (Mt 11, 25). The Pharisees, who trusted only in the observance of the law, criticized Jesus (Mt 12, 1-8) and decided to kill him (Mt 12, 9-14). They said that Jesus acted in the name of Beelzebul (Mt 12, 22-37). They wanted a proof in order to be able to believe in him (Mt 12, 38-45). Not even his relatives supported him (Mt 12, 46-50). Only the little ones and the simple people understood and accepted the Good News of the Kingdom (Mt 11, 25-30).  They followed him (Mt 12, 15-16) and saw in him the Servant announced by Isaiah (Mt 12, 17-21).
• This way of describing the missionary activity of Jesus was a clear warning for the disciples who together with Jesus walked through Galilee.  They could not expect a reward or praise for the fact of being missionaries of Jesus. This warning is also valid for us who today read and meditate on this discourse of the Mission, because the Gospels were written for all times.  They invite us to confront the attitude that we have with Jesus with the attitude of the persons who appear in the Gospel and to ask ourselves if we are like John the Baptist (Mt 11, 1-15), like the people who were interested (Mt 11, 16-19), like the unbelieving cities (Mt 11, 20-24), like the doctors who thought they knew everything and understood nothing (Mt 11, 25), like the Pharisees who only knew how to criticize (Mt 12, 1-45) or like the simple people who went seeking for Jesus (Mt 12. 15) and that, with their wisdom, knew how to understand and accept the message of the Kingdom (Mt 11, 25-30).
• Matthew 11, 20: The word against the cities which did not receive him. The space in which Jesus moves during those three years of his missionary life was small; only a few square kilometres along the Sea of Galilee around the cities of Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin. Only that!  So it was in this very reduced space where Jesus made the majority of his discourses and worked his miracles.  He came to save the whole of humanity, and almost did not get out of the limited space of his land.  Tragically, Jesus has to become aware that the people of those cities did not want to accept the message of the Kingdom and were not converted. The cities become more rigid in their beliefs, traditions and customs and do not accept the invitation of Jesus to change life.  
• Matthew 11, 21-24: Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum are worse than Tyre and Sidon. In the past, Tyre and Sidon, inflexible enemies of Israel, ill treated the People of God. Because of this they were cursed by the prophets. (Is 23, 1; Jr 25, 22; 47, 4; Ex 26, 3; 27, 2; 28, 2; Jl 4, 4; Am 1, 10). And now Jesus says that these cities, symbols of all evil, would have already been converted if in them had been worked all the miracles which were worked in Chorazin and Bethsaida.  The city of Sodom, the symbol of the worse perversion, was destroyed by the anger of God (Gn 18, 16 to 19, 29). And now Jesus says that Sodom would exist up until now, because it would have been converted if it had seen the miracles that Jesus worked in Capernaum. Today we still live this same paradox.  Many of us, who are Catholics since we were children, have many solid and firm convictions, so much so that nobody is capable of converting us. And in some places, Christianity, instead of being a source of change and of conversion, becomes the refuge of the most reactionary forces of the politics of the country.  

4) Personal questions
• How do I place myself before the Good News of Jesus: like John the Baptist, like the interested people, like the doctors, like the Pharisees or like the simple and poor people?
• Do my city, my country deserve the warning of Jesus against Capernaum, Chorazion and Bethsaida?

5) Concluding Prayer
Great is Yahweh and most worthy of praise
in the city of our God, the holy mountain,
towering in beauty,
the joy of the whole world. (Ps 48,1-2)