Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time - 28th July 2017
Reading 1, Exodus 20:1-17
1 Then God spoke all these words. He said,
3 'You shall have no other gods to rival me.
4 'You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth.
5 'You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God and I punish a parent's fault in the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren among those who hate me;
6 but I act with faithful love towards thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
8 'Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the alien living with you.
13 'You shall not kill.
14 'You shall not commit adultery.
15 'You shall not steal.
16 'You shall not give false evidence against your neighbour.
17 'You shall not set your heart on your neighbour's house. You shall not set your heart on your neighbour's spouse, or servant, man or woman, or ox, or donkey, or any of your neighbour's possessions.'
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
10 more desirable than gold, even than the finest gold; his words are sweeter than honey, that drips from the comb.
11 Thus your servant is formed by them; observing them brings great reward.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 13:18-23
"Whoever hears the word and understands it"
18 'So pay attention to the parable of the sower.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path.
20 The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy.
22 The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing.
23 And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: God's word can only take root in a receptive heart which is docile and ready to hear what God has to say. One lesson is clear: the harvest is sure.While some seed will fall by the wayside and some fall on shallow ground and never come to maturity, and some be choked to death by the thorns; nonetheless a harvest will come. The seed that falls on good soil, on the heart that is receptive, will reap abundant fruit. Are you teachable and eager to learn God's truth? And do you allow anything to keep you from submitting to God's word with joy and trusting obedience?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, help me to guard the word you have planted in my heart that no doubt or temptation may keep me from believing and obeying you. May I be fruitful in your service and may I never fear to speak of you to others and to share with them the good news of the Gospel." Amen.
Father, may I seek first Your kingdom and Your way of righteousness (Mt 6:33).