Readings – 11 August 2017 – Friday
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4: 32-40
32 Ask of the days of old, that have been before thy time from the day that God created man upon the earth, from one end of heaven to the other end thereof, if ever there was done the like thing, or it hath been known at any time,
33 That a people should hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fire, as thou hast heard, and lived:
34 If God ever did so as to go, and take to himself a nation out of the midst of nations by temptations, signs, and wonders, by fight, and a strong hand, and stretched out arm, and horrible visions according to all the things that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt, before thy eyes.
35 That thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, and there is no other besides him.
36 From heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might teach thee. And upon earth he shewed thee his exceeding great fire, and thou didst hear his words out of the midst of the fire,
37 Because he loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them. And he brought thee out of Egypt, going before thee with his great power,
38 To destroy at thy coming very great nations, and stronger than thou art, and to bring thee in, and give thee their land for a possession, as thou seest at this present day.
39 Know therefore this day, and think in thy heart that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath, and there is no other.
40 Keep his precepts and commandments, which I command thee: that it may be well with thee, and thy children after thee, and thou mayst remain a long time upon the land, which the Lord thy God will give thee.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 77: 12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21
I remember the deeds of the Lord.
12 I remembered the works of the Lord: for I will be mindful of thy wonders from the beginning.
13 And I will meditate on all thy works: and will be employed in thy inventions.
14 Thy way, O God, is in the holy place: who is the great God like our God?
15 Thou art the God that dost wonders. Thou hast made thy power known among the nations:
16 With thy arm thou hast redeemed thy people the children of Jacob and of Joseph.
21 Thou hast conducted thy people like sheep, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 16: 24-28
"Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it "
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
26 For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
28 Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: Jesus asks the question: What will a person give in exchange for his or her life? Everything we have is an out-right gift from God. We owe him everything, including our very lives. It's possible to give God our money, but not ourselves, or to give him lip-service, but not our hearts. A true disciple gladly gives up all that he or she has in exchange for an unending life of joy and happiness with God. God gives without measure. The joy he offers no sadness or loss can diminish.
The cross of Christ leads to victory and freedom from sin, despair, and death. What is the cross which Jesus Christ commands me to take up each day? When my will crosses with his will, then his will must be done. Are you ready to lose all for Jesus Christ in order to gain all with Jesus Christ?
Prayer: "Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and all my will, all that I have and possess. You have given them to me; to you, O Lord, I restore them; all things are yours, dispose of them according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is enough for me." Amen (Prayer of Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556)
The great exchange - my life for His Life.