Readings – 3 August 2017 – Thursday
First Reading: Exodus 40: 16-21, 34-38
16 And Moses did all that the Lord had commanded.
17 So in the first month of the second year, the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up.
18 And Moses reared it up, and placed the boards and the sockets and the bars, and set up the pillars,
19 And spread the roof over the tabernacle, putting over it a cover, as the Lord had commanded.
20 And he put the testimony in the ark, thrusting bars underneath, and the oracle above.
21 And when he had brought the ark into the tabernacle, he drew the veil before it to fulfill the commandment of th
34 The cloud covered the tabernacle of the testimony, and the glory of the Lord filled it.
35 Neither could Moses go into the tabernacle of the covenant, the cloud covering all things and the majesty of the
36 If at any time the cloud removed from the tabernacle, the children of Israel went forward by their troops:
37 If it hung over, they remained in the same place.
38 For the cloud of the Lord hung over the tabernacle by day, and a fire by night, in the sight of all the children
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 84: 3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
3 My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God.
4 For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
5 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: they shall praise thee for ever and ever.
6 Blessed is the man whose help is from thee.
8 For the lawgiver shall give a blessing, they shall go from virtue to virtue.
11 For better is one day in thy courts above thousands. I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 13: 47-53
Trained for the kingdom of heaven
47 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes.
48 Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes.
52 He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.
53 And it came to pass: when Jesus had finished these parables, he passed from thence.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Meditation: What can a story of a dragnet and a great catch of fish tell us about God's kingdom? The two most common ways of fishing in Jesus' time was with a casting-net (or hand-net) which was thrown from the shore and the drag-net or trawl which was let down or cast into the waters from a boat. As the boat moved through the waters the dragnet was drawn into the shape of a great cone which indiscriminately took in all kinds of fish and flotsam and jetsam swept in its path. It usually took several men to haul such a net to shore.
We would be impoverished today if we only possessed the treasures of the word of God in the "Old Testament" Scriptures or if we only knew the treasures of the "New Testament" Scriptures. Both the Old and New Testament Scriptures are given by the same eternal Father, inspired by the same eternal Holy Spirit, and fulfilled by the same eternal Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and who was sent from heaven to take on human flesh for our salvation (John 1:1-3,14).
There is a profound unity between the Old and New Testaments. Both are divinely inspired by one and the same Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old - the two shed light on each other. The Old Testament prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ as the redeemer of all who would be saved through his sacrifice on the cross. The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New. That is why Jesus interpreted the Old Testament Scriptures for his disciples and explained how he came to fulfill what was promised and foreshadowed in the Old (Luke 24:27). That is why we read the Old Testament in the light of Christ’s saving death and resurrection. Do you revere the word of God in the Scriptures - both old and new - and see their fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, may your word take deep root in my heart and transform my way of thinking, discerning, and acting. May your Spirit open my ears to hear and understand the word of God in the Scriptures that I may revere and treasure both the Old and the New Testaments which God has prepared for all who desire to enter his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Help me to be a diligent student and faithful disciple of your word." Amen
Reward and judgment at the end of the age!