Readings – 4 August 2017 – Friday
First Reading: Leviticus 23: 1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
4 These also are the holy days of the Lord, which you must celebrate in their seasons.
5 The first month, the fourteenth day of the month at evening, is the phase of the Lord:
6 And the fifteenth day of the same month is the solemnity of the unleavened bread of the Lord. Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread.
7 The first day shall be most solemn unto you, and holy: you shall do no servile work therein:
8 But you shall offer sacrifice in fire to the Lord seven days. And the seventh day shall be more solemn, and more holy: and you shall do no servile work therein.
9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
10 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When you shall have entered into the land which I will give you, and shall reap your corn, you shall bring sheaves of ears, the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest:
11 Who shall lift up the shed before the Lord, the next day after the sabbath, that it may be acceptable for you, and shall sanctify it.
15 You shall count therefore from the morrow after the sabbath, wherein you offered the sheaf of the firstfruits, seven full weeks.
16 Even unto the marrow after the seventh week be expired, that is to say, fifty days, and so you shall offer a new sacrifice to the Lord.
27 Upon the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the day of atonement, it shall be most solemn, and shall be called holy: and you shall afflict your souls on that day, and shall offer a holocaust to the Lord.
34 From the fifteenth day of this same seventh month, shall be kept the feast of tabernacles seven days to the Lord.
35 The first day shall be called most solemn and most holy: you shall do no servile work therein. And seven days you shall offer holocausts to the Lord.
36 The eighth day also shall be most solemn and most holy, and you shall offer holocausts to the Lord: for it is the day of assembly and congregation: you shall do no servile work therein.
37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which you shall call most solemn and most holy, and shall offer on them oblations to the Lord, holocausts and libations according to the rite of every day,
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 81: 3-4, 5-6, 10-11ab
Sing with joy to God our help.
3 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel: the pleasant psaltery with the harp.
4 Blow up the trumpet on the new moon, on the noted day of your solemnity.
5 For it is a commandment in Israel, and a judgment to the God of Jacob.
6 He ordained it for a testimony in Joseph, when he came out of the land of Egypt: he heard a tongue which he knew not.
10 There shall be no new god in thee: neither shalt thou adore a strange god.
11 For I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever;
this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 13: 54-58
"They took offense at Jesus"
54 And coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogues, so that they wondered and said: How came this man by this wisdom and miracles?
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?
57 And they were scandalized in his regard. But Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
58 And he wrought not many miracles there, because of their unbelief.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: How easily familiarity breeds contempt. Jesus could do no mighty works in his hometown because the people who were familiar with him were closed-minded and despised his claim to speak and act in the name of God. If people come together to hate and refuse to understand others different than themselves, then they will see no other point of view than their own and they will refuse to love and accept others. How do you view those who are familiar to you? With kindness and respect or with a critical and judgmental spirit?
The Lord Jesus offers us freedom from sin, prejudice, contempt, and fear. His love and grace sets us free to love others with the same grace and mercy which he has shown to us. Only Jesus can truly set us free from the worst tyranny possible - slavery to sin and the fear of death. His victory on the cross brings us pardon and healing, and the grace to live holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you know the joy and freedom which Christ's love brings to our hearts?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, your love conquers every fear and breaks the power of hatred and prejudice. Flood my heart with your mercy and compassion, that I may treat my neighbor with the same favor and kindness which you have shown to me." Amen
The Lord is helping you to have faith. Cry out: "I do believe! Help my lack of faith".