Readings –10 August 2017 – Thursday
First Reading: Second Corinthians 9: 6-10
6 Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings.
7 Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound in you; that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,
9 As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever.
10 And he that ministereth seed to the sower, will both give you bread to eat, and will multiply your seed, and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice:
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 112: 1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
1 Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments.
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.
5 Acceptable is the man that sheweth mercy and lendeth: he shall order his words with judgment:
6 Because he shall not be moved for ever.
7 The just shall be in everlasting remembrance: he shall not hear the evil hearing. His heart is ready to hope in the Lord:
8 His heart is strengthened, he shall not be moved until he look over his enemies.
9 He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: John 12: 24-26
"If it dies, it bears much fruit"
24 Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,
25 Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.
26 If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: What does it mean to "die" to oneself? It certainly means that what is contrary to God's will must be "crucified" or "put to death". God gives us grace to say "yes" to his will and to reject whatever is contrary to his loving plan for our lives. Jesus also promises that we will bear much "fruit" for him, if we choose to deny ourselves for his sake. Jesus used forceful language to describe the kind of self-denial he had in mind for his disciples.
What did he mean when he said that one must hate himself? The expression to hate something often meant to prefer less. Jesus says that nothing should get in the way of our preferring him and the will of our Father in heaven. Our hope is in Paul's reminder that "What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 15:42). Do you hope in the Lord and follow joyfully the path he has chosen for you?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, let me be wheat sown in the earth, to be harvested for you. I want to follow wherever you lead me. Give me fresh hope and joy in serving you all the days of my life." Amen
Father, make me holy and make places holy.