Readings for Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Reading 1, Deuteronomy 7:6-11
7 'Yahweh set his heart on you and chose you not because you were the most numerous of all peoples -- for indeed you were the smallest of all-
8 but because he loved you and meant to keep the oath which he swore to your ancestors: that was why Yahweh brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the place of slave-labour, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
9 From this you can see that Yahweh your God is the true God, the faithful God who, though he is true to his covenant and his faithful love for a thousand generations as regards those who love him and keep his commandments,
10 punishes in their own persons those that hate him. He destroys anyone who hates him, without delay; and it is in their own persons that he punishes them.
11 Hence, you must keep and observe the commandments, laws and customs which I am laying down for you today.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 10
The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
5 he contents you with good things all your life, renews your youth like an eagle's.
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord;
and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 11:25-30
"Heavenly things revealed to infants"
26 Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.
27 Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: The yoke of Christ's kingdom, his kingly rule and way of life, liberates us from the burden of guilt and from the oppression of sin and hurtful desires. Only Jesus can lift the burden of sin and the weight of hopelessness from us - and give us a weight of love and glory in exchange. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin and despair for a burden of glory and yoke of freedom from sin. The yoke which Jesus invites us to embrace is his way of grace and freedom from the power of sin. Do you trust in God's love and submit to his will and plan for your life?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission." Amen
The weight of glory and yoke of freedom.