Readings for Saturday, August 12th, 2017
Reading 1, Deuteronomy 6:4-13
6 Let the words I enjoin on you today stay in your heart.
7 You shall tell them to your children, and keep on telling them, when you are sitting at home, when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are standing up;
8 you must fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a headband;
9 you must write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
11 with houses full of good things you have not provided, with wells you have not dug, with vineyards and olive trees you have not planted, and then, when you have eaten as much as you want,
12 be careful you do not forget Yahweh who has brought you out of Egypt, out of the place of slave-labour.
13 Yahweh your God is the one you must fear, him alone you must serve, his is the name by which you must swear.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is my God. I take refuge in him, my rock, my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge.
3 I call to Yahweh who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my foes.
4 With Death's breakers closing in on me, Belial's torrents ready to swallow me,
47 the God who gives me vengeance, and subjects whole peoples to me,
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 17:14-20
"Nothing will be impossible to you"
14 As they were rejoining the crowd a man came up to him and went down on his knees before him.
15 'Lord,' he said, 'take pity on my son: he is demented and in a wretched state; he is always falling into fire and into water.
16 I took him to your disciples and they were unable to cure him.'
17 In reply, Jesus said, 'Faithless and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.'
19 Then the disciples came privately to Jesus. 'Why were we unable to drive it out?' they asked.
20 He answered, 'Because you have so little faith. In truth I tell you, if your faith is the size of a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: What kind of faith does the Lord expect of us, especially when we meet set-backs and trials? Inevitably there are times when each of us disappoint others or disappoint ourselves when we suffer some kind of set-back or failure. In this Gospel incident the disciples of Jesus fail to heal an epileptic boy. Jesus' response seems stern; but it is really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once Jesus' dismay with the disciples' lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his father. With one word of command Jesus rebukes the evil spirit that has caused this boy's affliction and tells the spirit to "never enter him again".
Jesus tells his disciples that they can "remove mountains" if they have faith in God. The expression to "remove mountains" was a common Jewish phrase for removing difficulties. A wise teacher who could solve difficulties was called a "mountain remover". If we pray with expectant faith God will give us the means to overcome difficulties and obstacles. When you meet trials and disappointments how do you respond? With faith and trust in Jesus?
Prayer:"Lord Jesus, help my unbelief! Increase my faith and trust in your saving power. Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer. And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet". Amen.
Pray with expectant faith.