Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time - 18th July 2017
Reading 1, Exodus 2:1-15
2 She conceived and gave birth to a son and, seeing what a fine child he was, she kept him hidden for three months.
3 When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him; coating it with bitumen and pitch, she put the child inside and laid it among the reeds at the River's edge.
4 His sister took up position some distance away to see what would happen to him.
5 Now Pharaoh's daughter went down to bathe in the river, while her maids walked along the riverside. Among the reeds she noticed the basket, and she sent her maid to fetch it.
6 She opened it and saw the child: the baby was crying. Feeling sorry for it, she said, 'This is one of the little Hebrews.'
7 The child's sister then said to Pharaoh's daughter, 'Shall I go and find you a nurse among the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?'
8 'Yes,' said Pharaoh's daughter, and the girl went and called the child's own mother.
9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 'Take this child away and nurse it for me. I shall pay you myself for doing so.' So the woman took the child away and nursed it.
10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter who treated him like a son; she named him Moses'because', she said, 'I drew him out of the water.'
11 It happened one day, when Moses was grown up, that he went to see his kinsmen. While he was watching their forced labour he also saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his kinsmen.
12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
13 On the following day he came back, and there were two Hebrews, fighting. He said to the man who was in the wrong, 'What do you mean by hitting your kinsman?'
14 'And who appointed you', the man retorted, 'to be prince over us and judge? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?' Moses was frightened. 'Clearly that business has come to light,' he thought.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34
Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
3 I am exhausted with calling out, my throat is hoarse, my eyes are worn out with searching for my God.
14 Rescue me from the mire before I sink in; so I shall be saved from those who hate me, from the watery depths.
33 For God listens to the poor, he has never scorned his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth and seas, and all that stirs in them, acclaim him!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 11:20-24
"Will you be exalted to heaven?"
20 Then he began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent.
21 'Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
23 And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be raised as high as heaven? You shall be flung down to hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet.
24 Still, I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on Judgement Day than for you.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Meditation: If Jesus were to visit your community today, what would he say? Would he issue a warning like the one he gave to Chorazin and Bethsaida? And how would you respond? Wherever Jesus went he did mighty works to show the people how much God had for them. Chorazin and Bethsaida had been blessed with the visitation of God. They heard the good news and experienced the wonderful works which Jesus did for them. Why was Jesus upset with these communities? The word woe can mean misfortune, calamity, distress, sorrow, sadness, misery, grief, or wretchedness. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity and grief as it is of dismay over the calamity and destruction which comes as a result of human folly, sin, and ignorance.
Why does Jesus lament and issue a stern warning? The people who heard the Gospel here very likely responded with indifference. Jesus upbraids them for doing nothing! Repentance demands change - a change of heart and way of life. God's word is life-giving and it saves us from destruction - the destruction of heart, mind, and soul as well as body. Jesus' anger is directed toward sin and everything which hinders us from doing the will of God. In love he calls us to walk in his way of truth and freedom, grace and mercy, justice and holiness. Do you receive his word with faith and obedience or with doubt and indifference?
Prayer: "Most High and glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our hearts and give us a true faith, a certain hope and a perfect love. Give us a sense of the divine and knowledge of yourself, so that we may do everything in fulfillment of your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen. (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)
Jesus, this is my body to be given up for You.