Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time - 5th July 2017
Reading 1, Genesis 21:5, 8-20
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
9 Now Sarah watched the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.
10 'Drive away that slave-girl and her son,' she said to Abraham, 'this slave-girl's son is not to share the inheritance with my son Isaac.'
11 This greatly distressed Abraham, because the slave-girl's child too was his son,
13 But the slave-girl's son I shall also make into a great nation, for he too is your child.'
15 When the skin of water was finished she abandoned the child under a bush.
16 Then she went and sat down at a distance, about a bowshot away, thinking, 'I cannot bear to see the child die.' Sitting at a distance, she began to sob.
18 Go and pick the boy up and hold him safe, for I shall make him into a great nation.'
19 Then God opened Hagar's eyes and she saw a well, so she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy. He grew up and made his home in the desert, and he became an archer.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
7 Stay quiet before Yahweh, wait longingly for him, do not get heated over someone who is making a fortune, succeeding by devious means.
8 Refrain from anger, leave rage aside, do not get heated -- it can do no good;
11 but the poor will have the land for their own, to enjoy untroubled peace.
12 The wicked plots against the upright and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but Yahweh only laughs at his efforts, knowing that his end is in sight.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 8:28-34
Jesus frees those who are bound up
28 When he reached the territory of the Gadarenes on the other side, two demoniacs came towards him out of the tombs -- they were so dangerously violent that nobody could use that path.
29 Suddenly they shouted, 'What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the time?'
30 Now some distance away there was a large herd of pigs feeding,
31 and the devils pleaded with Jesus, 'If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.'
32 And he said to them, 'Go then,' and they came out and made for the pigs; and at that the whole herd charged down the cliff into the lake and perished in the water.
33 The herdsmen ran off and made for the city, where they told the whole story, including what had happened to the demoniacs.
34 Suddenly the whole city set out to meet Jesus; and as soon as they saw him they implored him to leave their neighbourhood.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: The Lord Jesus is ready and willing to free us from anything that binds us and that keeps us from the love of God. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from his love and saving power?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, unbind me that I may love you wholly and walk in the freedom of your way of love and holiness. May there be nothing which keeps me from the joy of living in your presence."
No force can withstand Christ's power and authority.