Thursday, August 22, 2019

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time – Daily Mass Catholic readings

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time – Daily Mass Catholic readings

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 427

1st Reading – 1 THES 2:9-13

You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
how devoutly and justly and blamelessly
we behaved toward you believers.
As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and insisting
that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12AB

R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light”–
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Alleluia – 1 JN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Honesty with Yourself

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.” Matthew 23:27-28

Ouch! Once again we have Jesus speaking in an exceptionally direct way to the Pharisees. He does not hold back at all in His condemnation of them. They are described as both “whitewashed” and “tombs.” They are whitewashed in the sense that they do all they can to make it look, exteriorly, that they are holy. They are tombs in the sense that filthy sin and death live within them. It’s hard to imagine how Jesus could have been more direct and more condemning of them.

One thing this tells us is that Jesus is a man of the utmost honesty. He calls it as it is and does not mix His words. And He does not offer any false compliments or pretend all is fine when it’s not.

How about you? Are you able to act with complete honesty? No, it’s not our job to do what Jesus did and to condemn others, but we should learn from Jesus’s actions and apply them to ourselves! Are you ready and willing to look at your own life and call it as it is? Are you ready and willing to be honest with yourself and with God about the condition of your soul? The problem is that we often are not. We often just go about pretending all is fine and ignore the “dead men’s bones and every kind of filth” lurking within us. That’s not pretty to see and not easy to admit.

So, again, how about you? Can you take an honest look at your own soul and name what you see? Hopefully you will see goodness and virtue and rejoice in that. But you can be certain you will also see sin. Hopefully not to the extent that the Pharisees had “every kind of filth.” But nonetheless, if you are honest you will see some dirt that needs to be cleaned.

Reflect, today, upon how willing you are to 1) honestly name the filth and sin in your life and, 2) sincerely strive to overcome it. Don’t wait until Jesus is pushed to the point of crying out “Woe to you!”

Lord, help me to daily take an honest look at my own life. Help me to see not only the good virtues You have formed within me, but also the filth that is there as a result of my sin. May I seek to be cleansed from that sin so that I can love You more fully. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.