Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Catholic Sunday Readings Today

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Catholic Sunday Readings Today

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 151

1st Reading – MAL 1:14B-2:2B, 8-10

A great King am I, says the LORD of hosts,
and my name will be feared among the nations.
And now, O priests, this commandment is for you:
If you do not listen,
if you do not lay it to heart,
to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you
and of your blessing I will make a curse.
You have turned aside from the way,
and have caused many to falter by your instruction;
you have made void the covenant of Levi,
says the LORD of hosts.
I, therefore, have made you contemptible
and base before all the people,
since you do not keep my ways,
but show partiality in your decisions.
Have we not all the one father?
Has not the one God created us?
Why then do we break faith with one another,
violating the covenant of our fathers?

Responsorial Psalm – PS 131:1, 2, 3

R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

2nd Reading – 1 THES 2:7B-9, 13

Brothers and sisters:
We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.
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.

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

Alleluia – MT 23:9B, 10B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have but one Father in heaven
and one master, the Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Hearing the Gospel

“The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” Matthew 23:2-3

It is often said that actions speak louder than words. These words of Jesus above contain this truth. In the verses following this passage, Jesus goes on to give various examples of how the Pharisees act in hypocritical ways. Furthermore, Jesus points out that “All their works are performed to be seen” (Matthew 23:5).

What’s most interesting about this passage is not so much the harsh criticism of the hypocrisy and pride of the Pharisees. Rather, it’s that Jesus tells His disciples to “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you…” The truth is that not even the greatest saint can preach the Gospel fully by their actions. This is because the Gospel is perfect, and human beings are not. We will never be perfect instruments of the Son of God. But the good news is that Jesus wants to use us anyway. We are called to witness with our actions. When we fail in our actions we are also called to preach with our words.

This statement from Jesus should help us be more receptive to the Word of God as it is preached by His ministers. If Jesus wanted His disciples to listen even to the words of truth spoken by the hypocritical Pharisees, then He will certainly want us all to listen to His Word as it is preached by the ministers of His Church, regardless of their sanctity.

No minister is perfect, but they do have the mission of proclaiming the Gospel. If we fail to receive the Gospel from them, then it is as much our own sin as it is theirs.

Reflect, today, upon this command from our Lord and allow it to also apply to you as a command to listen to the Gospel spoken by those in the Church. When their example also supports their words, rejoice in that fact. When it does not, be merciful and seek to hear our Lord speak through them anyway. Jesus has much to say through them if you will listen.

Lord, may I always be open to the Gospel whenever it is preached. I thank You for the great example set by so many saintly people. I also pray that I will be merciful to those who preach Your Word and fail to live up to it in their actions. I thank You for the ministers of Your Church, especially, and pray for their fidelity to the proclamation of Your Word. 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.