Friday, July 19, 2019

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church – Year B

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 426

1st Reading – 2 THES 2:1-3A, 14-17

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly,
or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.
Let no one deceive you in any way.

To this end he has also called you through our Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm
and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught,
either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them
in every good deed and word.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:10, 11-12, 13

R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Alleluia – HEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:23-26

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Reflections

Cleanse the Inside First

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.” Matthew 23:25-26

Though these very direct words of Jesus may have the appearance of being harsh, they are truly words of mercy. They are words of mercy because Jesus is going to great lengths to help the Pharisees understand that they need to repent and cleanse their hearts. Though the initial message “Woe to you” may jump out at us, the real message we should hear is “cleanse first the inside.”

What this passage reveals is that it’s possible to be in one of two conditions. First, it’s possible that one’s interior is filled with “plunder and self-indulgence” while at the same time the exterior gives the appearance of being clean and holy. This was the problem of the Pharisees. They were very concerned with how they looked on the outside but gave little care to the interior. This is a problem.

Second, Jesus’ words reveal that the ideal is to start with an interior cleansing. Once that happens, the effect will be that the exterior is also cleansed and radiant. Think about the person in this second condition, the one who is first cleansed interiorly. This person is an inspiration and a beautiful soul. And what is beautiful is that when one’s heart is authentically cleansed and purified, this interior beauty cannot be contained inside. It must shine forth and others will notice.

Reflect, today, upon how easily the beauty of your interior life shines forth. Do others see this? Does your heart shine forth? Are you radiant? If not, perhaps you, too, need to hear these words Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. You may also need to be chastised out of love and mercy so that you will be motivated to allow Jesus to enter in and act in a powerfully cleansing way.

Lord, please do come into my heart and cleanse me thoroughly. Purify me and allow that purity and holiness to shine forth exteriorly in a radiant way. 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.