Thursday, August 22, 2019

Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church – Year B

Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 419

1st Reading – EZ 24:15-23

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, by a sudden blow
I am taking away from you the delight of your eyes,
but do not mourn or weep or shed any tears.
Groan in silence, make no lament for the dead,
bind on your turban, put your sandals on your feet,
do not cover your beard, and do not eat the customary bread.
That evening my wife died,
and the next morning I did as I had been commanded.
Then the people asked me, “Will you not tell us what all these things
that you are doing mean for us?”
I therefore spoke to the people that morning, saying to them:
Thus the word of the LORD came to me:
Say to the house of Israel:
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will now desecrate my sanctuary, the stronghold of your pride,
the delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul.
The sons and daughters you left behind shall fall by the sword.
Ezekiel shall be a sign for you:
all that he did you shall do when it happens.
Thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
You shall do as I have done,
not covering your beards nor eating the customary bread.
Your turbans shall remain on your heads, your sandals on your feet.
You shall not mourn or weep,
but you shall rot away because of your sins and groan one to another.

Responsorial Psalm – DEUTERONOMY 32:18-19, 20, 21

R. (see 18a) You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you.
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Alleluia – MT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Reflections

Do You Want to be Rich?

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:21-22

Thank goodness that Jesus did not say this to you or me! Right? Or did He? Does this apply to all of us if we wish to be perfect? The answer may surprise you.

True, Jesus does call some people to literally sell all their possessions and give them away. For those who answer this call, they discover great freedom in their detachment from all material belongings. Their vocation is a sign to all of us of the radical interior calling we each have been given. But what about the rest of us? What is that radical interior calling given to us by our Lord? It’s a calling to spiritual poverty. By “spiritual poverty” we mean that each and every one of us is called to detach from the things of this world to the same extent as those called to literal poverty. The only difference is that one calling is both interior and exterior, and the other calling is only interior. But it must be just as radical.

What does interior poverty look like? It is a Beatitude. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” as St. Matthew says, and “Blessed are the poor,” as St. Luke says. Spiritual poverty means we discover the blessing of spiritual riches in our detachment from the material enticements of this age. No, material “things” are not evil. That’s why it’s fine to have personal possessions. But it is quite common for us to also have a strong attachment to the things of this world. Too often we want more and more and fall into the trap of thinking that more “things” will make us happy. It’s not true and we know that deep down, but we still fall right into the trap of acting as if more money and possessions will satisfy. As an old Roman catechism puts it, “He who has money never has money enough.”

Reflect, today, upon the clear calling you have received to live in this world without becoming attached to the things of this world. Possessions are only a means to the end of living a holy life and fulfilling your purpose in life. That will mean you have what you need, but it will also mean that you strive to avoid excess and, especially, avoid interior attachment to worldly possessions.

Lord, I freely renounce all I have and own. I give it to You as a spiritual sacrifice. Receive all I have and help me to use it only in the way You so desire. In that detachment may I discover the true riches You have for me. 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.