Memorial of Saint Monica – Year B

Memorial of Saint Monica

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 425

1st Reading – 2 THES1:1-5, 11-12

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians
in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters,
as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more,
and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater.
Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God
regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions
and the afflictions you endure.

This is evidence of the just judgment of God,
so that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God
for which you are suffering.

We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 4-5

R. (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia – JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:13-22

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.
You do not enter yourselves,
nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You traverse sea and land to make one convert,
and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna
twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say,
‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’
Blind fools, which is greater, the gold,
or the temple that made the gold sacred?
And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’
You blind ones, which is greater, the gift,
or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;
one who swears by the temple swears by it
and by him who dwells in it;
one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God
and by him who is seated on it.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Reflections

A Public Rebuke by Jesus

Saint Monica

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” Matthew 23:13

In this chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus uses the harsh rebuke “Woe to you…” seven times in a row in reference to the scribes and Pharisees. He also calls them “blind guides,” “hypocrites,” “whitewashed tombs,” “serpents,” “brood of vipers,” and “murderers.” Jesus could not be any clearer about His wholehearted and harsh rebukes of these religious leaders.

Why is Jesus so harsh toward the scribes and Pharisees? Because they are doing one of the grave evils one can do. They are misleading people in the name of God. Nothing could be worse.

Unfortunately, the scribes and Pharisees may not see it this way. But that is precisely one of the main reasons Jesus is so strong in His public rebuke of these religious leaders. His strong rebuke is an act of mercy on His part in that the scribes and Pharisees need more than just a simple invitation to repentance. They need to have their twisted malice laid out before them clearly and definitively. And it needs to be laid out for them and also for others to see. This rebuke of Jesus is not spoken in irrational anger or hatred; rather, it is spoken in the hope that these truths will sink in and they will repent.

Reflect, today, upon two important lessons from these rebukes. First, ponder whether or not you struggle with the ugly sins of self-righteousness. Do you act religious, while at the same time fail to be truly merciful? Second, be aware that at times the most loving thing you can do for another is to rebuke them. Be careful with this and make sure that any rebuke offered is truly from the Lord. Do not hesitate to do so when, with a well formed conscience, you discern this to be from God. It may be the best way to win this form of sinner back to Christ.

Lord, when I fall into the awful sin of self-righteousness and pride, please humble me and rebuke me at the core of my being. Help me to always respond to these holy rebukes by truly repenting of my sins. Help me, also, to charitably speak the truth to those who need to hear it for their own good. Give me wisdom, courage and mercy in life so that I may be used to help all sinners return to You. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB and the Daily Reflections are adapted from My Catholic Life

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About Laban Thua 1019 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.