Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time – Missal Reading

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time – Missal Reading

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 409

1st Reading – NM 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26A-29A, 34-35

The LORD said to Moses [in the desert of Paran,]
“Send men to reconnoiter the land of Canaan,
which I am giving the children of Israel.
You shall send one man from each ancestral tribe,
all of them princes.”

After reconnoitering the land for forty days they returned,
met Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the children of Israel
in the desert of Paran at Kadesh,
made a report to them all,
and showed the fruit of the country
to the whole congregation.
They told Moses: “We went into the land to which you sent us.
It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit.
However, the people who are living in the land are fierce,
and the towns are fortified and very strong.
Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there.
Amalekites live in the region of the Negeb;
Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites dwell in the highlands,
and Canaanites along the seacoast and the banks of the Jordan.”

Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said,
“We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so.”
But the men who had gone up with him said,
“We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for us.”
So they spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel
about the land they had scouted, saying,
“The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants.
And all the people we saw there are huge, veritable giants
(the Anakim were a race of giants);
we felt like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them.”

At this, the whole community broke out with loud cries,
and even in the night the people wailed.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:
“How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me?
I have heard the grumblings of the children of Israel against me.
Tell them: By my life, says the LORD,
I will do to you just what I have heard you say.
Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall.
Forty days you spent in scouting the land;
forty years shall you suffer for your crimes:
one year for each day.
Thus you will realize what it means to oppose me.
I, the LORD, have sworn to do this
to all this wicked assembly that conspired against me:
here in the desert they shall die to the last man.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 106:6-7AB, 13-14, 21-22, 23

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
We have sinned, we and our fathers;
we have committed crimes; we have done wrong.
Our fathers in Egypt
considered not your wonders.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
But soon they forgot his works;
they waited not for his counsel.
They gave way to craving in the desert
and tempted God in the wilderness.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Alleluia – LK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 15: 21-28

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Daily Catholic Reflections

Humility + Faith = Mercy

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr

But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Matthew 15:25-27

Did Jesus really imply that helping this woman was like throwing food to dogs? Most of us would have taken great offense at what Jesus said as a result of our pride. But what He said was true and was not rude in any way. Jesus obviously cannot be rude. Nonetheless, His statement has the superficial appearance of being rude.

First, let’s look at how His statement is true. Jesus was being asked by this woman to come heal her daughter. Basically, Jesus tells her she is not deserving of this grace in anyway. And that’s true. No more than a dog deserves to be fed from the table do we deserve the grace of God. Though this is a shocking way to say it, Jesus says it this way so as to first illustrate the truth of our sinful condition and unworthiness. And this woman takes it.

Second, Jesus’ statement allows this woman to react with the utmost humility and faith. Her humility is seen in the fact that she does not deny the parallel to a dog eating from the table. Rather, she humbly points out that even dogs eat the scraps. Wow, this is humility! In fact, we can be certain that Jesus spoke to her in this somewhat humiliating way because He knew how humble she was and He knew that she would react by letting her humility shine forth so as to manifest her faith. She was not offended by the humble truth of her unworthiness; rather, she embraced it and also sought out the abundant mercy of God despite her unworthiness.

Humility has the potential to unleash faith, and faith unleashes the mercy and power of God. In the end, Jesus speaks for all to hear, “Oh woman, great is your faith!” Her faith was made manifest and Jesus seized the opportunity to honor her for that humble faith.

Reflect, today, upon your own humility before God. How would you have reacted if Jesus spoke this way to you? Would you have been humble enough to acknowledge your unworthiness? If so, would you also have enough faith to cry out for God’s mercy despite your unworthiness? These wonderful qualities go hand in hand (humility and faith) and unleash the mercy of God!

Lord, I am unworthy. Help me to see that. Help me to see that I do not deserve Your grace in my life. But in that humble truth, may I also recognize Your abundance of mercy and never fear to call upon You for mercy. 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.