Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 254

1st Reading – GN 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before The Gospel – PS 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel – JN 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Power of Destructive Speech

Jesus said to the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed.” John 8:51-52

It’s hard to imagine anything worse that could be said about Jesus. Did they really think He was possessed by the evil one? It appears so. What a sad and bizarre thing to say about the Son of God. Here is God Himself, in the person of Jesus, offering a promise of eternal life. He reveals the sacred Truth that obedience to His Word is the pathway to eternal happiness and that everyone needs to know this Truth and live it. Jesus speaks this freely and openly, but the response from some hearing this message is deeply disappointing, slanderous and malicious.

It’s hard to know what was going on in their minds to cause them to say such a thing. Perhaps they were jealous of Jesus, or perhaps they were just seriously confused. Whatever the case may be, they spoke something that was seriously damaging.

The damage of such a statement was not so much toward Jesus; rather, it was damaging to themselves as well as to those around Him. Jesus could personally handle whatever was spoken about Him, but others could not. It is important to understand that our own words can do great damage to ourselves and to others.

First of all, their words did damage to themselves. By speaking such an erroneous statement publicly, they start down the path of obstinacy. It takes great humility to retract such a statement in the future. So it is with us. When we verbalize something that is damaging toward another, it’s hard to retract it. It’s hard to later apologize and mend the wound we have caused. The damage is primarily done to our own heart in that it’s hard to let go of our error and humbly move forward. But this must be done if we want to undo the damage.

Secondly, this comment also did damage to those who were listening. Some may have rejected this malicious statement but others may have pondered it and started to wonder if in fact Jesus was possessed. Thus, seeds of doubt were sown. We must all realize that our words affect others and we must strive to speak them with the utmost care and charity.

Reflect, today, upon your own speech. Are there things you have spoken to others that you now realize were erroneous or misleading? If so, have you sought to undo the damage by retracting your words and apologizing? Reflect, also, upon the fact that it’s easy to be drawn into the malicious conversation of others. Have you allowed yourself to be influenced by such conversations? If so, resolve to silence your ears to such errors and look for ways to speak the truth.

Lord, give me the grace of speaking holy words that always give You glory and reflect the eternal Truths alive in Your Heart. Help me to also be aware of the lies all around me in this world of sin. May Your Heart filter out the errors and allow only the seeds of Truth to be planted in my own mind and heart. 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.