Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time – Year B

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 390

1st Reading – IS 7:1-9

In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah,
Rezin, king of Aram,
and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah,
went up to attack Jerusalem,
but they were not able to conquer it.
When word came to the house of David that Aram
was encamped in Ephraim,
the heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled,
as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind.

Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz,
you and your son Shear-jashub,
at the end of the conduit of the upper pool,
on the highway of the fuller’s field, and say to him:
Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear;
let not your courage fail
before these two stumps of smoldering brands
the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans,
and of the son Remaliah,
because of the mischief that
Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah,
plots against you, saying,
“Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force,
and appoint the son of Tabeel king there.”

Thus says the LORD:
This shall not stand, it shall not be!
Damascus is the capital of Aram,
and Rezin is the head of Damascus;
Samaria is the capital of Ephraim,
and Remaliah’s son the head of Samaria.

But within sixty years and five,
Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation.
Unless your faith is firm
you shall not be firm!

Responsorial Psalm – PS 48:2-3A, 3B-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (see 9d) God upholds his city for ever.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
is the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
For lo! the kings assemble,
they come on together;
They also see, and at once are stunned,
terrified, routed.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Quaking seizes them there;
anguish, like a woman’s in labor,
As though a wind from the east
were shattering ships of Tarshish.
R. God upholds his city for ever.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

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

Gospel – MT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

It’s Time to Repent!

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!” Matthew 11:20-21a

What an act of mercy and love on the part of Jesus! He rebukes those in the towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida because He loves them and He sees that they continue to hold on to their sinful lives even though He has brought them the Gospel and performed many mighty deeds. They remain obstinate, trapped, confused, unwilling to repent, and unwilling to change their ways. In this context, Jesus offers a wonderful form of mercy. He chastises them! After the passage above He goes on to say, “I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.”

There is a wonderful distinction here that should help us hear what God may be saying to us at times, as well as help us know how to deal with those around us who habitually sin and cause hurt in our lives or the lives of others. The distinction has to do with Jesus’ motivation for chastising the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida. Why did He do that? And what was the motivation behind His actions?

Jesus chastises them out of love and out of a desire that they change. They did not immediately repent of their sin when He offered an invitation and powerful witness of His miracles, so He needed to take things to a new level. And this new level was a strong and clear rebuke out of love.

This action of Jesus could at first be perceived as an emotional outburst of anger. But that’s the key distinction. Jesus did not rebuke them strongly because He was mad and lost control. Rather, He rebuked them because they needed that rebuke to change.

The same truth can be applied to our lives. At times we change our lives and overcome sin as a result of the gentle invitation of Jesus to grace. But, at other times, when sin is deep, we need a holy rebuke. In this case we should hear these words of Jesus as if they were directed at us. This may be the specific act of mercy we need in our lives.

It also gives us great insight as to how we deal with others. Parents, for example, can learn much from this. Children will regularly go astray in various ways and will need correction. It certainly is proper to start with gentle invitations and conversations aimed at helping them make the right choices. However, at times this will not work and more drastic measures need to take place. What are those “more drastic measures?” Out-of-control anger and vengeful yelling is not the answer. Rather, a holy wrath that comes from mercy and love may be the key. This may come in the form of a strong chastisement or punishment. Or, it may come in the form of laying down the truth and clearly presenting the consequences of certain actions. Just remember that even this is love and is an imitation of Jesus’ actions. This is what we commonly refer to as “tough love.”

Reflect, today, on whether or not you need a rebuke from Jesus. If you do, let this Gospel of love sink in. Reflect also upon your responsibility in correcting the faults of others. Don’t be afraid to exercise an act of divine love that comes in the form of a clear chastisement. It may just be the key to helping those you love to love God all the more.

Lord, help me to repent daily of my sin. Help me to be an instrument of the repentance of others. May I always receive Your words in love and offer them in the form of love that is most effective. 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.