Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 373

1st Reading – 2 KGS 22:8-13; 23:1-3

The high priest Hilkiah informed the scribe Shaphan,
“I have found the book of the law in the temple of the LORD.”
Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.
Then the scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported,
“Your servants have smelted down the metals available in the temple
and have consigned them to the master workmen
in the temple of the LORD.”
The scribe Shaphan also informed the king
that the priest Hilkiah had given him a book,
and then read it aloud to the king.
When the king heard the contents of the book of the law,
he tore his garments and issued this command to Hilkiah the priest,
Ahikam, son of Shaphan,
Achbor, son of Micaiah, the scribe Shaphan,
and the king’s servant Asaiah:
“Go, consult the LORD for me, for the people, for all Judah,
about the stipulations of this book that has been found,
for the anger of the LORD has been set furiously ablaze against us,
because our fathers did not obey the stipulations of this book,
nor fulfill our written obligations.”

The king then had all the elders of Judah
and of Jerusalem summoned together before him.
The king went up to the temple of the LORD with all the men of Judah
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
priests, prophets, and all the people, small and great.
He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant
that had been found in the temple of the LORD, read out to them.
Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the LORD
that they would follow him
and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees
with their whole hearts and souls,
thus reviving the terms of the covenant
which were written in this book.
And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40

R. (33a) Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to gain.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain:
by your way give me life.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your justice give me life.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Alleluia – JN 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Bearing Good Fruit

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16

The obvious answer to this question of Jesus is “No, people do not pick grapes from thornbushes.” In other words, an evil person cannot bear good fruit.

This statement from our Lord can give us much guidance in the area of discernment. First of all, it’s important to be aware of the very simple fact that “false prophets” do exist. This can be understood as anyone who actively misleads another under the guise of doing good. Some may do this unknowingly, but normally the one who acts as a wolf in sheep’s clothing does so out of the intention of some form of selfish gain. The selfish gain by which they are motivated could be many things, but the basic principle of selfishness usually applies.

By way of a secular example, take a used car salesman who deceptively tells a potential car buyer that a particular car is wonderful, when the salesman actually knows the car has serious mechanical problems. His goal is the sale of the car for a selfish profit with little care about the harm done to the unexpectant buyer.

Similarly, many of us may be tempted to “sweet talk” people or say what we think others want to hear in order to get them to do what we want. This is deceptive and misleading.

When it comes to discernment, the key Jesus gives us is to look at the fruit of what someone says or does. Inevitably, when something comes from the Heart of our Lord and is in accord with His will, the fruit will be good. But when it is deceptive or misleading, cloaked in superficial “goodness,” the end result, the fruit that is born, is at most only sour grapes.

Reflect, today, upon anything in your life you are striving to decide or discern. If you truly want to know the Lord’s will in your daily decisions, try to look beyond the immediate choice to the effects that this choice will have down the road. If you sincerely see goodness as a result of certain choices, know that this is a good sign that it is good and from the Lord. If you see negative effects of certain decisions, producing bad fruit, then it is a good sign that the decision you are contemplating is not from God. Choose the good fruit and you will be choosing the will of God.

Lord, give me the grace of discerning Your holy will in my life. Help me, especially, to see the good fruit that comes as a result of following You always. As You bear good fruit in my life, dear Lord, help me to continue down that holy path toward an abundance of every good gift. 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.