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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Friday 6/26/2020

Reading 1 2 KGS 25:1-12

In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign,
on the tenth day of the month,
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army
advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it,
and built siege walls on every side.
The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah.
On the ninth day of the fourth month,
when famine had gripped the city,
and the people had no more bread,
the city walls were breached.
Then the king and all the soldiers left the city by night
through the gate between the two walls
that was near the king’s garden.
Since the Chaldeans had the city surrounded,
they went in the direction of the Arabah.
But the Chaldean army pursued the king
and overtook him in the desert near Jericho,
abandoned by his whole army.

The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah
to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him.
He had Zedekiah’s sons slain before his eyes.
Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters,
and had him brought to Babylon.

On the seventh day of the fifth month
(this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylon),
Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard,
came to Jerusalem as the representative
of the king of Babylon.
He burned the house of the LORD,
the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem;
every large building was destroyed by fire.
Then the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard
tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem.

Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard,
led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city,
and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon,
and the last of the artisans.
But some of the country’s poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard,
left behind as vinedressers and farmers.

Responsorial Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

R.    (6ab)  Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
By the streams of Babylon
we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the aspens of that land
we hung up our harps.
R.    Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
Though there our captors asked of us
the lyrics of our songs,
And our despoilers urged us to be joyous:
“Sing for us the songs of Zion!”
R.    Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
How could we sing a song of the LORD
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand be forgotten!
R.    Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
If I place not Jerusalem
ahead of my joy.
R.    Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

Alleluia MT 8:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I will do it.  Be made clean.”
His leprosy was cleansed immediately.
Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one,
but go show yourself to the priest,
and offer the gift that Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Our Motivation for Love

His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” Matthew 8:3b-4

An amazing miracle takes place and Jesus simply tells the one healed to “tell no one.”  Why does Jesus say this?

First, we should start by reflecting upon what Jesus did.  By cleansing this leper He restored this man’s entire life to him.  He was living as an outcast, separated from the community; his leprosy, in a sense, took everything from him.  But he had faith in Jesus and presented himself to the care and mercy of God.  The result was that he was made whole and restored to full health.

Jesus often would tell those who were healed to tell no one.  One reason for this was that Jesus’ acts of love and mercy were not done for His own benefit, rather, they were done out of love.  Jesus loved this leper and wanted to offer Him this precious gift of healing.  He did it out of compassion and, in return, only wanted the man’s gratitude.  He did not need to make this a public spectacle, He only wanted the man to be grateful.

The same is true with us.  We need to know that God loves us so much that He wants to lift our heavy burdens and heal our weaknesses simply because He loves us.  He doesn’t do it first because it will benefit Him, rather, He does it out of love for us.

One lesson we can learn from this has to do with our own acts of love and mercy toward others.  When we go out of our way to show love and compassion, are we OK with no one knowing?  Too often we want to be noticed and praised.  But the nature of an act of love and compassion is such that it should be done simply out of love.  In fact, doing something loving and compassionate that is not noticed by anyone helps us grow in love and compassion.  It purifies our intentions and enables us to love for love’s sake.

Reflect, today, on your motivation for the acts of kindness you do.  Pray that you also can desire to act in hidden ways in imitation of our divine Lord.

Lord, may I grow in love of others and express that love in a pure way.  May I never be motivated by a desire for vain praise.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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