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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Tuesday 6/23/2020

Reading 1 2 KGS 19:9B-11, 14-21, 31-35A, 36

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent envoys to Hezekiah
with this message:
“Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah:
‘Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you
by saying that Jerusalem will not be handed over
to the king of Assyria.
You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done
to all other countries: they doomed them!
Will you, then, be saved?’”

Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it;
then he went up to the temple of the LORD,
and spreading it out before him,
he prayed in the LORD’s presence:
“O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim!
You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.
You have made the heavens and the earth.
Incline your ear, O LORD, and listen!
Open your eyes, O LORD, and see!
Hear the words of Sennacherib which he sent to taunt the living God.
Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations
and their lands, and cast their gods into the fire;
they destroyed them because they were not gods,
but the work of human hands, wood and stone.
Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man,
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know
that you alone, O LORD, are God.”

Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah:
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
in answer to your prayer for help against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:
I have listened!
This is the word the LORD has spoken concerning him:

“‘She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
the virgin daughter Zion!
Behind you she wags her head,
daughter Jerusalem.

“‘For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant,
and from Mount Zion, survivors.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.’

“Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He shall not reach this city, nor shoot an arrow at it,
nor come before it with a shield,
nor cast up siege-works against it.
He shall return by the same way he came,
without entering the city, says the LORD.
I will shield and save this city for my own sake,
and for the sake of my servant David.’”

That night the angel of the LORD went forth and struck down
one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.
So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp,
and went back home to Nineveh.

Responsorial Psalm 48:2-3AB, 3CD-4, 10-11

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.
O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.
R. God upholds his city for ever.

Alleluia JN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 7:6, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”

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.

Do to Others…

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

This familiar phrase was a command from God established in the Old Testament.  It’s a good rule of thumb by which to live.

What would you have others “do to you?”  Think about that and try to be honest.  If we are honest, we must admit that we want others to do a lot for us.  We want to be respected, to be treated with dignity, to be treated fairly, etc.  But on an even deeper level, we want to be loved, understood, known and cared for.

Deep down, we should all try to recognize the natural longing that God gave us to share in a loving relationship with others, and to be loved by God.  This desire goes to the heart of what it means to be human.  We as humans are made for that love.  This Scripture passage above reveals that we must be ready and willing to offer to others that which we desire to receive.  If we can recognize within us the natural desires for love, we should also strive to foster a desire to love.  We should foster a desire to love to the same extent that we seek it for ourselves.

This is harder than it sounds.  Our selfish tendency is to demand and expect love and mercy from others while at the same time we hold ourselves to a much lower standard regarding how much we offer.  The key is to put our attention on our duty first.  We must strive to see what we are called to do and how we are called to love.  As we see this as our first duty and as we strive to live it, we will discover that we find much greater satisfaction in giving than in seeking to receive.  We will find that “doing onto others,” regardless of what they “do to us,” is what we actually find fulfillment in.

Reflect, today, on the natural desire you have in your heart for the love and respect of others.  Then, make this the focus of how you treat those around you.

Lord, help me to do to others what I desire they do to me.  Help me to use the desire in my own heart for love as the motivation for my love of others.  In giving of myself, help me find fulfillment and satisfaction in that gift.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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