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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 01.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 01.02.24

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GENESIS 37: 3 – 4, 12 – 13a, 17b – 28

Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild beast has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; cast him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand upon him”- that he might rescue him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore, and they took him and cast him into a pit. The pit was empty, there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers heeded him. Then Midianite traders passed by; and they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver; and they took Joseph to Egypt.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 105: 16 – 17, 18- 19, 20 – 21 (R.) 5a

R/. Remember the wonders the Lord has done.

But he called down a famine on the land;
he broke their staff of bread.
He had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, sold as a slave. R/.

His feet were weighed down in chains,
his neck was bound with iron,
until what he said came to pass,
and the word of the Lord proved him true. R/.

Then the king sent orders and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him master of his house
and ruler of all his possessions. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
John 3: 16

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son; that whoever believes in him should have eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“This is the heir,’ come, let us kill him.”
MATTHEW 21: 33 – 43, 45 – 46

At that time: Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.  When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

The Gospel of the Lord
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Building the Kingdom
March 1, 2024

“Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” (Matthew 21:42)

Are you among those from whom the Kingdom of God will be taken away? Or among those to whom it will be given so as to produce good fruit? This is an important question to sincerely answer.

The first grouping of people, those who will have the Kingdom of God taken away from them, are represented in this parable by the tenants of the vineyard. It is clear that one of their greatest sins is greed. They are selfish. They see the vineyard as a place through which they can enrich themselves and care little about the good of others. Sadly, this mind frame is easy to adopt in our own lives. It’s easy to see life as a series of opportunities for us to “get ahead.” It’s easy to approach life in a way that we are constantly looking out for ourselves rather than sincerely seeking the good of others.

The second grouping of people, those to whom the Kingdom of God will be given so that it will produce good fruit, are those who understand that the central purpose of life is not to simply enrich themselves but to share the love of God with others. These are the people who are constantly looking for ways that they can be a true blessing to others. It’s the difference between selfishness and generosity.

But the generosity to which we are primarily called is to build up the Kingdom of God. This is done through works of charity, but it must be a charity that is motivated by the Gospel and has the Gospel as its ultimate end. Caring for the needy, teaching, serving and the like are all good only when Christ is the motivation and end goal. Our lives must make Jesus more known and loved, more understood and followed. In fact, even if we were to feed a multitude of people in poverty, care for those who were sick, or visit those who were lonely, but did it for reasons other than to ultimately share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then our work would not produce the good fruit of building up the Kingdom of Heaven. In that case, we would only be philanthropists rather than missionaries of the love of God.

Reflect, today, upon the mission given to you by our Lord to produce an abundance of good fruit for the upbuilding of His Kingdom. Know that this can only be accomplished by prayerfully seeking out the way God is inspiring you to act. Seek to serve His will alone so that all you do will be for God’s glory and the salvation of souls.

PRAYER:
My glorious King, I pray that Your Kingdom will grow and that many souls will come to know You as their Lord and God. Use me, dear Lord, for the upbuilding of that Kingdom and help all my actions in life to bear abundant and good fruit. Jesus, I trust in You.

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