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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 01.07.2024

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 01.07.2024

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AMOS 2: 6 – 10, 13 – 16

Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes — they that trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same maiden, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar upon garments taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined. “Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above, and his roots beneath. Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. “Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down. Flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not retain his strength, nor shall the mighty save his life; he who handles the bow shall not stand, and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself, nor shall he who rides the horse save his life; and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day,” says the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 50: 16bc – 17, 18 – 20, 21, 22 – 23 (R.) 22a

R/. Mark this, you who are forgetful of God.

“How can you recite my commandments,
and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise correction,
and cast my words behind you?” R/.

“You who see a thief and befriend him,
who throw in your lot with adulterers,
who unbridle your mouth for evil,
and yoke your tongue to deceit,
you who sit and malign your own brother,
and slander your own mother’s son?” R/.

“You do this, and should I keep silence?
Do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, lay the charge before you.” R/.

“Mark this, you who are forgetful of God,
lest l seize you and none can deliver you.
A sacrifice of praise gives me honour,
and to one whose way is blameless,
I will show the salvation of God.” R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION 
Psalm 95: 7d, 8a

Alleluia.
Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL   
“Follow Me’
MATTHEW 8: 18 – 22

At that time: When Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Wherever God Leads You
July 1, 2024

“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (Matthew 8:19–20)

It is unclear from this passage alone why Jesus answered this scribe the way He did. At first, the statement of the scribe seems very devout: “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” But many of the Church Fathers, in their reflections of this conversation between Jesus and the scribe, offer helpful insights.

First of all, note that Jesus neither accepts the proposal of the scribe to be His follower nor rejects it. Rather, Jesus simply makes a statement which clarifies just what is involved in being His follower. Some Church Fathers suggest that this scribe was desirous of following Jesus because he thought there would be great rewards given to him by doing so. After all, Jesus was a miracle worker, was becoming quite popular, and showed potential to be a great leader. Therefore, the interior motivation of this scribe to follow Jesus wherever Jesus went was a questionable motivation. Did he want to follow Jesus because he thought it would benefit him in some worldly way?

Jesus’ response to this scribe does two things. First, it removes all misconceptions of what it means to follow Jesus. If the scribe wanted to follow Jesus, then he had to be prepared to follow Him into poverty and homelessness rather than riches and possessions. Jesus wanted it to be clear to the scribe just what he was choosing. Secondly, Jesus’ response was certainly an invitation to the scribe to follow Him, but only in the light of this new knowledge. In other words, Jesus was saying, “Yes, come follow me. But be aware of what that means. Following me will not result in your earthly riches but in your earthly poverty.”

Why do you follow Jesus? It’s important to consider your motivations at times. Some choose to follow Jesus because this was simply the way they were raised. Others do so because it makes them feel better to do so. And still others do so because they think it will make their lives better in various ways. But what is the ideal motivation for following our Lord? The ideal motivation for following Jesus in a total and unwavering way is very simple: we follow Him because He is the Son of God and the Savior of the World. Jesus came to call us to Himself and has invited us to live in union with Him through faith. So ideally, we will follow Jesus simply because it is the right thing to do. We will not do so because of the so-called benefits. Love, in its purest form, does not love the other because of what we get out of it. Pure love is a gift given to another because they are worthy of our love. And with Jesus, He is worthy of our love and worship simply because of Who He is.

Reflect, today, upon Jesus inviting you to follow Him into poverty, detachment from all, simplicity of life and ultimately the sacrifice of your entire life. Do you understand what it means to be a follower of Christ Jesus? Do you understand that following Jesus cannot be done for selfish reasons? Do you realize that saying “Yes” to our Lord is saying “Yes” to His Cross? Ponder Jesus’ life and reflect upon whether or not you are willing to follow Him to the poverty of the Cross. If you can make the choice to follow our Lord, knowing full well what you are saying “Yes” to, then the end result will also be a glorious sharing in His resurrected life.

PRAYER:
My glorious Lord, You walked through this world in poverty, rejection and suffering. You had no earthly home of Your own but now live in the riches of Heaven. Help me to follow You, dear Lord, wherever You lead me in this life. If You lead me to worldly poverty and suffering, I thank You. I thank You and choose to follow You no matter what. Give me the grace I need to follow You purely out of love for You, for You are God and are worthy of all my praise and worship. Jesus, I trust in You.

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