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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 02.07.2022

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 02.07.2022

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AMOS 9: 11 – 15

Thus says the Lord: “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,” says the Lord who does this. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper and the trader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them upon their land, and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

The Word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 85: 9, 11 – 14 (R.) 9b

R/. The Lord speaks of peace for his people.

I will hear what the Lord God speaks;
he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful,
and those who turn their hearts to him. R/.

Merciful love and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth,
and justice look down from heaven. R/.

Also the Lord will bestow his bounty,
and our earth shall yield its increase.
Justice will march before him,
and guide his steps on the way. R/.

ALLELUIA 
John 10: 27

Alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?”
MATTHEW 9: 14 – 17

At that time: The disciples of John came to Jesus, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

REFLECTION: Fasting and Freedom
July 2, 2022

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew 9:14-15

Do you want to be free? Do you want to discover true liberty in your life? Most certainly you do. But what does that mean? And how do you obtain it?

Liberty is what we are made for. We are made to be free to live life to the fullest and to experience the unfathomable joys and blessings God desires to bestow upon us. But all too often we have a misconception of what true freedom is all about. Freedom, more than anything else, is an experience of the joy of having the Bridegroom with us. It’s the joy of the wedding feast of the Lord. We were made to celebrate our unity with Him for eternity.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly states that the wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them. However, “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

It is helpful to look at the relationship between fasting and freedom. At first this may seem like a strange combination. But if fasting is properly understood, it will be seen as a pathway toward the glorious gift of true freedom.

There are times in our lives when “the Bridegroom is taken away.” This can refer to many things. One thing it particularly refers to are the times when we experience a sense of the loss of Christ in our lives. This can certainly come as a result of our own sin, but it can also come as a result of us growing closer to Christ. In the first case, fasting can help free us from the many sinful attachments we have in life. Fasting has the potential to strengthen our will and purify our desires. In the second case, there are times when we are growing very close to Christ and, as a result, He hides His presence from our lives. This may seem strange at first but it is done so that we will seek Him all the more. In this case, also, fasting can become a means of deepening our faith and commitment to Him.

Fasting can take on many forms, but, at the heart, it is simply an act of self-denial and self-sacrifice for God. It helps us overcome earthly and fleshly desires so that our spirits can more fully desire Christ.

Reflect, today, on how deeply you desire Christ in your life. If you see that there are other competing desires that tend to drown out Christ, consider offering acts of fasting and other forms of self-denial. Make them small sacrifices for God and you will see the good fruit they produce.

PRAYER:
My sacrificial Lord, I desire You in my life above all things. Help me to see the things that compete for Your love and to offer sacrifice so that my soul can be purified and live in the freedom You desire for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

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