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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 03.08.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 03.08.2023

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EXODUS 40: 16 – 21, 34 – 38

In those days: According to all that the Lord commanded him, so Moses did. And in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. Moses erected the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. And he took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy seat above on the ark; and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the veil of the screen, and screened the Ark of the Covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would go onward; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not go onward till the day that it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 84: 2, 3, 4 – 5a and 7a, 10 (R.) 1

R/. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

My soul is longing and yearning
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh
cry out to the living God. R/.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself
in which she sets her young, at your altars,
O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. R/.

Blessed are they who dwell in your house,
forever singing your praise.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in you.
They walk with ever-growing strength. R/.

One day within your courts
Is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Acts 16: 14b

Alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord, that we may give heed to the words of your Son.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“They sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.”
MATTHEW 13: 47 – 53

At that time: Jesus said to the crowds, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all this?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Understanding the Voice of God
August 3, 2023

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” (Matthew 13:51–52)

At times, Jesus’ words are difficult to understand. How well do you understand what He teaches you? He often teaches in figures of speech, as well as with parables. The passage quoted above concludes a section in which He speaks three subsequent parables. The third of these parables, the parable about the fishnet, is contained in the beginning of today’s Gospel passage. But just prior to that parable are the parables about the pearl of great price and the treasure buried in a field. Upon the conclusion of these three parables, Jesus asked His disciples, “Do you understand all these things?” After they affirmed that they did understand, Jesus gave an overview of the mission to which they had been entrusted. These soon-to-be bishops would become the new scribes who were instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven. Their mission would be to bring forth both the “new and the old.”

Many Church Fathers identify the “new and the old” as a reference to the Old Testament and the New Testament. Thus, the Twelve are being entrusted with the mission of being the scribes of the full revelation contained in what will become the full Bible as we have it today. Other commentators suggest that the “old” refers to the old life of sin and the “new” refers to the new life of grace. It will be the mission of the Twelve to instruct people in the full Gospel message, so as to draw them from their old life of sin to the new life of grace.

Though Jesus’ words can be difficult to understand from the perspective of a biblical scholar, the first of His words quoted above are very straightforward. “Do you understand all these things?” As we ponder that question in particular, try to hear our Lord asking that question of you. Though many scholars and saints of old have offered much clarity on what Jesus’ teachings actually mean, the question that Jesus posed to the Twelve must be answered in a more personal way for each of us. As you hear Jesus ask you if you understand these things, the answer you give is not primarily based upon whether or not you have sufficiently studied the text of His teaching and can rationally explain it as a scholar. Instead, the answer He is seeking is whether or not you can respond from faith. He wants you to say, “Yes, I hear You speaking to me, Lord. Yes, my heart is convicted by the words You have spoken. Yes, I understand what I must do. Yes, Lord, I believe.” The Word of God is alive and can only be “understood” properly when we allow our Living Lord to speak to us, personally, as we listen to His holy Word.

Reflect, today, upon this question that Jesus posed to the Twelve. As you do, hear Him asking you this question. How fully do you understand what God is saying to you, right now at this moment in your life? As you read the Scriptures, do you sense God revealing Himself to you? Do you understand what He wants of you? If hearing the voice of God is a challenge at times, then spend more time prayerfully pondering His holy Word so that His Living Voice will more clearly resonate within your soul.

PRAYER:
My revealing Lord, You speak to me day and night, continuously revealing Your love and mercy to me. May I learn to become more attentive to Your voice speaking within the depths of my soul. As I hear You speak, please give me the gift of understanding to know Your will and to embrace it with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.

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