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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 04.12.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 04.12.2023

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ISAIAH 2: 1 – 5

The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 122: 1 – 2, 3 – 4ab, 4cd – 5, 6 – 7, 8 – 9 (R.) 1

R/. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem. R/.

Jerusalem is built as a city
bonded as one together.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord. R/.

For Israel’s witness it is
To praise the name of the Lord.
There were set the thrones for judgement,
the thrones of the house of David. R/.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray,
“May they prosper, those who love you.”
May peace abide in your walls,
And security be in your towers. R/.

For the sake of my family and friends,
Let me say, “Peace upon you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord, our God,
I will seek good things for you. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Psalm 80: 3b – 4

Alleluia.
Come to save us, Lord our God; let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
Many will come from east and west and sit at table in the kingdom of heaven.
MATTHEW 8: 5 – 11

At that time: As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, begging him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard him, he marvelled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Authority of God
December 4, 2023

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Matthew 8:8–9)

These are words spoken by a man who is very familiar with the exercise of authority. He is a Roman centurion, and he states that he himself is “a man subject to authority” and that he also has soldiers who are subject to him. Thus, his daily life consists of following orders and giving orders that are to be obeyed.

When authority is exercised properly, it is a gift that helps to order society, family life, the life of the Church and even our personal lives. Of course, when authority is exercised improperly, in an oppressive and abusive way, it causes much damage. But the exercise of authority is, in and of itself, an act that has the potential to do much good.

Jesus Himself is quite impressed with the Roman centurion in the Gospel passage quoted above. Of him, Jesus states, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” Imagine having the Son of God say that about you! Jesus is impressed, in part, because the centurion acknowledges that he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his house. This is humility, in that the centurion clearly perceives his unworthiness. But Jesus is also impressed because the man manifests a clear and certain faith in Jesus’ authority to heal his servant from a distance. He does not hesitate to profess his belief in this authority of our Lord.

In our own lives, we are often lacking in this area. We face a difficulty (such as the illness this centurion’s servant was enduring), and instead of turning to God with full and unwavering confidence, we turn in on ourselves. We become anxious, fearful, doubtful, confused and sometimes even angry. When any of these qualities are present, it is not because of the difficult situation we face; rather, it is because of our lack of faith and our lack of confidence in the all-powerful authority of our Lord.

In the case of the Roman centurion’s servant, it was the will of God that Jesus physically heal, and so He did. But in the countless daily challenges we face in life, God’s answers might be varied. One unwavering quality we must always have is a certain conviction that God desires to exercise His loving authority in our lives, in the way He chooses, if we trust Him and invite Him to take control.

Reflect, today, upon the perfection of the authority of Christ. Do you believe that He can exercise His perfection of power in your life? Do you believe that His authority is what is needed to order your life, your family, our Church and even our world? Prayerfully submit yourself to the authority of Christ this day and allow yourself to become amazed as you witness all that He is able to do.

PRAYER:
All-powerful Father, I entrust to You my life and every situation in my life that needs Your power and control. Please bring order and harmony to my life and to the lives of those around me. May all Your children learn to more fully entrust themselves to You as their loving God. Jesus, I trust in You.

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