HOSEA 8: 4 – 7, 11 – 13
Thus says the Lord: Israel made kings, but not through me. They set up princes, but without my knowledge. With their silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction. I have spurned your calf, O Samaria. My anger burns against them. How long will it be till they are pure in Israel? A workman made it; it is not God. The calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces. For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads, it shall yield no meal; if it were to yield, aliens would devour it. Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, they have become to him altars for sinning. Were I to write for him my laws by ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing. They love sacrifice; they sacrifice flesh and eat it; but the Lord has no delight in them. Now he will remember their iniquity, and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 115: 3 – 7ab, 8 – 10 (R) 9a
R/. House of Israel, trust in the Lord.
But our God is in the heavens;
he does whatever he wills.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands. R/.
They have mouths but they cannot speak;
they have eyes but they cannot see.
They have ears but they cannot hear;
they have nostrils but they cannot smell. R/.
They have hands but they cannot feel;
they have feet but they cannot walk.
Their makers will come to be like them,
as will all who trust in them. R/.
House of Israel, trust in the Lord;
he is their help and their shield.
House of Aaron, trust in the Lord;
he is their help and their shield. R/.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own and my own knows me.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.”
MATTHEW 9: 32 – 38
At that time: Behold, a mute demoniac was brought to Jesus. And when the demon has been cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Irrationality vs. Normalcy
July 5, 2022
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” (Matthew 9:32-34)
What a stark contrast we see in the reaction of the crowds compared to the reaction of the Pharisees. It’s actually quite a sad contrast.
The reaction of the crowds, meaning normal everyday people, was one of amazement. Their reaction reveals a simple and pure faith that accepts what it sees. What a blessing it is to have this form of faith.
The reaction of the Pharisees was one of judgment, irrationality, jealousy and harshness. Most especially, it is irrational. What would lead the Pharisees to conclude that Jesus “drives out demons by the prince of demons?” Certainly it was nothing that Jesus did that would lead them to this conclusion. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the Pharisees were filled with a certain jealousy and envy. And these sins led them to this ridiculous and irrational conclusion.
The lesson we should learn from this is that we must approach other people with humility and honesty rather than jealousy. By seeing those around us with humility and love, we will naturally arrive at genuine and honest conclusions about them. Humility and honest love will enable us to see the goodness of others and rejoice in that goodness. Sure, we will also be aware of sin, but humility will help us to avoid making rash and irrational judgments about others as a result of jealousy and envy.
Reflect, today, on the way you normally think and speak about others. Do you tend to be more like the crowds who saw, believed and were amazed at the good things Jesus did? Or are you more like the Pharisees who tend to fabricate and exaggerate in their conclusions. Commit yourself to the normalcy of the crowds so that you, too, can find joy and amazement in Christ.
My amazing Lord, I desire to have a simple, humble and pure faith. Help me to also see You in others in a humble way. Help me to see You and to be amazed at Your presence in the lives of those whom I encounter every day. Jesus, I trust in You.