Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 05.08.2022 

NAHUM 1: 15; 2: 2; 3: 1 – 3, 6 – 7

Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah, fulfil your vows, for never again shall the wicked come against you, he is utterly cut off. (For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have stripped them and ruined their branches.) Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and booty — no end to the plunder! The crack of whip, and rumble of wheel, galloping horse and bounding chariot! Horsemen charging, flashing sword and glittering spear, hosts of slain, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end — they stumble over the bodies! I will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt, and make you an object of scorn. And all who look on you will shrink from you and say, Wasted is Nineveh; who will moan over her? whence shall I seek comforters for her?

The Word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Deuteronomy 32: 35cd – 36ab, 39abcd, 41 (R.) 39c

R/. I kill and I make alive

For the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.
For the Lord will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants. R/.

“See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal.” R/.

“If I sharpen my glittering sword,
and my hand takes hold on judgement,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries,
and Will repay those who hate me.” R/.

ALLELUIA
Matthew 5: 10

Alleluia.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“What shall a man give in return for his life?”
MATTHEW 16: 24 – 28

At that time: Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

The Gospel of the Lord
[9:04 AM, 8/5/2022] Tk: REFLECTION: How Far Will You Go?
August 5, 2022

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

There is a very important word in this statement of Jesus. It’s the word “must.” Note that Jesus did not say that some of you may have to follow me by carrying your cross. No, He said that whoever wishes to follow me must…

So the first question should be easy to answer. Do you wish to follow Jesus? In our heads that’s an easy question. Yes, of course we do. But this is not a question we can answer only with our heads. It must be also answered by our choice to do what Jesus said was a necessity. Namely, wishing to follow Jesus means denying yourself and taking up your cross. Hmmm, so do you wish to follow Him?

Hopefully, the answer is “Yes.” Hopefully, we resolved deeply to embrace all that is involved in following Jesus. But that’s no small commitment. Sometimes we fall into the foolish trap of thinking that we can “kinda” follow Him here and now and that all will be fine and we’ll certainly get into Heaven when we die. Maybe that’s true to a certain extent, but if that’s our thinking then we’re missing out on what life is all about and all that God has in store for us.

Denying yourself and taking up your cross is actually a far more glorious life than we could ever come up with on our own. It’s a blessed life of grace and the only path to ultimate fulfillment in life. Nothing could be better than completely entering into a life of total self-sacrifice by dying to ourselves.

Reflect, today, on whether or not you are willing to say “Yes” to this question not only with your head, but also with your whole life. Are you willing to embrace the life of sacrifice to which Jesus is calling you? What does that look like in your life? Say “Yes,” today, tomorrow and every day through your actions and you’ll see glorious things take place in your life.

PRAYER:
My glorious Lord, I do wish to follow You and I choose, today, to deny all my selfishness. I choose to carry the cross of selfless living to which I am called. May I embrace my cross with joy and be transformed by You through that choice. Jesus, I trust in You.

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