Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 13.08.2021 Masvingo Mirror

JOSHUA 24: 1 – 13

In those days: Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Your fathers lived of old beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac; and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it; and afterwards I brought you out. Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. And when they cried to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did to Egypt; and you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel; and he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I delivered you out of his hand. And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the men of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I gave them into your hand. And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not laboured, and cities which you had not built, and you dwell there in; you eat the fruit of vineyards and olive yards which you did not plant.”’

The Word of the Lord.

 
RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 136: 1 – 3, 16 – 18, 21 – 22, 24 (R.) 1b

R/. For his mercy endures forever
Or:
Alleluia.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever.  
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his mercy endures forever. R.

Through the desert his people he led,
for his mercy endures forever.
Nations in their greatness he struck,
For his mercy endures forever.
Kings in their spendour he slew,
For his mercy endures forever. R.

He gave their land as a heritage,
For his mercy endures forever.
A heritage for Israel, his servant,
For his mercy endures forever.
And he snatched us away from our foes,
For his mercy endures forever. R.

 
ALLELUIA
1st Thessalonians 2: 13

Alleluia.
Accept the word of God, not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God.
Alleluia.

 
GOSPEL
MATTHEW 19: 3 – 12

At that time: Pharisees came up to Jesus and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “For you…
[15:44, 13/08/2021] Tk: REFLECTION: The Love for Holy Living
August 13, 2021

He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted.” (Matthew 19:11)

This was Jesus’ response to a lengthy discussion about the indissolubility of marriage. One of the reasons that “Not all can accept this word…” is because marriage, and every other vocation, requires wholehearted sacrifice and selflessness. When this is not present, and when the selfless living that is required of us turns to selfishness, then every conflict becomes a heavy burden. A burden that is unbearable without grace.

What is love? What form of love is required in marriage and every other vocation? What love is required of parents and grandparents? The answer is the same to all of these questions. We must love with complete selflessness and in a sacrificial way. Love, in its truest form, always looks to the good of the other and never focuses upon oneself.

Only grace can enable us to live a life based on true love. Our fallen human nature tends to “navel gaze,” meaning, we tend to go through life thinking about ourselves—“What will make my life better? How will this affect me? This person has hurt me. I don’t want to do this or that, etc.” It is very difficult in life to turn our eyes from ourselves to the love of others. This is why Jesus said that this form of love can only be embraced by “those to whom that is granted.” And those to whom this depth of love is granted are those who are open to God’s transforming grace in their lives.

One reason that it is very difficult to love in a completely selfless way is because it requires us to live by grace. Our feeble human minds cannot arrive at the high calling of charity by itself. It is only by grace that we will understand that selfless living is not only best for those whom we are called to love, but it is also best for us. And in the context of married life, parenting, other vocations and every other situation in life, if our love is always focused upon the good of the other, and if our lives imitate the total sacrifice of Christ, then we will see God do great things through us. As He does, we will also see God do great things in us. The bottom line is that we only become who we were made to be when we live like Christ. And He lived a life that was unconditionally sacrificial and selfless.

Reflect, today, upon the high calling of love that you have been given. Can you accept this teaching of our Lord? Has an understanding of the nature of true love been granted to you by grace? And if so, are you doing all you can to live a life of selfless sacrificial love in union with Christ Jesus? As you examine your life and your relationships, especially with those closest to you, consider how well you act as Christ to them. Consider whether you forgive, turn the other cheek, seek mercy, compassion, understanding, gentleness and every other virtue and fruit of the Holy Spirit. Where you are lacking and find selfishness, do not hesitate to beg our Lord to grant you the grace to not only understand your high calling of love, but to also embrace it in your actions to the fullest degree. Then, and only then, will you be able to live the vocation to which you have been called.

PRAYER:
My loving Lord, Your love is beyond all comprehension. It is a love that can only be understood by the gift of Your grace. Please do grant me the grace I need to not only understand and to receive Your love in my life but to also offer Your love to all. May my life become an ongoing instrument of the perfection of love that You lived. Jesus, I trust in You.

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