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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 15.12.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 15.12.2023

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ISAIAH 48: 17- 19

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had listened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, .and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 1: 1 – 2, 3, 4 and 6 (R.) John 8: 12

R/. He who follows you, Lord, will have the light of life.

Blessed indeed is the man
Who follows not the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the path with sinners,
nor abides in the company of scorers,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord,
and who ponders his law day and night. R/.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper. R/.

Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they, like winnowed chaff,
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord knows the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked will perish. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Alleluia.
The Lord is coming, run out to meet him; he is the prince of peace.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
They listened neither to John nor to the Son of man.
MATTHEW 11: 16 – 19

At that time: Jesus said to the crowds, “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! ’Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Dancing and Mourning
December 15, 2023

Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’” ( Matthew 11:16–17)

What does Jesus mean when He says “We played the flute for you…” and “we sang a dirge…?” The Church Fathers clearly identify this “flute” and “dirge” as the word of God that has been preached by the prophets of old. So many came before Jesus to prepare the way, but so many failed to listen. John the Baptist was the final and greatest prophet, and he called people to repentance, but few listened. Thus, Jesus points out this sad truth.

In our day and age, we have so much more than the prophets of the Old Testament. We have the incredible witness of the saints, the infallible teaching of the Church, the gift of the Sacraments and the life and teaching of the Son of God Himself as recorded in the New Testament. Yet, sadly, so many refuse to listen. So many fail to “dance” and “mourn” in response to the Gospel.

We must “dance” in the sense that the gift of Christ Jesus, by His life, death and resurrection should be the cause of our wholehearted rejoicing and eternal adoration. Those who truly know and love the Son of God are filled with joy! Furthermore, we must “mourn” on account of the countless sins in our own lives and in the lives of those all around us. Sin is real and prevalent, and a holy sorrow is the only appropriate response. Salvation is real. Hell is real. And both of these truths demand a total response from us.

In your own life, how fully have you allowed the Gospel to affect you? How attentive are you to the voice of God as it has been spoken through the lives of the saints and through our Church? Are you tuned in to the voice of God as He speaks to you in the depths of your conscience in prayer? Are you listening? Responding? Following? And giving your whole life in the service of Christ and His mission?

Reflect, today, upon the clear, unmistakable, transforming and life-giving words and presence of the Savior of the world. Reflect upon how attentive you have been in life to all that He has clearly spoken and to His very presence. If you do not find yourself “dancing” for God’s glory and “mourning” over the evident sins of your life and within our world, then recommit yourself to a radical following of Christ. In the end, the Truth that God has spoken throughout the ages and His holy and divine presence are all that matter.

PRAYER:
My glorious Lord Jesus, I acknowledge Your divine presence in my life and in the world all around me. Help me to be more attentive to the countless ways that You speak to me and come to me each and every day. As I discover You and Your holy word, fill me with joy. As I see my sin and the sins of the world, give me true sorrow so that I will work tirelessly to combat my own sin and bring Your love and mercy to those who are most in need. Jesus, I trust in You.

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