Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 16.07.2022

MICAH 2: 1 – 5

Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds! When the maiming dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. They covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, against this family I am devising evil, from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time. In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes It from me! Among our captors he divides our fields.” Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 10: 1 – 4a, 7 – 8b, 14 (R.) 12b

R/. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!

O Lord, why do you stand afar off,
and hide yourself in times of distress?
The poor are devoured by the pride of the wicked;
they are caught in the schemes that others have made. R/.

For the wicked boasts of his soul’s desires;
the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.
The wicked says in his pride, “God will not punish.
There is no God.” Such are his thoughts. R/.

His mouth is full of cursing, guile, oppression;
under his tongue are deceit and evil.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hidden places, he murders the innocent. R/.

But you have seen the trouble and sorrow.
You note it; you take it in your hands.
The helpless one relies on you,
for you are the helper of the orphan. R/.

ALLELUIA  
2nd Corinthians 5: 19

Alleluia.
God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“He ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet.”
MATTHEW 12: 14 – 21

At that time: The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all, and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets; he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick, till he brings justice to victory; and in his name will the Gentiles hope.”

The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: Dealing with the Malice of Others
July 16, 2022

If you really sit back and think about this, it’s shocking, sad and even scandalous. Here, the religious leaders of the time were actively, intentionally and calculatedly plotting to kill the Savior of the world. The very One Whom they were supposed to be preparing for and hoping for became their object of malice, hatred and ultimate persecution.

It is shocking and, therefore, we should have a deep sorrow at their actions. But sorrow at their actions does not mean we need to fall into an irrational anger, despair or a mindset of revenge. Sorrow at the malicious actions of the Pharisees is actually a form of love toward them in that a deep sorrow at their actions is a way of calling them to repent.

Sure, this happened many years ago and the actual Pharisees who acted in this calculated and malicious way are no longer with us. Nonetheless, Jesus continues to be persecuted in numerous ways, and sometimes this persecution is even found among those who claim the name Christian and even those who act in leadership within our Church and world.

Practically speaking, we all may be able to identify in some way with the plotting and planning of Jesus’ persecution. It would be highly unlikely that we experience this malice to the extent that Jesus did, but all of us have most likely experienced it to one extent or another.

Sadly, when we radically commit ourselves to Christ and His mission, we often become a target of the evil one. And very often, we experience the arrows of the evil one from those who should be our greatest supporters. Therefore, if this is your experience in some way, do not be scandalized or overly shaken. It’s appropriate to be saddened by it, but don’t give in to irrationality as a result. Persecution is a part of following Christ. It happened to Jesus and we should, therefore, expect it to happen to us.

Reflect, today, upon how you deal with the hurt and malice of others. You are not the one who is given the right to judge or condemn. But you are called to experience the same sorrow that Jesus did. This sorrow is a holy sorrow which is spoken of in the Beatitudes. It’s a sorrow which will enable you to reject the errors you encounter and grow in patience and endurance.

PRAYER:
My sorrowful Lord, when I feel ridiculed or persecuted by others, help me to stand strong in my faith and, especially, in my charity. Help me to allow a holy sorrow to strengthen me to have hope and to move forward in the mission You have given me. Jesus, I trust in You.

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