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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 18.03.2022

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 18.03.2022

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GENESIS 37: 3 – 4, 12 – 13a, 17b – 28

Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild beast has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; cast him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand upon him”- that he might rescue him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore, and they took him and cast him into a pit. The pit was empty, there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers heeded him. Then Midianite traders passed by; and they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver; and they took Joseph to Egypt.

The Word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 105: 15 – 21 (R.) 5a

R/. Remember the wonders the Lord has done.

But he called down a famine on the land;
he broke their staff of bread.
He had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, sold as a slave. R/.

His feet were weighed down in chains,
his neck was bound with iron,
until what he said came to pass,
and the word of the Lord proved him true. R/.

Then the king sent orders and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him master of his house
and ruler of all his possessions. R/.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
John 3: 16.

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son; that whoever believes in him should have eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
Matthew 21: 33 – 43, 45 – 46

At that time: Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, “Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterwards he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.

The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Rejection Transformed
March 18, 2022

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. (Matthew 21:42)

Of all the rejections that have been experienced throughout the ages, there is one that stands out above the rest. It’s the rejection of the Son of God. Jesus had nothing other than pure and perfect love in His Heart. He wanted the absolute best for everyone He encountered. And He was willing to offer the gift of His life to whoever would accept it. Though many have accepted it, many have also rejected it.

It’s important to understand that the rejection Jesus experienced left deep pain and suffering. Certainly the actual Crucifixion was extraordinarily painful. But the wound He experienced in His Heart from the rejection of so many was His greatest pain and caused the greatest of suffering.

Suffering in this sense was an act of love, not an act of weakness. Jesus didn’t suffer interiorly because of pride or a poor self image. Rather, His Heart hurt because He loved so deeply. And when that love was rejected, it filled Him with the holy sorrow spoken of in the Beatitudes (“Blessed are they who mourn…” Matthew 5:4). This sort of sorrow was not a form of despair; rather, it was a deep experience of the loss of the love of another. It was holy, and a result of His burning love for all.

When we experience rejection it is hard to sort out the pain we feel. It’s very hard to let the hurt and anger we feel turn into a “holy sorrow” which has the effect of motivating us toward a deeper love of those whom we mourn over. This is difficult to do but is what our Lord did. The result of Jesus doing this was the salvation of the world. Imagine if Jesus would have simply given up. What if, at the time of His arrest, Jesus would have called on the myriads of angels to come to His rescue. What if He would have done this thinking, “These people are not worth it!” The result would have been that we would have never received the eternal gift of salvation by His death and Resurrection. Suffering would not have been transformed into love.

Reflect, today, upon the deep truth that rejection is potentially one of the greatest gifts we have to fight against evil. It’s “potentially” one of the greatest gifts because it all depends on how we ultimately respond. Jesus responded with perfect love when he cried out, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” This act of perfect love in the midst of His ultimate rejection enabled Him to become the “Cornerstone” of the Church and, therefore, the Cornerstone of new life! We are called to imitate this love and to share in His ability to not only forgive, but to also offer the holy love of mercy. When we do, we also will become a cornerstone of love and grace for those who need it the most.

PRAYER:
Lord of mercy, help me to be that cornerstone. Help me to not only forgive every time I’m hurt, but let me also offer love and mercy in return. You are the divine and perfect example of this love. May I share in this same love, crying out with You, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Jesus, I trust in You.https://masvingomirror.com/

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