Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.06.2022

Jeremiah 1:4-10

In the days of King Josiah, the word of the LORD came to me, saying:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I dedicated you,

a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

“Ah, Lord GOD!” I said,

“I know not how to speak; I am too young.”

But the LORD answered me,

Say not, “I am too young.”

To whomever I send you, you shall go;

whatever I command you, you shall speak.

Have no fear before them,

because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,

See, I place my words in your mouth!

 This day I set you

over nations and over kingdoms,

to root up and to tear down,

to destroy and to demolish,

to build and to plant.

Responsorial Psalm

71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab and 17

R. (6)  Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;

 incline your ear to me, and save me.

R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety,

for you are my rock and my fortress.

O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.

R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

For you are my hope, O Lord;

my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength.

R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation.

O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.

R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

Reading II: 1 Peter 1:8-12

Beloved:

Although you have not seen Jesus Christ you love him;

even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,

you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,

as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation,

prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours

searched and investigated it,

investigating the time and circumstances

that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated

when he testified in advance

to the sufferings destined for Christ

and the glories to follow them.

It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you

with regard to the things that have now been announced to you

by those who preached the Good News to you

through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,

things into which angels longed to look.

Alleluia

See Jn 1:7; Lk 1:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

He came to testify to the light,

to prepare a people fit for the Lord.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Luke 1:5-17

In the days of Herod, King of Judea,

there was a priest named Zechariah

of the priestly division of Abijah;

his wife was from the daughters of Aaron,

and her name was Elizabeth.

Both were righteous in the eyes of God,

observing all the commandments

and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.

But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren

and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving

as priest in his division’s turn before God,

according to the practice of the priestly service,

he was chosen by lot

to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.

Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside

at the hour of the incense offering,

the angel of the Lord appeared to him,

standing at the right of the altar of incense.

Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,

because your prayer has been heard.

Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,

and you shall name him John.

And you will have joy and gladness,

and many will rejoice at his birth,

for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.

John will drink neither wine nor strong drink.

He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,

and he will turn many of the children of Israel

to the Lord their God.

He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah

to turn their hearts toward their children

and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous,

to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

REFLECTION: Fidelity to God After a Fall

Thursday, June 23, 2022

He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.  (Luke 1:63-64)

Zechariah provides a great witness to all of us of one who sinned by lacking faith in God, but after suffering the humiliation of his sin, he became truly faithful and ended up “blessing God.”

We are familiar with his story.  His wife became pregnant with John the Baptist by a miracle in her old age.  When it was revealed to Zechariah by an angel that this would take place, he failed to have faith in this promise and doubted.  The result was that he was struck mute until the moment that John was born.  It was at that moment when Zechariah acted in fidelity to the revelation of God by naming his baby “John” as the angel had requested.  This act of fidelity on Zechariah’s part loosened his tongue and he began to speak the praises of God.

This witness of Zechariah should be an inspiration to all who seek to follow the will of God in their lives but have failed.  There are many times when God speaks to us, we hear Him, but we fail to believe in what He says.  We fail in fidelity to His promises.  The result is that we suffer the effects of that sin.

At first, the effects of sin in our lives can seem like a punishment.  Indeed, in many ways they are.  It’s not a punishment from God; rather, it’s a punishment of sin.  Sin has devastating consequences in our lives.  But the good news is that those consequences of sin are permitted by God as a way of drawing us back to fidelity to Him.  And if we allow them to humble us and change us like Zechariah did, we will be able to turn from a life of infidelity to the will of God to a life of fidelity.  And a life of fidelity will enable us to ultimately sing the praises of our God.

Reflect, today, upon the ways that you have not been faithful to God in your life.  But think of it in the context of hope.  Hope that God will receive you back and transform your life if you return to Him.  God is waiting and His mercy is abundant.  Allow His mercy to fill you with a heart that blesses the goodness of God.

PRAYER:

Lord, help me to see my past sins not so much in despair, but as reasons to return to You in greater fidelity.  No matter how many times I have fallen, help me to get back up and to faithfully sing Your praises.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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