Tuesday, July 5 ~ Fourteenth Week in the Season of Ordinary Time
Saint Anthony Zaccaria, Priest; Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
Holy Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38 A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Meditation: Always interesting when Jesus’ miracles could cause both scorn and wonder at the same time, especially from those who professed their faith in God. And yet, don’t we sometimes encounter the same reaction today, even in ourselves! The crowds looked with awe at the wonderful works which Jesus did, but the religious leaders attributed this same work to the power of the devil. They disbelieved because they refused to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Their idea of religion was too narrow and closed to accept Jesus as the Anointed One sent by the Father “to set the captives free” (Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 11:5). They were too set in their own ways to change and they were too proud to submit to Jesus. They held too rigidly to the observances of their ritual laws while neglecting the more important duties of love of God and love of neighbor. The people, as a result, were spiritually adrift and hungry for God. Jesus met their need and gave them new faith and hope in God’s saving help.
Prayer ~ Saint Anthony Zaccaria: Grant, O Lord, that in the spirit of the Apostle Paul we may pursue the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, for, having learned it, Saint Anthony Zaccaria constantly preached your saving word in the Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Prayer ~ Saint Elizabeth of Portugal: O God, author of peace and lover of charity, who adorned Saint Elizabeth of Portugal with a marvelous grace for reconciling those in conflict, grant, through her intercession, that we may become peacemakers, and so be called children of God. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever
Contemplation: Whenever the gospel is read in the quiet of one’s home or proclaimed, God’s kingdom is made manifest and new life and freedom is given to those who respond with faith. The Lord grants freedom to all who turn to him with trust. Do you bring your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith that he can set you free? The Lord invites us to pray that the work of the gospel may spread throughout the world, so that all may find true joy and freedom in Jesus Christ.