READINGS for 2007-07-21
The time the Israelites had stayed in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. – Exodus 12:40
Do you remember the time when… … you stayed till the end of a drinking party because you were too shy to walk out since the person who invited you was an important client?
… you stuck it out with a boyfriend whotreated you like dirt because it was better to have a boyfriend than to be looked upon with pity as a single girl?
… you allowed yourself to get into creditcard debt because you wanted others to think you were richer than you really were?
The Israelites are not alone in getting stuckin Egypt. We are just as culpable. What keeps us in Egypt isn’t Egypt. It’s our motivations. Our comfort zones. Our self talk and failure to love ourselves the way God loves us.
What kind of Egypt are you rotting in right now? Get out.Let Him lead you. Victoria L.
What kind of Egypt are you rotting in right now? Get out. Let Him lead you.
Take me out of this place where I am stuck. I wish to grow and follow Your light.
God is about to deliver something in the order of probably more than two million people from slavery in Egypt. This is an enormous number of people. I do not know if it is possible that the Israelites would have numbered such around 1220 BCE. Numbers aside, it is truly a deliverance worth remembering and celebrating as the Jews still do today. It is still seen as a definitive moment in their history just as we Christians remember our deliverance from sin at the hands of Jesus.
37 The Israelites set out from Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting the children. 38 A crowd of mixed ancestry also went up with them, besides their livestock, very numerous flocks and herds. 39 Since the dough they had brought out of Egypt was not leavened, they baked it into unleavened loaves. They had been rushed out of Egypt and had no opportunity even to prepare food for the journey. 40 The time the Israelites had stayed in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 At the end of four hundred and thirty years, all the hosts of the LORD left the land of Egypt on this very date. 42 This was a night of vigil for the LORD, as he led them out of the land of Egypt; so on this same night all the Israelites must keep a vigil for the LORD throughout their generations.
P S A L M
Psalm 136: 1, 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
R: His mercy endures forever.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever; 23 who remembered us in our abjection, for his mercy endures forever; 24 and freed us from our foes, for his mercy endures forever. (R) 10 Who smote the Egyptians in their first-born, for his mercy endures forever; 11 and brought out Israel from their midst, for his mercy endures forever; 12 with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, for his mercy endures forever. (R) 13 Who split the Red Sea in twain, for his mercy endures forever; 14 and led Israel through its midst, for hismercy endures forever; 15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, for his mercy endures forever. (R)
G O S P E L
From deliverance in Egypt to plots against Jesus; from one defining moment to the premonition of another. Jesus’ life and death will define our existence and being Christians in a greater way than the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt. The effect of the cross will change human history for all people and all time. It marks a new era of God’s grace.
14 The Pharisees went out and took counsel against him to put him to death. 15 When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many [people] followed him, and he cured them all, 16 but he warned them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. 21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
think: The effect of the cross will change human history for all people and all time. It marks a new era of God’s grace.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 26-28
JESUS’ NON-VIOLENT STAND
The main bulk of today’s Gospel reading is a passage from the prophetIsaiah. It is a description of the Suffering Servant, which Matthew now applies to Jesus. One verse is particularly telling (with its details concerning vocabulary): “He will not contend or cry out, nor will His voice be heard in the streets.”
Some English translations have the word “brawl” instead of “contend,”and then the Greek word for what we have as “cry out” actually refers to the barking of dogs, or the loud voice of a drunken man, or the uproar of a mob. We are being told that Jesus is not going to do anything at all like these instances (brawling, or barking, or shouting). On the other hand, in a total contrast to Jesus’ meekness and kindness, the Pharisees instead “began to plot against Jesus to find a way to destroy him.”
In the midst of today’s violence, factionalism, and civil strife, we certainly have a lesson here. Jesus Christ’s non-violent stand, with its passive and radical position, sends a very strong message for us. There is hope in this, contrary to what is usually perceived as signs of weakness or disadvantage. While many nowadays would not hesitate to use brute force and savagery in order to advance their causes, Jesus’ option is a clear one which challenges us. Yes, he might have to withdraw from the public eye and to remain on a low profile. That, in any case, is really the way of our Lord. But hopefully we will not be so evil as to actually “plot” against Jesus by means of our un-Christian motives and methods. Whether it be in school, office, factory, home, or marketplace, let us be ready to stand fast for our Faith, even if it means a disadvantaged position for us. Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you promote peace?
Let Your peace reign!
St. Wastrada, widow, pray for us.
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