A Few Words on the Gospel for the Day – from Deacon Phil

Reflections on the Daily Gospel Readings, August 9-15, 2020

Man's hands folded over BibleAug 9 Sunday:  Mt 14:22-33 | Jesus needed some time alone. A multitude of people had just been fed. The crowds were dismissed. He made the disciples get into a boat and go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Off by himself, he prayed. Alone through the rest of the evening, surely he was at one in prayer with the Father. It was in the fourth watch of the night (3 AM) that he appeared to the disciples in the midst of a storm. They had nothing to fear, Peter had nothing to fear, and we have to have faith in the current darkness. Christ is always present to us. He brings the power of God into our presence. His hand reaches out to grab us from sinking. He can calm the storm that surrounds us. 

Aug 10, Monday: Jn 12:24-26 | The esteem in which the Church holds St. Lawrence is seen in the fact that today’s celebration ranks as a feast. We know very little about his life. According to tradition, when asked to surrender the Church’s riches, Lawrence gathered the poor and said they were the Church’s real treasure. For this action, outraging the emperor, he was put to death. He died for Christ. He was the most venerated Roman martyr of the early Church. May we imitate his willingness to speak the truth to authorities whose policies may bring death, not life. 

Aug 11, Tuesday: Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 | Today’s gospel highlights some of the personal relationships of a Christian life. First and foremost, there is the quality of humility. Only the person who has the humility of the child is a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. Personal ambition, prestige, publicity and profit are motives which find no place in the life of the Christian. And then, there is individual care. The Christian realizes that God cares for him individually, and that he must reflect that individual care in his care for others. For the Christian every man is important and is a child of God who, if lost, must be found. 

Aug 12, Wednesday: Mt 18:15-20 | If a brother sins against you, recall that for God no one is beyond forgiveness. Discuss the matter privately with each other in loving fellowship. Prayerfully seek Christ’s presence in the situation. If the sinner remains stubborn and obstinate, Jesus Christ has found no man hopeless – and neither must we. It may certainly be a challenge to win him over with love, which can touch even the hardest heart. Press on to make right a relationship that lasts into eternity. And where two or three are in agreement in prayer, certainly God will respond. Likely not in exactly the way you may have hoped, but He will answer according to the good He wants to happen.   

Aug 13, Thursday: Mt 18:21 – 19:1 | Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy times seven.” There is no limit to the amount of times we need to forgive someone who sins against us. Nothing men can do to us can in any way compare with what we have done to God. If God has forgiven us the debt we owe to him, we must forgive our fellow men the debts they owe to us. We have been forgiven a debt which is beyond all paying – for the sin of man brought about the death of God’s own Son – and, if that is so, we must forgive others as God has forgiven us, or we can hope to find no mercy. 

Aug 14, Friday: Mt 19:3-12 | Jesus emphasizes the sacred union of male and female in marriage, not allowing divorce except in the case of marital unfaithfulness. For him God’s original ideal for marriage is outlined in Genesis 2:24 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.’ The divine intention for husband and wife was monogamy. Together they were to form as inseparable a union as that between parent and child. Husband and wife should be bound together as ‘one flesh’ as long as they live, of which sexual union is an expression.

Aug 15, Saturday: Luke 1:39-56 | Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. It celebrates the taking up of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven at the end of her earthly life. Today’s Gospel begins with Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. It incorporates Mary’s beautiful Canticle of the Magnificat prayer. She proclaims the greatness of the Lord and finds joy in God, her savior. She humbly declares herself a lowly handmaid who deeply reveres her God. From her position of strength she will help the lowly and the poor find justice on earth, and she will challenge the rich and powerful to distrust wealth and power as a source of happiness. 

Tags: Daily Gospel Reflections, Deacon Phil

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