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12th Week in Ordinary Time
The Lord is the strength of his people,
a saving refuge for the one he has anointed.
Save your people, Lord, and bless your heritage,
and govern them for ever. Cf. Ps 28 (27):8-9
Grant, O Lord,
that we may always revere and love your holy name,
for you never deprive of your guidance
those you set firm on the foundation of your love.
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. Amen.
2 Kings 25:1-12
In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side. The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine had gripped the city, and the people had no more bread, the city walls were breached. Then the king and all the soldiers left the city by night through the gate between the two walls that was near the king’s garden. Since the Chaldeans had the city surrounded, they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook him in the desert near Jericho, abandoned by his whole army.
The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him. He had Zedekiah’s sons slain before his eyes. Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters, and had him brought to Babylon.
On the seventh day of the fifth month (this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon. He burned the house of the Lord, the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every large building was destroyed by fire. Then the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem.
Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the last of the artisans. But some of the country’s poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, left behind as vinedressers and farmers.
R. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
By the streams of Babylon
we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the aspens of that land
we hung up our harps. R.
Though there our captors asked of us
the lyrics of our songs,
And our despoilers urged us to be joyous:
Sing for us the songs of Zion! R.
How could we sing a song of the Lord
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand be forgotten! R.
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
If I place not Jerusalem
ahead of my joy. R.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases. Mt 8:17
When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, the sacrifice of conciliation and praise
and grant that, cleansed by its action,
we may make offering of a heart pleasing to you.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The eyes of all look to you, Lord,
and you give them their food in due season. Ps 145 (144):15
I am the Good Shepherd,
and I lay down my life for my sheep, says the Lord. Jn 10:11, 15
Prayer after Communion
Renewed and nourished
by the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of your Son,
we ask of your mercy, O Lord,
that what we celebrate with constant devotion
may be our sure pledge of redemption.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 8:1-4
His leprosy was cleansed immediately. (Matthew 8:3)
From the moment he exhibited signs of leprosy, this poor man was separated from his family. He had to ring a bell and call out “Unclean!” whenever a healthy person approached him. Imagine the kind of life he was forced to lead! Not only was he coping with the physical effects of a terrible illness, but he also had to deal with the guilt, stress, and sense of isolation that came with his exclusion. And then there were the effects of knowing that so many people around him were now afraid of him.
There was a good reason for isolating lepers, however: people in the ancient Near East knew that leprosy was an incurable and highly contagious disease. By approaching Jesus, the man risked infecting him and making him ritually unclean as well. To go ahead and do so anyway required both great courage and great faith.
Imagine the joy this man must have felt at being both physically healed and freed from the social constraints of his disease! After getting approval from the rabbi, he could return home, get a job, and live with his family once again. His whole life had changed because he dared to ask Jesus for help.
We may feel “unclean” at times, or undeserving of the little blessings—or certainly the big miracles—that God wants to give us. We may hesitate to call out to Jesus for help, to ask for forgiveness, or even to try going deeper in our faith or drawing closer to Christ. We might avoid going to Eucharistic Adoration because we don’t believe God would speak to us there. Or we might go to Confession but doubt that God has truly forgiven our sins.
Just as this fellow courageously called out to Jesus and asked for healing, you can do the same. So come to Jesus. Believe in your heart that he welcomes you and he wants to speak with you. Ask him to heal you. Right now, imagine him placing his hands on you and giving you an extra supply of his grace and healing power. Be made clean!
“Heal me, Lord, of whatever keeps me from you. Help me to believe that I am worthy of your love.”
2 Kings 25:1-12
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