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Mass Reading & Meditation for July 17, 2020 View another date

Meditation: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

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15th Week in Ordinary Time

Entrance Antiphon

As for me, in justice I shall behold your face;
I shall be filled with the vision of your glory. Cf. Ps 17 (16):15


O God, who show the light of your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honor.
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.

Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

When Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord: “O Lord, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was pleasing to you!” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go, tell Hezekiah: Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you: in three days you shall go up to the Lord’s temple; I will add fifteen years to your life. I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will be a shield to this city.”

Isaiah then ordered a poultice of figs to be taken and applied to the boil, that he might recover. Then Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the temple of the Lord?”

Isaiah answered: “This will be the sign for you from the Lord that he will do what he has promised: See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz go back the ten steps it has advanced.” So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.

Isaiah 38:10, 11, 12abcd, 16

R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.
Once I said,
“In the noontime of life I must depart!
To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned
for the rest of my years.” R.
I said, “I shall see the Lord no more
in the land of the living.
No longer shall I behold my fellow men
among those who dwell in the world.” R.
My dwelling, like a shepherd’s tent,
is struck down and borne away from me;
You have folded up my life, like a weaver
who severs the last thread. R.
Those live whom the Lord protects;
yours is the life of my spirit.
You have given me health and life. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them and they follow me. Jn 10:27
Alleluia, alleluia.

Matthew 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

Prayer over the Offerings

Look upon the offerings of the Church, O Lord,
as she makes her prayer to you,
and grant that, when consumed by those who believe,
they may bring ever greater holiness.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Communion Antiphon

The sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for her young:
by your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are they who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise. Cf. Ps 84 (83):4-5
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord. Jn 6:57

Prayer after Communion

Having consumed these gifts, we pray, O Lord,
that, by our participation in this mystery,
its saving effects upon us may grow.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Daily Meditation: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

The sun came back the ten steps it had advanced. (Isaiah 38:8)

Hezekiah, the king of Judah, was desperate. Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, had declared war on all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. Now he was heading toward Jerusalem, the capital and Hezekiah’s home. And to make matters even worse, Hezekiah was facing a mortal illness. He turned to God in fervent prayer, and the Lord sent Isaiah with a message: Hezekiah would be healed, and the Lord would rescue the city.

Could this word be true? Hezekiah humbly asked for a sign. And what a sign he received: God actually changed the course of the sun!

It might be hard to believe, but God was not offended by Hezekiah’s request. On the contrary, he was happy to oblige. He wanted to show Hezekiah—and all the people of Jerusalem—his love and faithfulness.

Throughout Scripture, God has spoken through dramatic signs. Gideon saw the morning dew dampen only the ground and not a fleece blanket he had laid out (Judges 6:39-40). Balaam heard God’s message through a talking donkey (Numbers 22). And Noah saw a rainbow in the sky as proof of God’s covenant love (Genesis 9:11-17).

God is still sending us signs today. He can be very creative in these signs as he tries to get our attention. Maybe you feel a strong tugging in your heart urging you to call an old friend. You may have a dream that stays with you long after you have woken up. Perhaps you are in the middle of a project at work and suddenly feel prompted to pray for someone. Even rays of sunshine breaking through clouds can be his way of reminding you that he is with you.

So stay alert. God will be trying to get in touch with you as the day unfolds. Know that he will be sending you signs today. Some may be obvious, and others may be subtle. He may offer you guidance, or he may simply encourage you. All you need are open eyes, open ears, and an open heart. God will take care of the rest.

“Holy Spirit, I don’t want to miss your signs today. Help me to stay alert so that I can hear you and see your work in my life.”

(Psalm) Isaiah 38:10-12, 16
Matthew 12:1-8

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