Tuesday, August 11, 2009

God Has Called Us With The Good News

First Reading
Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: "I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross the Jordan.' The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the LORD said. And the LORD will do to them what he did to the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. The LORD will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Deuteronomy 32

R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

For I will sing the LORD’s renown.
Oh, proclaim the greatness of our God!
The Rock–how faultless are his deeds,
how right all his ways!

R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

Think back on the days of old,
reflect on the years of age upon age.
Ask your father and he will inform you,
ask your elders and they will tell you.

R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

When the Most High assigned the nations their heritage,
when he parceled out the descendants of Adam,
He set up the boundaries of the peoples
after the number of the sons of Israel.

R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

While the LORD’s own portion was Jacob,
his hereditary share was Israel.
The LORD alone was their leader,
no strange god was with him.

R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

Matthew 17:22-27

One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief.

fter Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" Yes, he does," he replied.

When Peter returned to the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?" "From others," Peter answered.

"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

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Today’s First Reading and today’s Gospel have a common theme. Moses speech to the people of Israel is quite clearly a Farewell Address. He is 120 years old, and he has known for a long time that he would not be among the people who entered the Land of Promise. Jesus, in very plain language, describes what will be happening to him when they return to Jerusalem: betrayal, death and resurrection.

The words of Moses and the words of Jesus are reflections of similar understanding of a fundamental and eternal reality: the covenant between God and his people, and the faith response of those who have been chosen: the patriarch who guided the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, and the anointed one who taught the children of God throughout the world and throughout the ages to have faith in his word, and confidence in his mercy.

Our fidelity to the covenant between God and his people unites us to God’s being and defines our relationships with each other. God’s being, our communion with God and our communion with each other are all mysteries that reach beyond the limitations of time and space. Further, we are closely linked to all those who through the centuries since these words were first spoken have handed on to us their fidelity to God and each other so that we can continue to be God’s portion, God’s people.

Our daily challenge is to be faithful to who we are.

1 comment:

Mary333 said...

Thank you for this post,Father. I don't always get a chance to get to Mass during the week so I was glad to read this.