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Friday, August 14, 2015

Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God - Daily Bible Readings August 14, 2015


1ST READING
 
We celebrate today the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan who suffered greatly at the hands of both Communists and the Nazis. He died in the place of a fellow prisoner in a German concentration camp during World War II. The man he saved survived the war and lived a long life with his family.  Maximilian is an example of generosity as he willingly gave his life out of love. Perhaps none of us will have this opportunity but we will all have the chance to give generously to others in many different ways.
 
Joshua 24:1-13
1 Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, 2 Joshua addressed all the people: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: In times past your fathers, down to Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor, dwelt beyond the River and served other gods. 3 But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River and led him through the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac. 4 To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5 “Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies which I wrought in her midst. 6 Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea with chariots and horsemen. 7 Because they cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians, upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them. After you witnessed what I did to Egypt, and dwelt a long time in the desert, 8 I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power. You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them the two kings of the Amorites before you. 9 Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab, prepared to war against Israel. He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you; 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him. 11 Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you, but I delivered them also into your power. 12 And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them (the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites) out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow. 13 “I gave you a land which you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.”
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24
R: His mercy endures forever.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever; 2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his mercy endures forever; 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his mercy endures forever. (R) 16 Who led his people through the wilderness, for his mercy endures forever; 17 who smote great kings, for his mercy endures forever; 18 and slew powerful kings, for his mercy endures forever. (R) 21 And made their land a heritage, for his mercy endures forever; 22 the heritage of Israel his servant, for his mercy endures forever; 24 and freed us from our foes, for his mercy endures forever. (R)
 
GOSPEL
 
Jesus affirms that celibacy is a gift for a chosen few in the Church. It is a discipline that priests and religious choose in order to make themselves available for the service of God’s Kingdom. Celibacy is also a sign of contradiction in a world seemingly obsessed with sex, to the point that it has become a commodity to be traded. Sex is not merely a commodity; it is a part of a person’s identity and uniqueness as a human being. It is one of the most precious gifts we have.
 
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God.
 
Matthew 19:3-12
3 Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” 4 He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female 5 and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh.   Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” 7 They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?” 8 He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. 12 Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
 
think: We will all have the chance to give generously to others in many different ways.
 
T O D A Y’S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: __________________
 
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God’s special verse/thought for me today_
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Maccabees 13-15
 

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