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July 17, 2020. Friday of Week 15 in Ordinary Time.

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

The Lord hears Hezekiah’s prayer and heals him

Hezekiah fell ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, ‘The Lord says this, “Put your affairs in order, for you are going to die, you will not live.”’ Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and addressed this prayer to the Lord, ‘Ah, Lord, remember, I beg you, how I have behaved faithfully and with sincerity of heart in your presence and done what is right in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah shed many tears.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, ‘Go and say to Hezekiah, “The Lord, the God of David your ancestor, says this: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will cure you: in three days’ time you shall go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. I will save you from the hands of the king of Assyria, I will protect this city.”’
‘Bring a fig poultice,’ Isaiah said, ‘apply it to the ulcer and he will recover.’ Hezekiah said, ‘What is the sign to tell me that I shall be going up to the Temple of the Lord?’ ‘Here’ Isaiah replied ‘is the sign from the Lord that he will do what he has said. Look, I shall make the shadow cast by the declining sun go back ten steps on the steps of Ahaz.’ And the sun went back the ten steps by which it had declined.

Psalm or canticle

Isaiah 38:10-12,16
The canticle of Hezekiah

I said, ‘So I must go away,
my life half spent,
assigned to the world below
for the rest of my years.’

I said, ‘No more shall I see the Lord
in the land of the living,
no more shall I look upon men
within this world.

‘My home is pulled up and removed
like a shepherd’s tent.
Like a weaver you have rolled up my life,
you cut it from the loom.

‘For you, Lord, my heart will live,
you gave me back my spirit;
you cured me, kept me alive,
changed my sickness into health.’

Matthew 12:1-8

The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

Jesus took a walk one sabbath day through the cornfields. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them. The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath.’ But he said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God and how they ate the loaves of offering which neither he nor his followers were allowed to eat, but which were for the priests alone? Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the sabbath day the Temple priests break the sabbath without being blamed for it? Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple. And if you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

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Jul 17, 2020 12:00 AM


Blessed Friday to all of us! Many of us are quick to judge and easy to condemn, yet slow to mercy and compassion. But the Lord is the opposite of this. He is slow to anger and easy to have pity on us. In the first reading, we see how Hezekiah pleaded for his life to God. Then the Lord heard him and immediately added 15 years to his life. Although his sins are many, the Lord had compassion in him. In the words of God it was written “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will cure you”. Do we not receive the same mercy and favor from God? Even though our sins are frequent and many, He is still always ready to forgive us and receive us. Are we not to imitate the Lord our God in His mercy and compassion towards us? Do we not have the same responsibility towards others?

Reflect on how we view others. How quick are we to judge their actions? How quick are we to condemn them, even with our minds? What kinds of malicious thoughts and words come out of us against our brothers and sisters? This is how we should examine ourselves based on the Gospel today. Remember that we are not the lawmaker. God is. Therefore, we do not have the right to judge others. Only God has the right to judge people, yet He is full of mercy towards others. His mercy triumphs over judgment. He gives us chances that we may turn from our ways and go back to God. He corrects us and leads us towards the truth but God does not condemn us.

Reflect also on certain points in our life when we act like Pharisees who, in turn, act like police towards Jesus and His disciples. They watch every step of the Lord and waits when He will commit mistake, or when they can say something bad about Him that they may demean Him. They do not understand the spirit of the law and sees everything in black and white. If someone does not pass their own standards, they do not matter to them and they are loathsome. Thus to them, they are worthy of such mean words from them. They do this out of their prideful and envious hearts.

So we too must examine ourselves through our every thought – always ask yourself, how do you feel? Why are you feeling that way? What is the root cause of that? Ask the Lord to cleanse the inner Pharisee in us. Let us humbly submit ourselves to the Lord. If we do not judge, we will not be judged and if we show mercy, we will be shown mercy. It is in our will to choose. Amen. +

God bless you!

Reflections by: Frances Mary Margaret DJ

Readings Source ©: Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia.

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