Reflections

Monday of 19th Week of the Year, August 08, 2022

>>> St DOMINIC – Pray for Us!
CIVIL DUTY – CHRISTIAN OBLIGATION
Introduction
A Spanish canon, Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221) discovered his vocation as a missionary to the common people. Pope Innocent III sent him to counteract the Albigensian heresy in Southern France, caused by the people’s ignorance, the clergy’s complicity in politics and money, and the inquisition. He founded an order of friars not compromised like the seculars with the powers of his day, to share the poor life of the masses and to win them back to Christ by prayer and catechesis.
 
Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
we thank you today
for the example of St. Dominic,
who studied and prayed
that he might read the signs of the times
and understand your plans
so as to serve the poor better.
Help us to understand your plan of salvation
and to draw the strength for carrying it out
from encountering you in prayer.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
 
1 Reading – EZEKIEL 1:2-5, 24-28C
On the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year, that is, of King Jehoiachin’s exile, the word of the LORD came to the priest Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar. There the hand of the LORD came upon me. As I looked, a stormwind came from the North, a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness, from the midst of which (the midst of the fire) something gleamed like electrum. Within it were figures resembling four living creatures that looked like this: their form was human. Then I heard the sound of their wings, like the roaring of mighty waters, like the voice of the Almighty. When they moved, the sound of the tumult was like the din of an army. And when they stood still, they lowered their wings. Above the firmament over their heads something like a throne could be seen, looking like sapphire. Upon it was seated, up above, one who had the appearance of a man. Upward from what resembled his waist I saw what gleamed like electrum; downward from what resembled his waist I saw what looked like fire; he was surrounded with splendor. Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day was the splendour that surrounded him. Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
 
Responsorial PSALM 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory. or: Alleluia.
 
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts. R.
 
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys, R.
 
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven. R.
 
And he has lifted up the horn of his people.
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia. R.
 
Alleluia – Cf. 2 THESSALONIANS 2:14
Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called you through the Gospel
To possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel – MATTHEW 17:22-27
As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief. When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said. When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?” When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”
 
Commentary
Death and Taxes
“Death and taxes are the only two certainties in life,” we say. Well, Jesus mentions both in today’s gospel. The matter-of-fact manner in which Jesus mentions his death must make us think. Jesus can speak so because he knows that his death at the hands of his enemies is part of the grand design of God, and he is at home with it. It frees him up to live his life to such fullness that he is also at ease living the life of an earthly citizen with its “taxing” demands. Ernest Becker, in his brilliant book ‘Denial of Death’, argues that every undertaking of human being is an effort at denying death. Whereas this denial has given us great advancement in science and technology, how greater would our achievements be, especially at the service of human solidarity, if we can serenely accept the reality of death and live our lives accordingly!
 
Intentions
– For the Church, that it may not be ashamed of preaching the crucified Christ and of being self-effacing with him, we pray:
– For all of us, that we may never put the law above people but practice first the great commandment of loving one another, we pray:
– For our Christian communities, that we may welcome strangers and foreigners and make them our friends in the name of God who has befriended us, we pray:
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
we bring before you bread and wine,
the fruit of human toil,
and you change them through your Spirit
into the body and blood of Christ.
Make our human efforts always fruitful
by the strength of your grace,
that you may do great things in us
for the salvation of the world
and for the glory of your name.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
 
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
the Good News of your Son
can change the whole world.
We pray you today
for that deep faith in the gospel
which St. Dominic had.
With this faith and with your grace,
we can make the Gospel believable
to the people of our time.
Let us be humble messengers
of Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen!
 
Blessing
We are free sons and daughters of God and we cherish this freedom. Yet, we do not want to be a clan separate from others or people seeking privileges. We want to be united with all and to serve them. May Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *