Thursday of 15th Week of the Year, July 16, 2020

Isaiah voices a prayer of longing for God, asks for peace and hopes for a rebirth for his people. It represents the prayer of the just among his people. Our selection skips the parts referring to the fate of the unjust.
The weak and the poor are open to the love of Jesus, for they are aware that they are fragile and vulnerable. He will give them rest and make them aware that what, He, Jesus, asks of them is a light burden, for it is carried in love. They will find rest in him.

Opening Prayer
God with a heart,
you have made your love visible
in your Son Jesus, human like us,
and through him you have bound yourself to us
with a bond of faithful love.
Accept our thanks
and help us to reflect a bit of your own love,
that, like you and Jesus,
we may not be afraid
of showing affection and concern to people
and of rendering them generous service,
even when it is inconvenient to do so.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

1 Reading: Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
The way of the just is smooth; the path of the just you make level. Yes, for your way and your judgments, O LORD, we look to you; Your name and your title are the desire of our souls. My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you; When your judgment dawns upon the earth, the world’s inhabitants learn justice. O LORD, you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done. O LORD, oppressed by your punishment, we cried out in anguish under your chastising. As a woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pains, so were we in your presence, O LORD. We conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind; Salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth. But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise; awake and sing, you who lie in the dust. For your dew is a dew of light, and the land of shades gives birth.

Responsorial Psalm 102:13-14AB AND 15, 16-18, 19-21
R. (20b) From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

You, O LORD, abide forever,
and your name through all generations.
You will arise and have mercy on Zion,
for it is time to pity her.
For her stones are dear to your servants,
and her dust moves them to pity. R.

The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer. R.

Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.” R.

Alleluia Matthew 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Isaiah recalls vividly that the country’s pain has ended in joy. But the crushing hand of God’s anger had been felt in punishment. As pain precedes childbirth only to break forth in joy, such is the similar lot of God’s people. While final salvation still remains on the horizon, his glory is already being enkindled. At some point even the dead will rise.
We all suffer pain in one way or another—war, unemployment, illness. But the Christian life is never overwhelmed. Jesus reminds us today to bring our sorrows to him. He is not an overbearing dictator but a servant-prince who is meek and humble of heart. If we stand firm, we will be refreshed. That is the assurance of today’s Gospel.
Some people are forever downcast. A professor I had years ago never smiled. He carried the weight of the world and his students got the brunt of it. One student remarked, “Well, he’s strict, but he’s fair.” Another responded, “I don’t know about his fairness, but I’ve never had any trouble finding his strictness.”
Rejoice in the Lord, for the world is his.

– Lord Jesus, make us aware how brittle and vulnerable we are, that we may simply ask for your help when we are in distress, we pray:
– Lord Jesus, may those who are tired in life and see no solution to their problems, turn trustingly to you, we pray:
– Lord Jesus, help us carry the burdens of others, for these are light as they are our brothers and sisters, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
God, source of all love,
your Son Jesus gave himself totally for you
as he gives himself now to us
in this Eucharistic celebration.
May we learn from him
to help others carry their burdens
and to bring out the best in them.
Make our love as faithful and generous as his,
that he may live among us
now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
your love beat in a human heart
when your Son lived among people
as one of us.
Help us to become one with him
and give us hearts as wide as his.
May we prefer, as he did,
those who are loved least
and therefore need affection most,
that we may bring them a bit of your warmth
and love in them him who is our Lord
now and for ever.

Let our Christian living be a hymn of gratitude to God’s initiative of love and to Jesus’ continual care. The demands he makes of us (yoke/burden) are easy and light. May the God of love bless you all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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