14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green)
Ps 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15ab
In you, my God, I place my trust.
1st Reading: Gen 28:10-22a
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place the sun had set and he spent the night there. He took one of the stones that were there and using it as a pillow, he lay down to sleep.
While Jacob was sleeping, he had a dream in which a ladder stood on the earth with its top reaching to heaven and on it were angels of God going up and coming down. And Yahweh was standing there near him and said, “I am Yahweh, the God of your father, Abraham, and the God of Isaac. The land on which you sleep, I give to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be numerous like the specks of dust of the earth and you will spread out to the west and the east, to the north and the south. Through you and your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. See, I am with you and I will keep you safe wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land and not leave you until I have done what I promised.“ Jacob woke from his dream and said, “Truly Yahweh was in this place and I was not aware of it.“ He was afraid and said, “How full of awe is this place! It is nothing less than a house of God; it is the Gate to Heaven!“
Then Jacob rose early and took the stone he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He named that place Bethel although before that it was called Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, “If Yahweh will be with me and keep me safe during this journey I am making, if he gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, and if I return in peace to my father’s house, then Yahweh will be my God. This stone which I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me, I will give back a tenth.“
Gospel: Mt 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to him, bowed before him and said, “My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live.“ Jesus stood up and followed him with his disciples.
Then a woman, who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years, came up from behind and touched the edge of his cloak; for she thought, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.“ Jesus turned, saw her and said, “Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you.“ And from that moment, the woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, he said, “Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!“ And they laughed at him. But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this spread through the whole area.
An author once compared the miraculous cloak of Jesus that the woman touched to the sacraments of the Church. Just as the woman in the Gospel reached out in faith and touched Jesus through his cloak, so we can reach out in faith and touch Jesus through the sacraments. If we do, Jesus’ healing power will flow into us, just as it flowed into the woman. The comparison is not perfect but it helps us appreciate what a precious gift the sacraments are. They serve a valuable purpose. They are powerful symbols that mediate the healing power of God, leading us to wholeness and fullness of life. May we have the desire to encounter the Lord frequently through the sacraments that we can experience this powerful presence.
By bringing the synagogue official’s daughter back to life, Jesus proves once more that he is no ordinary human being. Son of God that He is, he has power over death. For Jesus and for us believers, earthly death is only a form of “sleep.“ Death, therefore, is not something that should frighten us. As the late Cardinal Bernardin once said, “Death is a friend, not an enemy.“
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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