14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (White)
St. Benedict, abbot
Ps 17:1b, 2-3, 6-7ab, 8b & 15
In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
1st Reading: Gen 32:23-33
He took them and sent them across the stream and likewise everything he had. And Jacob was left alone.
Then a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he could not get the better of Jacob, he struck him in the socket of his hip and dislocated it as he wrestled with him.
The man said, “Let me go, for day is breaking.“ But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you have given me your blessing.“ The man then said, “What is your name?“ “Jacob“ was the reply. He answered, “You will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have been strong-with God as you have been with men and have prevailed.“
Then Jacob asked him, “What is your name?“ He answered, “Why do you ask my name?“ And he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Penuel, saying, “I have seen God face to face and survived.“ The sun rose as he passed through Penuel, limping because of his hip.
That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sciatic nerve which is in the hip socket because the sciatic nerve in Jacob’s hip had been touched.
Gospel: Mt 9:32-38
As they were going away, some people brought to Jesus a man who was dumb, because he was possessed by a demon. When the demon was driven out, the dumb man began to speak. The crowds were astonished and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.“ But the Pharisees said, “He drives away demons with the help of the prince of demons.“
Jesus went around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom; and he cured every sickness and disease. When he saw the crowds, he was moved with pity; for they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are only few. Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest.“
“The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few….“
There used to be a common misconception that only priests or religious are called to do the work of evangelization. Lay people who try to actively participate in the life and mission of the Church are playfully referred to as pseudo-priests. Lay preaching is often associated with Protestants and Fundamentalists than with Catholicism. Obviously, we seem to have not really taken to heart what the Second Vatican Council said about evangelization as our common vocation–clergy, religious and laypeople alike. “All share a true equality with regard to the dignity and the activity common to all the faithful for the building up of the Body of Christ.“ (Lumen Gentium, 32)
Thus when Jesus asked his disciples to pray that “the master of the harvest send more laborers to gather his harvest,“ the call was not addressed just to a few but to all who are baptized Christians. The laity are expected no longer just to say “amen“ and to “pray, pay and obey.“ Thankfully, lay people have assumed a more active role in the Church as shown in their participation in various ministries in Church as well as in Basic Ecclesial Communities, renewal movements and covenanted communities. The fidelity and success of the church depends on its members-clergy, religious and lay people alike.
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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
Readings and Reflections
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