Local Homilies

July 23, 2018

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 395

Reading 1 Mi 6:1-4, 6-8

Hear what the LORD says:
Arise, present your plea before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice!
Hear, O mountains, the plea of the LORD,
pay attention, O foundations of the earth!
For the LORD has a plea against his people,
and he enters into trial with Israel.

O my people, what have I done to you,
or how have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
from the place of slavery I released you;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.

With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with myriad streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my crime,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
You have been told, O man, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Responsorial Psalm pS 50:5-6, 8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia Ps 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”
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Homily July 23
Micah 6:1-4,6-8; Psalm 49:5-6,8-9,16-17,21,23; Matthew 12:38-42
THIS IS WHAT THE LORD ASKS OF YOU:
“Only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God”; beyond this we have no other obligation to fulfil in the world before the Lord.
1~ In the first reading, we are reminded that God does not demand much thing from us; neither is He interested in fat lambs nor in bulls, but to act justly before God, because He is a just God, (cf Acts 10:34-35). God loves everyone who lives in justice and treats others justly, more than the one offers sacrifices.
2~ To love tenderly is another demand we are expected to fulfil daily. We need to tenderly and lovingly care for one another. God is daily showing us this tender loving care, to remind us of His everlasting love for us; if we can do the same for our fellow human beings, we will be fulfilling all the law, (cf Romans 13:10).
3~ We have to walk humbly with our God daily, this will involve: giving up all prides that will come from our successes; abandoning ourselves to the will of God in all situations; trusting more in God, than in our own capabilities; and accepting failures when the glory of God will be affected by own pride.
4~ When the Pharisees demanded for a sign, Jesus appeared like a failure, because He did not acquiesce to their demand. He could have done so to prove His power, but He chose not to do so. May we not be influenced by the evil generation that dares God daily by living in sin, while expecting Him to show His presence with punishments.
5~ Dear friend, “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending to the foundation of humility.” St. Augustine. “Pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” C. S. Lewis. May we humbly walk before God, by trusting in His love and acting justly. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
To write well and speak well is mere vanity if one does not live well. St. Bridget of Sweden
It is a new week, new opportunities, may God abide with us as we go act justly
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Holy Angel’s Parish and St Mary’s Parish, St Albans, Vermont