GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings) DATE: 17TH JULY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 17TH JULY 2017
MONDAY OF THE FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
FIRST READING: Exodus 1:8-14, 22
PSALM: Psalm 124:1-3, 4-8
GOSPEL: Matthew 10:34 – 11:1
THEME: IF THE LORD HAD NOT BEEN OUR SIDE…
I watched a gardener painstakingly trim a tree anytime it grew to a certain height and spread its branches. It was the gardener’s way of keeping the tree under check so that it would not overshadow the other plants in the garden. I felt sad for that tree but at the same time it reminded me of one piece of truth: In life there are people who would always seek to trim you and keep you short for fear that you would shoot up and cover every space.
A new Pharaoh in Egypt ‘who knew nothing about Joseph’ had surfaced on the scene. He was not happy with the advancement that the Israelites were making in Egypt. He therefore chose to make life unbearable for them by oppressing them with forced labour. However, the more the king sought to weaken them, the more they multiplied and increased. In the end, he chose to enact a barbaric law: “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile…” (Exod. 1:22). Even that inhuman command could not annihilate the people with a promise and destiny beckoning them.
Like the Israelites in Egypt, there are moments in life when the people and places we once found help suddenly turn against us. Places which once served as homes become war zones and friends become ‘terrorists’. Orchestrated attempts are made to oust us out of our comfort zones and make life miserable for us. Unfortunately, sometimes, as Jesus rightly puts it in the Gospel text for today, “a person’s enemies will be the members of his own household” (Matt. 10:36). However, in moments of persecution and tribulations, even if everyone should abandon us, we are never alone. God is always on the side of His children to see them through challenging times.
Yes, “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side…when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!” (Ps. 124:1-6).
PRAYER OF BLESSING: May you escape like a bird from the trapper’s net. May every snare that the enemy puts in place to break you be broken into pieces. May you find help in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. For the sake of Christ, we pray. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).