14th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Hos 11:1–4, 8e–9
I loved Israel when he was a child; out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I have called, the further have they gone from me—sacrificing to the Baals, burning incense to the idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; yet little did they realize that it was I who cared for them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with leading strings of love, and I became for them as one who eases the yoke upon their neck and stoops down to feed them.
How can I give you up, Ephraim? Can I abandon you like Admah or make you like Zeboiim? My heart is troubled within me and I am moved with compassion. I will not give vent to my great anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim for I am God and not human. I am the Holy One in your midst and I do not want to come to you in anger.
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples, “Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not carry a traveler’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or walking-stick: workers deserve their living.
“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person and stay there until you leave.
“As you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you.
“And if you are not welcomed and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than it will for the people of that town.”
When Jesus sent out his disciples to the whole world “with no gold or silver, not even with a few coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footwear or a staff,” he is clearly implying that the whole world is God’s Temple and that all business and commercial interest have to be expelled from the soul when one becomes a messenger of the Gospel in the world. He chased the buyers and sellers out of the Temple. The commercial spirit is all right in its place but it should not enter your soul.
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