Gospel for August 23, 2012, Thursday
20th Week in Ordinary Time
Rose of Lima
Ps 51:12–13, 14–15, 18–19
I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
1st Reading: Ezk 36:23–28
Thus says Yahweh: I will make known the holiness of my great Name, profaned among the nations because of you, and they will know that I am Yahweh when I show them my holiness among you.
For I will gather you from all the nations and bring you back to your own land. Then I shall pour pure water over you and you shall be made clean—cleansed from the defilement of all your idols. I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I shall remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put my spirit within you and move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you shall be my people and I will be your God.
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus began to address the chief priests and elders of the people, once more using parables:
“This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven. A king celebrated the wedding of his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the wedding feast, but the guests refused to come.
“Again he sent other servants ordering them to say to the invited guests: ‘I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now everything is ready; come then, to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went away, some to their fields, and others to their work. While the rest seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them.
“The king became angry. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants: ‘The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go, then, to the crossroads and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’
“The servants went out at once into the streets and gathered everyone they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests.
“The king came in to see those who were at table, and he noticed a man not wearing the festal garment. So he said to him: ‘Friend, how did you get in without the wedding garment?’ But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants: ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“Know that many are called, but few are chosen.”
In the 14th century, Johann Tauler (a disciple of Meister Eckhart) noted: Jesus did not ask you to take up his cross, but to take up your cross! This simple statement has been a source of insight and support for me for many years. My cross will not look at all like the cross of Christ! It will look more like me! We are our own crosses. To carry ourselves along, with all our fears and compulsions and our laziness: that alone could make most days a Good Friday! Add to it all the people we lend a hand to, or a shoulder…
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