Readings and Reflection for Monday August 1, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (M)

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FIRST READING

“Hananiah, the Lord God has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. ”

A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 28:1-17)

In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, says the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Hananiah the prophet in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words which you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. Yet hear now this word which I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the LORD has truly sent the prophet.” Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke-bars from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet, and broke them. And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years.” But Jeremiah the prophet went his way. Sometime after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke-bars from off the neck of Jeremiah the prophet, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Go, tell Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars, but I will make in their place bars of iron. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put upon the neck of all these nations an iron yoke of servitude to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him, for I have given to him even the beasts of the field.”’ And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the Lord.”’ In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 119:29.43.79.b0.95.102 (R. 65b)

R/. Teach me your statutes, O Lord

Keep me from the way of falsehood;

grant me mercy by your law. R/.

Never take the word of truth from my mouth,

for I hope in your decrees. R/.

Let those who fear you turn to me,

that they may know your decrees. R/.

R/. Teach me your statutes, O Lord

Let my heart be blameless in your statutes,

that I may not be put to shame. R/.

Though the wicked lie in wait to destroy me,

yet I ponder your decrees. R/.

I have not turned away from your decrees;

you yourself have taught me. R.

ALLELUIA Matthew 4:4b

Alleluia. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew14:13-21)

At that time: When Jesus heard [of the death of John the Baptist], he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said. “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

While we are in this world, we might encounter frightening experiences that present themselves like a mighty wind that threatens and rocks us off balance, even causing us to lose faith in God. The wind of suffering might blind our eyes to the real presence of Jesus with us or even lead us to associate God with the problem. “it is I, do not be afraid” is the consoling words of Jesus today. Let us find in these words of Jesus the reason to conquer all fears, to believe more strongly and to trust in him.

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