Readings and Reflection for August 12, Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time


“The ark of the covenant of the Lord is to pass over before you into the Jordan.”
A reading from the Book of Joshua (Joshua 3 :7-10a.11.13-17)

In those days: The Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. And you shall command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan. ”’ And Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” And Joshua said, “Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is to pass over before you into the Jordan. And when the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be stopped from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” So, when the people set out from their tents, to Passover the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (the Jordan over flows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap far off, at Adam, the city that  is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down towards the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off; and the people passed over opposite Jericho. And while all Israel were passing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Ps114:1-2.3-4.5-6
R. Alleluia.

When Israel came forth from Egypt,
The house of Jacob from a foreign people,
Judah became his temple,
Israel became his domain. R.

The sea beheld them and fled;
The Jordan turned back on its course.
The mountains leapt like rams,
And the hills like yearling sheep. R.

Why was it, sea, that you fled;
That you turned back, Jordan, on your course?
O mountains, that you leapt like rams;
O hills, like yearling sheep? R.

ALLELUIA Psalm 119:135
Alleluia. Let your face shine forth on your servant, and teach me your decrees. Alleluia

“I do not say to you to forgive seven times, but seventy times seven.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 18:21-19:1)

At that time: Peter came up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ “And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ahundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ “So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you. ’He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Often we do forgive, but in some situations forgiveness becomes a tough challenge. How is it possible to forgive those who have offended us? How is it possible to forgive people who dragged our names in the mud and humiliated us in different ways? Another difficult question is: how many times should we forgive those who offend us? Peter asked Jesus whether it was okay to forgive seven times. Jesus told Peter: not seven, but seventy times since God is so merciful to us, we ought to appreciate his mercy by forgiving our brothers and sisters. How do we treat powerless people who are pushed to the fringes of society?


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