FIRST READING

“I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears.”

A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 38 :1-6.21-22.7-8)

In those days, Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order; for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.” Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs, and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?” (Isaiah answered.) “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that ‘he has promised: Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Isaiah 38: 10.11.12abcd. 16 (R. see 17cd)

R/. O Lord, you have snatched my soul lest it perish.

I said, In the noontide of my days

I must depart;

I am consigned to the gates of Sheol

for the rest of my years. R/.

I said, I shall not see the Lord

in the land of the living;

I shall look upon man no more

among the inhabitants of the world. R/.

R/. O Lord, you have snatched my soul lest it perish.

My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me

Like a shepherd’s tent;

Like a weaver I have rolled up my life;

He cuts me off from the loom. R/.

O Lord, by these things men live,

And in all these is the life of my spirit.

Oh, restore me to health and make me live! R/.

ALLELUIA John 10:27

Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice; says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“The Son of man is lord of the sabbath.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 12:1-8)

At that time: Jesus went through the grain fields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than, the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you could not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

When Hezekiah took ill and was dying, he prayed fervently for divine intervention and his prayers were answered. The Lord heard his cry and healed him of his terminal illness; and he lived on for fifteen more years. The Lord further promised him and his subjects guidance and protection against their enemies. This demonstrates the power of prayer and intercession in the life of every believer. Through prayer and meditation, Christians are enlightened and given the wisdom to understand the teaching of Jesus and how to apply it in the crucial circumstances of life.

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