Readings and Reflection for July 20 Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING
“The sons of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground.”    
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 14:21-15:1)

In those days: Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the sons of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel; for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its usual flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the Lord routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore. And Israel saw the great work which the Lord did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord; and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Exodus 15:8-9.10 and 12.17 (R. la)
R. I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously.

At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.” R.

You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
You stretched out your right hand,
the earth swallowed them. R.

R. I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously.

You will bring them in, and plant them on your own mountain,
the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. R.

ALLELUIA John 14:23
Alleluia. If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.

GOSPEL         
“Stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, ’Here are my mother and my brethren.”’
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 12:46-50)

At that time: While Jesus was speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?” And stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The Israelites, during their exodus from Egypt, experiences the power of God yet again when “Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the middle of the sea… not one of them was left.” The Israelites marched on dry ground to safety. “That day, Yahweh rescued Israel from the clutches of the Egyptians”. Yahweh’s presence was made visible to them by fire at night and a cloud by day. God’s power always accompanies us and rescues us, regardless of how powerful the enemy, how hard the struggle, how hopeless the situation and how insurmountable the problem. He is present within our hearts, in the word of God, in the sacraments, in our fellow believers. We need to discover his presence, do his will (Gospel) and trust in his power. With the people of Israel we too shall sing, “I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!”

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