Readings and Reflection for July 23 Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time


The law was given through Moses (John1:17).
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 20:1-17)

In those days: God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you. “You shall not kill.” “You shall not commit adultery.” “You shall not steal.” “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 19: (R. John 6:68c)
R/. Lord, you have the words of eternal life.

The law of the Lord is perfect;
It revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple. R.

The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear;
it gives light to the eyes. R.

R/. Lord, you have the words of eternal life.

The fear of the Lord is pure,
abiding forever.
The judgements of the Lord are true;
they are, all of them, just. R.

They are more to be desired than gold,
than quantities of gold.
And sweeter are they than honey,
than honey flowing from the comb. R.

ALLELUIA Luke 8:15
Alleluia. Blessed are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. Alleluia.

He who hears the word and understands it, bears fruit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13: 18-23)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Hear then the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the Evil One comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no foot in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundred fold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The Ten Commandments (also known as the Decalogue) are ten laws that God gave to the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. They are essentially a summary of the 613 commandments contained in the Old Testament law. The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God; the remaining six, with our relationships with one another. Needless to say, following all of these Ten Commandments would lead to a healthy society rooted in the proper moral and social order. But Jesus summarised these commandments under two great principles: love of God and love of neighbor (Mt 22:37-40). It is the one who loves God and neighbor, one who “hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.


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