Readings and Reflection for July 24 Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING
“Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you.”
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 24:3-8)

In those days: Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the sons of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it up on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

The word of the Lord.
 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 50: 1-2.5-6.14-15 (R.14a)
R/. Give your praise as a sacrifice to God.

“The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Sion, the perfection of beauty,
God is shining forth.” R.

“Gather my holy ones to me,
who made covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The heavens proclaim his justice,
for he, God, is the judge. R.

“Give your praise as a sacrifice to God,
and fulfil your vows to the Most High.
Then call on me in the day of distress.
I will deliver you and you shall honour me.” R.

ALLELUIA James 1:21bc
Alleluia. Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“Let both grow together until the harvest.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13:24-30)

At that time: Another parable Jesus put before the crowds, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ “The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ “But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

The Gospel of the Lord.


Today’s Reflection 

Yahweh has given the law to Moses who in turn not only narrated them to the people, but he even put Yahweh’s words in writing for the people to remember. But more than that, these words also were imprinted in their hearts so that they may never ever forget. Yahweh has also asked them to “teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut. 6:7). God sowed good seeds that produce good fruit in the hearts of the people. But the devil sowed the weeds, making the presence of evil a reality in the world. There is thus the coexistence of good and evil. God is patient with us and allows the evil to grow so that we have the opportunity to outsmart and outgrow evil. In the end there will be the total victory of good and destruction of evil.

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