Readings and Reflection for July 7, Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING

“My heart recoils within me.”

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Hosea (Hosea 11: 1 -4.8c-9)

Thus says the Lord: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who raises an infant to his cheeks, and I bent down to them and fed them. My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come to destroy.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 80:2ac and 3b. 15- 16 (R. 4b)

R/. Let your face shine on us, Lord, and we shall be saved.

O shepherd of Israel, hear us,

enthroned on the cherubim, shine forth.

Rouse up your might and come to save us. R/.

R/. Let your face shine on us, Lord, and we shall be saved.

God of hosts, turn again, we implore;

look down from heaven and see.

Visit this vine and protect it,

the vine your right hand has planted,

the son of man you have claimed for yourself. R/.

ALLELUIA Mark 1:15

Alleluia. The kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“You received without pay, give without pay.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 10:7 – 15)

At that time: Jesus said to his apostles, “Preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the labourer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. As you enter the house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

In today’s gospel, Jesus explains the content of the mandate given to the apostles, that is, for them to continue his evangelical and healing ministry. He told them to see their mission as a gift to be exercise with generosity, detachment, contentment and with the spirit of perseverance. They are also to be bridge builders and messengers of peace. As long as the world continues to experience numerous challenges of injustice, disunity and conflict among peoples, cultures and nations, the call to mission will remain ever relevant to believers of all times. And as in the case of the Israelites, this mission is equally directed towards those who remain indifferent to God’s love despite all repeated efforts at converting them.

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