FIRST READING
“My word shall accomplish that which I intend.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Thus says the Lord: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I intend, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 34:4-5.6-7.16-17.18-19 (R. see 18b)
R/. The Lord rescues them in all their distress

Glorify the Lord with me;
together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. R/.

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This lowly one called; the Lord heard,
And rescued him from all his distress. R/.

R/. The Lord rescues them in all their distress.

The Lord turns his eyes to the just,
and his ears are open to their cry.
The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth. R/.

When the just cry out, the Lord hears,
and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save. R/.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Matthew 4:4b
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

GOSPEL
“Pray then like this.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 6:7-15)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

The Gospel of the Lord

TODAY’S REFLECTION
The effectiveness of prayer is not a matter of the number of words used, but the faith with which every word is spoken. The book of Hebrews tells us: “Without faith it is impossible to please God. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.

Prayer must go with action, whatever I ask from God, I too must be willing to give to my fellow brothers and sister. Prayer is a Cross; the vertical line depicts our reception from God while the horizontal line depicts our sharing with one another. Prayer must benefit others. I dare not ask God for divine protection while I wish death for someone else. The divine protection I plan to receive from God must extend to people otherwise my prayer is null and void.

As part of his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, Jesus warns us about talking too much or repeating ourselves over and over again when we pray. Before ever we set out to pray, we must first assure ourselves that God is more than able to grant our requests. We must remind ourselves of what God has done in the past and face the truth that no situation is beyond God. In this regard, in the book of Isaiah, God assures us that just as the rain drop from heaven and never returns until it has watered the earth, God’s words can never return empty. Isaiah 55:10-11

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