Sunday July 26, 2020 Reading and Reflection

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Entrance Antiphon cf.Ps67:6-7.36
God is in his holy place, God who unites those who dwell in his house; he himself gives might and strength to his people.

Collect
O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. Through our Lord…

FIRST READING 
“You have asked for yourself understanding.”
A reading from the first Book of Kings (1 Kings 3:5.7-12)

In those days: At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore a nunder standing mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM     Ps119:57 and 72.76-77.127-128. 129-130 (R. 97a)
R/. O Lord, how I love your law.

I have said, “O Lord, my portion 
is to obey your words.”
The law from your mouth means more to me
than large quantities of silver and gold. R.

Let your merciful love console me
by your promise to your servant.
Show me compassion, that I may live,
for your law is my delight. R.

That is why I love your commands
more than finest gold,
why I rule my life by your precepts,
and hate false ways. R.

Your decrees are wonderful indeed;
therefore my soul obeys them.
The unfolding of your word gives light,
and understanding to the simple. R.

SECOND READING         
“He predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans.8:28-30

Brethren: We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first—born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA  Matthew11:25
Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom. Alleluia.

GOSPEL                                 
“He sells all that he has, and buys the field.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13:44-52)

Jesus said to the crowds, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and quashing of teeth. “Have you understood all this?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

The Gospel of the Lord

Today’s Reflection
In a dream, God appeared to King Solomon and told him to ask for whatever he sought, assuring him that it would be granted him. Curiously king Solomon didn’t ask for anything that is worldly or material but rather for the wisdom of true leadership over his people. Of course, God granted his prayers and gave him even more than he had even bargained for because he had prayed in accordance with God’s will. This shows that God answers all prayers that are well intentioned, prayers that come from a humble, simple and contrite heart.  That is why St Paul assures the Romans that “in everything, God works for the good of those who love him.” In the Gospel, Jesus compares the kingdom to a priceless treasure that far exceeds the value of everything that one can possess in life; it is also like a household that accommodates the bad, the good and the ugly. Hence, the values of the kingdom of God transcends times, circumstances and the ever evolving human condition.

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