Daily Gospel – Friday, July 5, 2024 – Matthew 9,9-13 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Amos 8,4-6,9-12)

Reading of the Prophecy of Amos.

Hear this, you who mistreat the humble and cause the prostration of the poor of the earth; you who go around saying: “When will the new moon pass, so that we can sell the merchandise well? And the Sabbath, so that we can get the wheat out quickly, to reduce measures, increase weights, and tamper with scales, to dominate the poor with money and the humble with a pair of sandals, and to sell the waste of the wheat?” “It will come to pass on that day, says the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to set at noon, and in broad daylight it will darken the land; I will change your feasts into mourning and all your songs into mourning; I will put sackcloth on all your waists and I will make all the heads bald, the country will mourn, as for an only son, and the end of this day will end in bitterness. Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will send a famine upon the land; of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord.” Men will wander from sea to sea, moving from north to east, looking for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 9,9-13)

Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s office, and he said to him, “Follow me!” He got up and followed Jesus. While Jesus was at the table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down at the table with Jesus and his disciples. Some Pharisees saw this and asked the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard the question and replied: “Those who are healthy do not need a doctor, but those who are sick do. Learn therefore what it means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice’. Indeed, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, gathered under the light of faith, we are called to reflect deeply on the readings that the liturgy offers us. They present us with a challenge and a hope, a warning and a promise. Let us delve into the words of the prophet Amos and the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to find guidance and inspiration for our lives.

The first reading, from the prophet Amos, is a powerful call to justice and righteousness. Amos denounces social injustice and the exploitation of the poor. He speaks of a time when people practiced dishonest business, exploiting those in need and manipulating prices for their own benefit. Amos says, “Hear this, you who crush the needy and destroy the wretched of the earth, saying, ‘When will the new moon pass for us to sell our wheat, and the Sabbath for us to expose our wheat? alters the balance to defraud!’ We buy the poor for money and the poor for a pair of sandals; we even sell the waste of the wheat.”

The prophet Amos does not mince words when condemning the corruption and greed of those who get rich at the expense of the poor. He warns us that God is not indifferent to the suffering of those in need and that He demands justice from His people. This message resonates powerfully in our times, when we see so many forms of exploitation and inequality all around us. The unbridled search for profit, often at the expense of human dignity, is a reality that we need to confront.

Let’s imagine, then, a busy market, where traders are more concerned with maximizing their profits than treating their customers fairly. Let us think about how easy it is, amid the hustle and bustle of the modern world, to lose sight of the dignity of others and focus only on our own interests. Amos invites us to look beyond appearances and see the injustice that may be hidden in our economic systems and daily practices.

Amos’ message is clear: God sees and cares about how we treat one another, especially our most vulnerable. He calls us to live with integrity and practice justice in all areas of our lives.

In Matthew’s gospel, we find a scene that perfectly illustrates God’s mercy and His call for everyone, including those who society marginalizes. Jesus passes a tax collector named Matthew, sitting at his tax collection station. Tax collectors, at the time, were seen as traitors and sinners, as they collaborated with the Roman empire and often extorted money from the people. However, Jesus looks at Matthew and says, “Follow me.” Mateus gets up and follows him.

This simple interaction between Jesus and Matthew teaches us a profound lesson about God’s love and mercy. Jesus does not look at Matthew’s past, his mistakes or his reputation. He sees the potential for change and repentance in every person. By inviting Matthew to follow Him, Jesus demonstrates that no one is beyond the reach of divine grace. Everyone has the opportunity to redeem themselves and find a new path.

After calling Matthew, Jesus goes to dinner at his house, along with other tax collectors and sinners. This scandalizes the Pharisees, who ask the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus responds: “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. Learn, therefore, what it means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice’. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus reminds us that his mission is to seek and save what was lost. He teaches us that true religion is not about empty rituals or self-justification, but about mercy and love. Through Matthew’s example, we are called to reflect on our own lives and ask: are we ready to follow Jesus, regardless of our past? Are we willing to welcome everyone with the same mercy and love that Jesus demonstrated?

These two readings together give us a complete picture of God’s justice and mercy. On the one hand, we are called to live fairly, not to exploit others and to ensure that our actions are always for the benefit of everyone, especially the most vulnerable. On the other hand, we are reminded of God’s infinite mercy, which is always ready to welcome and redeem.

Let’s reflect on how we can apply these lessons to our daily lives. Maybe it’s in the workplace, where we can choose to be fair and honest in our dealings, treating everyone with dignity and respect. Perhaps it is in our personal relationships, where we are called to forgive and welcome, imitating the mercy of Jesus. Or perhaps it is in our commitment to community, where we can fight injustice and inequality, defending the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Let’s think of a fruit tree planted on the banks of a river. Its deep roots seek water, and therefore it bears fruit in abundance, benefiting everyone around it. Likewise, when our lives are rooted in God’s justice and mercy, we bear fruit that blesses our community and brings life and hope to those around us.

Let’s now have a moment of silence. Let us close our eyes and ask God for the grace to be just and merciful in all our actions. May the Holy Spirit guide us and strengthen us to live according to the teachings of Christ.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to live according to Your will, to do justice and to show mercy in all our actions. May we be instruments of Your peace and love in the world, illuminating the path for those in darkness and bringing hope to the hopeless. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we leave here today, let us take with us the determination to live as true followers of Christ. May God’s grace accompany us and may we be instruments of His peace and love in the world. Remember, we are called to be light and salt – let us shine and flavor the world with the goodness, justice and love of God. Amen.