Daily Gospel – Monday, July 1, 2024 – Matthew 8,18-22 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Amos 2,6-10,13-16)

Reading of the Prophecy of Amos.

This says the Lord: “For the three crimes of Israel, for their four crimes, I will not take back the word: for they sell the righteous for money, and the needy for the price of a pair of slippers; they trample the head in the dust of the ground. of the poor, and impede the progress of the humble; son and father go to the same woman, profaning my holy name; lying next to any altar, wearing clothes that were given in pledge, they drink wine at the expense of fined people, in the house of God, however, I had destroyed the Amorites before them, men as strong as cedars and as strong as oaks, destroying their fruit from their branches and uprooting their roots. through the desert for forty years, to occupy the land of the Amorites. Well then, I will trample your feet, as a cart laden with sheaves treads the ground; the most agile will not be able to escape, the strongest will not find strength, the brave will not be able to escape. he will save his life; the archer will not stand upright, the swift runner will not have the legs to escape, nor will the knight be saved; The bravest of the brave will flee naked on that day,” says the Lord.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 8,18-22)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, seeing a crowd around him, Jesus ordered him to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a master of the Law approached and said: “Master, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the readings bring us profound and challenging messages. In the book of the prophet Amos, we see a harsh criticism of social injustice and the oppression of the poor. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus calls us to a radical commitment to follow him, whatever the cost. These passages invite us to reflect on our lives and our priorities in light of God’s call to righteousness and holiness.

In the book of the prophet Amos, we hear a scathing denunciation: “Thus says the Lord: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not take away the punishment: for they sell the righteous for money, and the poor for a pair of sandals. They trample upon the head of the poor as one who treads the dust of the ground, and diverts the path of the humble.” Amos denounces the corruption and injustice that plague Israeli society, where the rich exploit the poor and justice is corrupted.

Let’s imagine a scale, one that symbolizes justice. When the scales are unbalanced, one part weighs more and oppresses the other. This was the society denounced by Amos: the rich, with their weight of power and wealth, crushed the poor, diverting the path of the humble. This image makes us reflect on the inequalities we see in our world today. Too often, those with power and wealth use their influence to exploit and oppress, while the most vulnerable are left on the sidelines.

Amos continues: “I destroyed before them the Amorite, whose height was as the height of cedars, and was strong as oaks; I destroyed his fruit above, and his roots below.” Here, God reminds the people of Israel of His powerful actions on their behalf in the past. He freed them from oppression and destroyed their enemies, showing His power and righteousness. But now, the same people who were freed have become oppressors, forgetting God’s blessings and righteousness.

Let’s think about the story of a family that, over the generations, worked hard and prospered. However, upon achieving wealth and comfort, some members of this family begin to forget the hardships of the past and exploit others to maintain their status. Likewise, the people of Israel have forgotten their own history of oppression and liberation, now becoming the oppressors.

In Matthew’s gospel, we find Jesus calling His disciples to a radical commitment. “When Jesus saw many people around him, he ordered them to cross over to the other side. Then a scribe came and said, ‘Master, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'”

Jesus challenges us to reflect on the cost of following him. He warns us that following him is not a path of comfort and material security, but of dedication and sacrifice. Many times, we are willing to follow Jesus when it is convenient, but we hesitate when he demands sacrifice and renunciation from us.

Let’s imagine a pilgrim on a long journey. He carries only the essentials and is willing to face any difficulty to reach his destination. This is how our walk with Christ should be. We must be willing to leave behind everything that prevents us from fully following Him, knowing that our true treasure is in the Kingdom of God.

At another point in the gospel, a disciple asks Jesus: “Lord, allow me to go and bury my father first.” But Jesus says to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” These words may seem harsh, but they remind us that Jesus’ call is urgent and priority. We must place our commitment to Christ above all other obligations and earthly ties.

Let’s think about an athlete training for a marathon. He knows that to achieve his goal, he needs to make sacrifices and dedicate himself completely to his training. Likewise, following Jesus requires total commitment and a willingness to sacrifice anything that keeps us from following him fully.

How can we apply these lessons to our lives today? First, we must examine our own attitudes toward justice and wealth. Are we using our resources and influence to help others and promote justice, or are we, knowingly or unknowingly, contributing to oppression and inequality? We must strive to be instruments of God’s justice, helping those in need and defending the oppressed.

Secondly, we must reflect on our commitment to Christ. Are we willing to follow Jesus, even when it requires sacrifice and renunciation? We need to remember that our true treasure is in the Kingdom of God and that the reward for following Jesus is far greater than any comfort or security we can find in this world.

Let’s now have a moment of silence. Let us close our eyes and ask God for the grace to examine our hearts and lives in the light of his words. May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen us to live in righteousness and a radical commitment to follow Jesus.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to live according to Your righteousness, to use our resources for good, and to commit ourselves completely to Your calling. May we be light in the world, reflecting Your love and justice in every action and word. 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 justice 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.