Daily Gospel – Saturday, July 13, 2024 – Matthew 10,24-33 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Isaiah 6:1-8)

Reading the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne of great height; his cloak spread across the temple. There were Seraphim standing beside him; each had six wings, two covered their faces, two covered their feet, and with two they could fly. They exclaimed to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the cry of these voices, the doors began to shake on their hinges and the temple filled with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, I am lost! I am only a man with unclean lips, but I have seen with my eyes the king, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding a coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs, and touched my mouth, saying: “As soon as this touched your lips, your guilt disappeared, and your sin is forgiven.” I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I replied, “Here I am! Send me.”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 10,24-33)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his master. For the disciple, it is enough to be like his master, and for the servant, to be like his master. They called the owner of the house Beelzebub, let alone his relatives! Do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing hidden that will not be known. light of day; what you hear in your ears, proclaim on the housetops! Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul! Are not two sparrows sold for a few coins? However, not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, even the hairs on your head are numbered. Do not be afraid! Therefore whoever declares himself for me before men, I will also declare myself for him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Imagine yourself in a majestic temple, the air heavy with the scent of incense, the silence broken only by the whisper of robes brushing the marble floor. Suddenly, the veil separating the Holy of Holies opens, and you find yourself standing before the overwhelming presence of Almighty God. How would you react?

This is the scene that the prophet Isaiah paints for us in our first reading today. “In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and lofty throne; the hems of his robe filled the temple.” What an extraordinary sight! The prophet comes face to face with the holiness of God, an experience so intense that it makes the door hinges shake and fills the temple with smoke.

Faced with this majestic vision, what is Isaiah’s reaction? “Woe is me, I am lost! I am a man of unclean lips, I dwell among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” God’s holiness reveals to Isaiah his own imperfection, his sinful nature. It is a time of deep self-awareness and humility.

How many times have we felt this way on our spiritual journey? We may not have such dramatic visions, but there are times when the reality of who God is hits us with full force. It could be during a particularly moving Mass, or in a moment of silent prayer, or even before the beauty of creation. In these moments, like Isaiah, we become painfully aware of our flaws and imperfections.

But watch what happens next. A seraphim flies to Isaiah with a live coal, touches his lips and declares: “See, this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed, your sin is forgiven.” What a powerful image of purification and forgiveness! God does not leave Isaiah in his state of despair, but intervenes to purify him and prepare him for service.

This scene reminds us of the sacrament of Reconciliation. When we approach the confessional, recognizing our sinful nature, God does not reject us. On the contrary, He purifies us, removes our iniquity and prepares us for a new mission.

And that is exactly what happens with Isaiah. After being purified, he hears the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Without hesitation, Isaiah responds: “Here I am, send me!” What a remarkable transformation! From fear to willingness, from awareness of sin to readiness to serve.

This passage challenges us to reflect: How do we respond to God’s call on our lives? Are we willing to say, “Here I am, send me,” even when the path ahead seems uncertain or daunting?

Turning now to the Gospel, we find Jesus preparing his disciples for the mission. His words echo Isaiah’s experience, but with a different tone. “Fear not,” Jesus repeats, three times in this short passage.

Why this emphasis on not fearing? Because Jesus knows that the mission he is entrusting to his followers will not be easy. “The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his master.” If Jesus faced opposition and persecution, his followers can expect the same.

But Jesus offers a transformative perspective: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” It reminds us that our true identity, our essence, is beyond the reach of those who might threaten us physically.

Think about this for a moment. How many times do we stop speaking or acting out of fear of what others might think or do? How many opportunities to witness the love of Christ do we miss because we fear the consequences?

Jesus invites us to radical trust in God’s providence. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent.” What a touching image! If God cares about the sparrows, how much more does He care about us?

“Even the hairs on your head are all numbered.” Imagine the level of intimacy and care that this phrase suggests. The God Isaiah saw in majesty in the temple is the same God who counts the hairs on our heads. He is transcendent and immanent, holy and intimate, all-powerful and all-loving.

This trust in divine providence is not an invitation to passivity or recklessness. Remember, we must be “wise as serpents and simple as doves.” But it is a call to live without the kind of paralyzing fear that keeps us from fulfilling our mission.

Jesus concludes with a promise and a warning: “Whoever bears witness to me before men, I will also bear witness to him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him. before my Father who is in heaven.”

These words challenge us to live our faith openly, not to hide our light under a bushel. But how do we do this in a world that is often hostile to the Gospel message?

Maybe it’s through small acts of kindness that reflect the love of Christ. It could be having the courage to speak out against injustice in the workplace. Or it could be simply living with integrity, in a way that makes people ask, “What is different about this person?”

Brothers and sisters, we are called, like Isaiah, to encounter God in His holiness, to be purified by His grace, and to respond to His call with a courageous “Here I am, send me!” We are challenged, like Jesus’ disciples, to live without fear, trusting in the loving providence of our heavenly Father.

May we, in this week that begins, be attentive to the moments in which God reveals himself to us – whether in the majesty of a sunset, in the beauty of sacred music, or in the face of a stranger in need. May we have the courage to recognize our own imperfection, but also to accept the purification and forgiveness that God so generously offers.

And when we hear God’s call – whether big or small – may we respond with confidence and enthusiasm. May our lives be a living testimony of the love of Christ, not out of fear of punishment, but out of gratitude for the immeasurable love we receive.

Always remember: the God who counts the hairs on your head is the same God who moves the planets in their orbits. He knows them intimately and loves them infinitely. Nothing you face is beyond His care and provision.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all, today and always. Amen.