Daily Gospel – Thursday, July 4, 2024 – Matthew 9:1-8 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Amos 7,10-17)

Reading of the Prophecy of Amos.

In those days, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos is plotting against you, within the house of Israel itself; the country cannot prevent all his words from spreading. He goes around saying: “Jeroboam he will die by the sword, and Israel will be deported from his homeland as a slave.’” Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Seer, go out and seek refuge in Judah, where you can earn your bread and practice prophecy; but in Bethel you must not insist on prophesying, because there is the sanctuary of the king and the court of the kingdom.” Amos answered Amaziah, saying, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; I’m a cattle herder and I grow sycamore trees. The Lord called me as I was herding the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people Israel.'” And now hear the word of the Lord. “You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel and do not insinuate words. against the house of Isaac’. Well, this says the Lord: ‘Your wife will prostitute herself in the city, your sons and daughters will die by the sword, your lands will be taken and divided into land; you yourself will die in a polluted land, and Israel will be carried away into captivity far from their country.'”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 9,1-8)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, getting into a boat, Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake and went to his city. They then presented him with a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic: “Take courage, son, your sins are forgiven!” Then some teachers of the Law thought: “This man is blaspheming!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think these evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? Well then, , so that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, – he then said to the paralytic – “Get up, pick up your bed and go to your house.” to his house. When the crowd saw this, they were afraid and glorified God for having given such power to men.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, as we reflect on the readings we have heard, we are invited to delve deeply into the meaning of the prophetic calling and the transformative power of Jesus. Passages from Amos and Matthew reveal spiritual truths that challenge our understanding and call us to a life of faith and courage.

Today’s first reading comes from the book of the prophet Amos. Amos, a simple shepherd and sycamore grower, is called by God to be a prophet in Israel. He does not come from a lineage of prophets, but God chose him to bring a message of justice and repentance to the people of Israel. Amos speaks out boldly against the social injustices and corruption he sees around him, but his words are not well received by the powerful.

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, accuses Amos of conspiracy and banishes him, saying: “Go away, seer, flee to the land of Judah; there you will eat bread and prophesy. But in Bethel you must prophesy no more, for here is the king’s sanctuary and the house of the kingdom.” Amaziah tries to silence Amos, defending the interests of the powerful and trying to maintain the status quo.

Amos’ response is one of the most powerful statements of divine calling in the Bible: “I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet; I am a shepherd and a cultivator of sycamore trees. But the Lord took me from behind the flock, and the Lord said to me : Go, prophesy against Israel, my people.” Amos reaffirms that his mission does not come from men, but from God. His authority is not rooted in titles or positions, but in the divine calling he has received.

This story reminds us that God chooses who He wants to fulfill His purposes, regardless of their origin or position. God calls us, not because of our qualifications, but because of his grace. We are all called to be prophets in our own contexts, to speak the truth in love, to denounce injustice and to live according to the principles of the Kingdom of God.

In Matthew’s gospel, we see another manifestation of God’s power, this time through Jesus. The passage begins with Jesus getting into a boat, crossing the sea and arriving at his own city. There, they bring him a paralyzed man lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, says to the paralytic: “Take courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”

This statement causes a scandal among the scribes present. They think to themselves: “He is blaspheming!” For them, only God can forgive sins, and Jesus, in making this statement, is equating himself with God. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, asks: “Why do you think evil in your hearts? Which is easier, to say: Your sins are forgiven, or to say: Arise and walk?”

To prove his authority, Jesus says to the paralytic: “Get up, take up your bed and go home.” And the man, instantly healed, gets up and goes home. The crowds, when they see this, are amazed and glorify God, who gave such power to men.

This story reveals two profound truths: Jesus’ authority to forgive sins and His power to heal. Jesus not only heals physically, but also offers spiritual healing, bringing forgiveness and reconciliation with God. He shows us that the greatest miracle is the transformation of the human heart, the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of communion with God.

As we reflect on these readings, we are challenged to consider our own calling and recognize the power of God in our lives. We are called to be prophets, to speak with courage, and to live with integrity, even in the face of opposition and difficulties. We must trust that, like Amos, we are empowered by God to fulfill our mission, regardless of our position or status.

Furthermore, we are called to seek healing and reconciliation in our lives. Jesus shows us that He has the power to forgive our sins and heal us completely. We must approach Him in faith, recognizing our need for His forgiveness and transforming grace. Like the paralytic, we must allow Jesus to lift us up, heal us and restore us.

Let us then reflect on how we can respond to these calls in our daily lives. First, we need to be courageous like Amos, willing to speak the truth and act justly, even when doing so is difficult or unpopular. We must remember that our authority and mission come from God, and He will give us the strength and wisdom necessary to fulfill His purpose.

Second, we must turn to Jesus for healing and forgiveness. He offers us a new life, a life of freedom and fulfillment. We must open our hearts to Him, confess our sins, and allow His love and grace to transform us.

Let us now take a moment of silence to reflect on these truths. Let us ask God for the courage to be prophets in our world and the faith to seek His healing and forgiveness in our lives.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to live according to Your calling, to be a voice of justice and truth in our world, and to seek Your healing and forgiveness in our lives. May we be instruments of Your love and grace, reflecting Your light in all our actions. Amen.

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 prophets and healed, living in communion with Him and with our brothers and sisters. 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.