Daily Gospel – Thursday, June 20, 2024 – Matthew 6,7-15 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Ecclesiasticus 48,1-14)

Reading of the Book of Ecclesiasticus.

The prophet Elijah appeared like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

He brought famine upon them and, in his zeal, reduced them to a few people.

By the word of the Lord he closed the sky and caused fire to fall from there three times.

O Elijah, how glorious you became by your wonders! Who could boast of being like you?

You, who raised a man from death and the abyss, by the word of the Lord;

you, who cast kings into ruin and caused illustrious men to fall from their beds;

you who heard reproaches at Sinai and decrees of vengeance at Horeb.

You anointed kings to take vengeance, and prophets to succeed you;

you were caught up in a whirlwind of fire, a chariot of horses also of fire,

you, in the threats of future times, were appointed to calm the anger of the Lord before the wrath, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

Happy are those who saw you, and those who fell asleep in your friendship!

We too, of course, will live; but, after death, our name will not be such.

Only Elijah was involved in the whirlwind, Elisha was filled with his spirit. During his life he feared no prince, and no one surpassed him in power.

There was nothing above his strength, and, even already dead, his body prophesied.

During his life he performed wonders and, even in death, his works were wonderful.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 6,7-15)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “When you pray, do not use many words, as the pagans do. They think that they will be heard by virtue of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need, long before you know what you need. you ask for it. You must pray like this:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name;

your Kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us our daily bread today.

He forgives our trespasses, just as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Indeed, if you forgive men the sins they have committed, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive the sins you have committed.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, gathered today to listen and reflect on the Word of God, we are invited to delve into the depths of biblical wisdom through the readings of Ecclesiasticus and the Gospel of Matthew. Sometimes we may feel lost or discouraged, but Scripture offers us guidance, comfort, and challenge, bringing divine light into our everyday lives.

Our first reading today, taken from the book of Ecclesiasticus, presents us with the impressive figure of the prophet Elijah, a man who was a true beacon of faith and justice in times of darkness and idolatry. Elijah, described as “a prophet like fire”, performed extraordinary feats such as calling down fire from heaven and raising the dead. He stood out for his courage, fervor and intimacy with God.

Let us think of Elijah as a burning flame that lights the way in the middle of the dark night. His life and mission were a testimony to the power and presence of God in difficult times. When the people were moving away from God, Elijah was the call to conversion, back to the path of truth and justice. His life reminds us that God never abandons us, even when we are surrounded by challenges and temptations.

In today’s society, we may wonder: where are the modern Elijahs? Who are those who, with courage and faith, stand up against injustice, against the idolatry of materialism and indifference? Each of us is called to be a flame in the world, reflecting the light of Christ in our actions and words. We need to ask ourselves if we are living in a way that inspires others, if we are seeking holiness and justice in our everyday lives.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches us how we should pray, giving ourselves the prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer. He warns us against the multitude of empty words and calls us to sincere and confident prayer. This passage is deeply rich and full of meaning, offering us a perfect model for how we should relate to God.

We begin the prayer by calling God “Father.” It reminds us that our relationship with God is intimate and personal. We are not just servants, but beloved children of a merciful Father. This completely changes the way we approach God. We do not approach with fear or trembling, but with trust and love, knowing that He cares for us and desires our good.

When we say “hallowed be your name”, we are asking that God’s name be revered and glorified throughout the earth. We are committing to live in a way that honors God, showing the world the holiness and goodness of our heavenly Father. This is a call for our actions to reflect our faith, for our lives to be a living testimony of God’s love.

“Your Kingdom come” is a cry for justice, peace and God’s love to become a reality here and now. We are asking God to transform the world, but we are also committing to work towards that transformation. Each of us has a role in building the Kingdom of God, in our families, in our communities and in our world.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” reminds us to seek God’s will in all things. This can be challenging, especially when God’s will seems at odds with our desires or plans. But it is a call to submission and trust, knowing that God’s will is always for our good, even when we don’t understand.

“Give us this day our daily bread” is a simple but profound request. We recognize that we depend on God for all our needs, physical and spiritual. It is a call to humility, recognizing that everything we have comes from God, and an invitation to trust, knowing that He will provide for us.

“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” challenges us to live in mercy and forgiveness. We are called to forgive others as God forgives us, which may be one of the hardest things Jesus asks of us. But forgiveness is essential for our own liberation and inner peace.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” is a request for protection. We recognize our weakness and the presence of evil in the world, and we ask God to guide and protect us, to strengthen us against temptations and to free us from all evil.

The Lord’s Prayer is a rich source of meditation and inspiration. Each phrase invites us to a deeper relationship with God and a life more committed to his Kingdom.

By uniting the lessons of Ecclesiasticus and the Gospel, we see a clear call for personal and community transformation. Elijah challenges us to be prophets in our time, to raise our voices against injustice and to live with integrity and faith. The Lord’s Prayer gives us the model and strength to do this, reminding us of our identity as children of God and our calling to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Today, as we reflect on these readings, we are challenged to live in a way that honors God in everything we do. May we be burning flames, like Elijah, lighting the way for others. May we pray with sincerity and confidence, allowing the Lord’s Prayer to transform our lives and guide us on the path of justice and peace.

Let’s now have a moment of silence. Let us close our eyes and ask God for the grace to live in accordance with these truths, to be a light in the world and to trust fully in His love and providence.

Lord, we thank You for Your Word today. Help us to be prophets in our time, to live with faith and courage, and to trust You in all things. May the Lord’s Prayer be a constant guide in our lives, reminding us of our identity as Your children and our calling to build Your Kingdom. 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 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.