Daily Gospel – Tuesday, July 9, 2024 – Matthew 9,32-38 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Hosea 8,4-7.11-13)

Reading of the Prophecy of Hosea.

Thus says the Lord: “They made kings without my will; they made princes without my knowledge; their silver and their gold were used to make idols and to their destruction. Your calf, O Samaria, was thrown to the ground; my anger was kindled against How long will they remain without purifying themselves? This calf comes from Israel; a craftsman made it, this is not a god; grain will not yield flour; and even if it does, strangers will eat it. Ephraim erected many altars in atonement for sin, but his altars resulted in sin. that does not concern them. They like to offer sacrifices, sacrifice meat and eat; but the Lord does not receive them. Rather, the Lord remembers their sins and punishes their sins: they must return to Egypt”.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 9,32-38)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, they presented to Jesus a mute man, who was possessed by the devil. When the demon was cast out, the mute man began to speak. The crowds were amazed and said: “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “It is by the chief of the demons that he casts out demons.” Jesus went through all the cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing all kinds of illnesses and diseases. When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were tired and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the owner of the harvest to send workers into his harvest!”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us begin our reflection with an image common to all of us: a garden. Think of a well-kept garden, where each plant is nourished and protected, growing in harmony and beauty. Now, imagine an abandoned garden, full of weeds, where plants fight for space and nutrients. Today, through the readings from Hosea and the Gospel of Matthew, we are invited to reflect on the state of our hearts and the society in which we live, and how we can become gardeners of faith, cultivating fertile ground for the love and justice of God.

In the first reading, from the book of Hosea, the prophet offers us a harsh but necessary message. He denounces the people of Israel for their infidelity and idolatry: “They set up kings without my consent, they set up princes without my knowledge; out of their silver and their gold they made idols for themselves, to their destruction.” (Hosea 8:4). Hosea uses the metaphor of idolatry to show us how Israel turned away from God, placing their trust in ephemeral and worldly things rather than in the Lord.

Imagine a farmer who plants wind, hoping to reap a bountiful harvest. This is what Hosea tells us about Israel: “They sow winds and will reap storms.” (Hosea 8:7). This powerful image reminds us that what we sow in our lives, whether good or bad, will inevitably come back to us. If we sow disobedience and idolatry, we will reap destruction and chaos. But if we sow justice, love and faithfulness to God, we will reap peace and blessings.

Hosea also speaks of the multiplication of altars to sin: “Ephraim multiplied the altars to sin, and these altars became to him to sin.” (Hosea 8,11). These altars symbolize all the times we seek quick and superficial solutions to our problems, instead of trusting God and following his commandments. Just like the people of Israel, we can often build modern “altars” – be it materialism, power, or pleasure – that keep us from true worship and the purpose of our lives.

Now, turning our hearts to the Gospel of Matthew, we find Jesus in the midst of his ministry, healing and freeing people: “They presented to him a mute man possessed by a demon. After the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke.” (Matthew 9,32-33). This miraculous healing is not only a sign of Jesus’ divine power, but also a metaphor for the spiritual liberation He offers to us all. Just as Jesus freed the possessed man, He wants to free us from all the forces that imprison us – be they fears, addictions, or sins.

The people were amazed at the works of Jesus, but the Pharisees accused him of casting out demons through the prince of demons. This reaction of the Pharisees warns us about spiritual blindness and hardness of heart. They witnessed the power of God, but because of their envy and rigidity, they could not recognize the divine work. This leads us to reflect on our own lives: are we open to seeing and accepting God’s miracles and interventions? Or are we trapped by our prejudices and disbelief?

Jesus, when he saw the crowds, felt compassion for them, as they were tired and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He then said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9,37-38). This statement is a direct call to each of us. Jesus invites us to be workers in His field, to take His message of love, healing and hope to the world.

But how can we be these workers? First, we need to cultivate our own hearts. We must pull out the weeds of idolatry, indifference and selfishness, and plant the seeds of faith, hope and love. This means dedicating time to prayer, studying the Scriptures, and the sacraments. We need to nurture our faith so that we can be living examples of God’s presence in the world.

Furthermore, being a worker in the Lord’s harvest means acting with compassion. Jesus felt sorry for the crowds because they were lost and desperate. In our modern world, many people feel the same way. They are overwhelmed by the pressures of life, loneliness and lack of purpose. We, as disciples of Christ, are called to be beacons of hope and to offer comfort and practical help to those in need.

Let’s now reflect on how we can apply these lessons in our daily lives. Let’s start with small actions: offering a smile to a stranger, listening carefully to someone who needs to vent, or simply being there for our family and friends. Each act of kindness is a seed planted in God’s garden, which will one day bear abundant fruit.

Let us also think about how we can become more involved in the life of our parish community. There are so many opportunities to serve – whether in the ministry of charity, in catechesis, or in the liturgies. Let us remember that each service provided in the community is a step towards the abundant harvest that Jesus promised us.

As we meditate on these messages, let us ask God to give us the strength and courage to be true workers in his harvest. May we pull out the weeds in our hearts and plant the seeds of justice, peace and love.

Let’s have a moment of silence now, reflecting on what God is calling us to do. What areas of our lives need to be purified? How can we be more faithful to God and more compassionate toward others?

Lord, we thank you for your words today. Help us to live according to Your will, to use our gifts for the good of others, and to be light in the world. May we be true gardeners of faith, cultivating fertile ground for Your love and justice. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we leave here, let us take with us the determination to be workers in the Lord’s harvest. 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.