AD SENSE

16th Week, Tuesday, Jul 21

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 / Matthew 12:46-50 
God is forgiving: He casts our sins into the sea.

In Forgive and Forget, Lewis Smedes tells about a Jewish prisoner who worked in a Nazi field hospital. One day a nurse asked him to accompany her to the bedside of a dying German soldier. The soldier asked to be forgiven for his part in persecuting the Jews, saying, “I know what I am asking is almost too much, but without your answer I cannot die in peace.”
The Jewish prisoner thought for a long minute and then walked away, leaving the soldier to die without his forgiveness. The prisoner survived the war but could never forget the incident. It bothered him the rest of his life. He wondered if he had done wrong by refusing to forgive the soldier. In today’s reading, we are assured that God will always forgive us, if we ask.
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How forgiving are we? “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism”
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It is said that every family has their own problems and difficulties, and of course we know how true that is.
It can be anything from inheritance disputes to parent-children tensions to a family member that marches to a different turn. All these problems and difficulties result in anxieties and worries and it would be very challenging to keep the family together and in such situations. In the gospel, we read that the mother and the relatives of Jesus were anxious to have a word with Jesus as He was speaking to the crowds.

Obviously, they had heard what Jesus was doing, and also the rising opposition against Him, and certainly they were anxious for Him. It also goes to show that even Mary had to struggle in her understanding of God's plan as the life and mission of Jesus unfolds.

But in the midst of all these anxieties and uncertainties, Jesus has this to say: Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.

Jesus was clear of what the will of God was for Him, though He Himself would have to struggle through the difficulties of carrying out that will.

So we can sympathize with Mary and the relatives for being anxious and wanting to have a word with Jesus and find out what was going on.

But with what Jesus said about God's will, then the anxiety now would be to know what God's will is.

As much as we are anxious for the people we care for, especially when we can't understand what is happening with them, let us listen to Jesus as He points us to God's will.

In our anxiety, let us also pray that we will know what God's will is and to do it. Mary went through that anxiety. Let us ask her to pray for us so we will follow Jesus and do the will of God and be His brother and sister.
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Tuesday July 21

Tuesday of 16th Week in Ordinary Time

JESUS’ REAL RELATIVES

Introduction
The Prophet Micah assures God’s people that God forgives them their infidelity. The people answer with a hymn of praise and trust.
Jesus assures us that what brings us close to God and makes us his relatives is doing the will of the Father. This is all that matters, more than ties of blood. This mission was the core and meaning of Jesus’ life and death. Let us pray that his faithfulness may also be ours.

Opening Prayer
God, Father of all,
you know and you love us;
whatever happens to us,
we are in your hands.
Wherever you lead us,
you know where you want us to go.
We ask you for faith and trust.
Make your will our will,
that you may lead us to your home
under the guidance of him
who did your will in everything,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Commentary
Today’s Gospel once again introduces the question of Jesus’ attitude toward human relationships. When it came to his own family, Jesus showed the respect and love that would be expected of a son. But it is not his father and mother whom he holds up for special recognition. When he is told that his family is present looking for him, he quickly addresses the question of his real family ties. His disciples, the ones who do the will of his heavenly father, are his true relatives. At another point in Luke’s Gospel, when a woman in the crowd raises her voice in praise of Jesus’ mother, Jesus again gives precedence to those who make God’s word their own.
All of this ties in closely with Jesus’ sense of his own mission as the unique emissary of his father with a very distinctive message. The acceptance of that message results in a very special relationship with Christ, one in which we become his family members.
This idea also appears in the Lucan story of Jesus being lost for three days in the temple as a boy. Jesus is separated from his mother and father so that he might identify with his true mission, bringing others to the family of God.
Are we as willing to give the concerns of God the priority that Christ gave them? Nothing can ever be of greater importance than God’s will in our life.

Points to Ponder
The true family of Christ
The bonds of Christian community
Micah: God’s delight in clemency

Intercessions
– That the people of God may always pray that they may seek your will rather than try to force you to do their will, we pray:
– That the Lord may give us the insight to discern his will in the events of life, we pray:
– That we may be true sons and daughters of God by seeking and doing his will in everyday life, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
God, our Father,
this bread and this wine
are signs that with Jesus, your Son,
we are ready to seek your will.
Allow us to share in his table
as his brothers and sisters
and to follow him on his loyal way
to you, our God for ever.

Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
you have given us a world
to master and to develop
according to your wise plans
and to build up the body of Christ
in solidarity.
May we do so by the strength
of Jesus himself
and make this Church and this world
a communion of faith and hope,
of love and peace,
as a sign and a way
to your joy that lasts for ever.

Blessing
Brothers and sisters of Jesus… How much are we? We pray very often the Our Father and ask him that his will be done on earth as in heaven. That’s what we pray for, so that’s what we are committed to. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.