15th Week, Monday, July 15

 15th Week, Monday, July 15

Isaiah 1:10-17 / Matthew 10:34-11:1 

Isaiah calls for reform: “Stop all this evil.”

 In the early days of history, when punishments were still cruel and unusual, a man was caught stealing sheep. The authorities branded the initials S. T. (sheep thief) on his forehead. As the years passed, the man reformed his life, making up for his past. 

He succeeded to an eminent degree. When he was a very old man, the letters S. T. could still be seen on his wrinkled forehead. When children asked what they stood for, their parents would reply, “Saint.” That man’s life is a model for all lives. It makes us realize that we, too, can reverse our lives completely, if we try. All we need to do is ask for God’s help.


How dedicated are we to improving our lives over what they were a year ago? A month ago? “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us.” Psalm 103:12


There is one word in today's gospel that is repeated quite a few times. If we have been observant enough, we will be able to notice that it is the word "anyone". Jesus is certainly making a point here. The Kingdom of God is certainly open to anyone who wishes to receive it. And anyone who puts Jesus before anything else in life will certainly be part of this Kingdom of God. But the decision for Jesus must be so clear that it is like a sword that cuts and divides.

Because the choice for Jesus and the Kingdom of God is not for one who sits on the fence but rather a clear-cut decision for Jesus and to live according to His ways.

Let us pray for renewed strength and faith to always decide to follow Jesus and to build the Kingdom of God.


Monday of 15th Week in Ordinary Time


 Introduction One of the themes strong and dear to Isaiah is that outward cultic practices of religion are of no value to the individual or the community unless their everyday life conforms to the commandments of God, which are the people’s response to God. Christ could bring us life and grace because he suffered for us. He could rise because he was crucified and died on a cross. No easy life is promised to his disciples. Suffering, the cross is their share too. In God’s plan, this is the way of life. It’s not too comfortable, but these are God’s terms.

Opening Prayer

Lord our God, we have accepted your invitation to follow your Son Jesus as his disciples. Let your Spirit give us the wisdom and strength to take our faith seriously and to accept our task in life with all its consequences. Let your Spirit help us to follow your Son without fear or discouragement, for we are certain that Jesus will lead us to you, our loving God, forever and ever.  


For some people, religion is largely identified with ritual, the proper way to worship. Every aspect of worship must be executed with correctness. It is true that a proper way of worship is as important as many other aspects of life, but it is by no means the heart of our belief. The prophets repeatedly inveigh against ritualism, as Isaiah does today. Yahweh makes it eminently clear that his concern is not with animal offerings, calendar observance, or the worth of offerings. Of these things, he stands in no need. In all this concern with ritual observance, the important things are forgotten. Orphans and widows are the special responsibility of the community since they have been left with no male provider. They are neglected by the community. And yet this is at the heart of true worship of God. Today’s Gospel stresses the importance of even a cold glass of water extended to a disciple. Such counts for more than any carefully planned sacrifice. It happens in life that we meet people who are continually giving of themselves in the service of others. And yet they never darken a church door. One has the distinct feeling that they are not far from the kingdom of God.  

Points to Ponder

Points to Ponder Legitimate concern for ritual Religious priorities Concern for the unfortunate 


– That those whom the Lord calls to special ministries in the Church may follow him resolutely; that all of us may unwaveringly commit ourselves to Jesus and to people as Jesus commits himself to us, we pray:

– That the leaders of nations may be committed to the good of their people, in justice and a spirit of service, we pray:

– That our prayers and worship of the Lord may commit us more to the causes we pray for, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 

Lord our God, in these gifts of bread and wine we bring ourselves before you and you let your Son give himself to us. May we learn from him to make ourselves free for people and for you and to seek your will in all we do. May we follow in his trials and in his glory your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion 

Lord our God, in this Eucharist you have enlightened us with the word and wisdom of your Son and given us his nourishing, strong bread to follow him without hesitation. Fill us with the wisdom and power of your Spirit to go with Jesus without hesitation through the desert of pain and the cross for the sake of bringing his life and joy to our brothers and sisters in need and for giving glory to you, now and forever.  


Be free. Be true and honest with yourselves, be honest with God and faithful to Jesus and his message, even if it causes conflicts with the people dearest to you. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.