Rise up, shrill in the night, at the beginning of every watch; Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your little ones Who faint from hunger at the corner of every street.

Everywhere I turn these days there is unrest.  We are a world that literally seems to be split into two factions – those who believe and those who are hell bent to destroy those who don’t believe.  Conservative/Liberal; Christian/Atheist; Black/White; Mask/Non-Mask; Trump/Biden; Democracy/Socialist…we are truly a world at odds with each other.  I write this next statement not of my own wisdom but from the Gospel itself…WE MUST ALL STOP THE HATE!  God’s light shines on the good and the bad; God’s rain falls on the just and the unjust.  We have all been made in the image and likeness of God.  So if that is true, then why the unrest; why all the turmoil?  Because running amongst God’s light and rain is Satan.  Satan was there to divide God from man in the beginning and Satan is still here dividing us now.  I can write this confidently and without hesitation – those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.  God gives us this message, this proverbial lesson,  everyday as He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit in the stories we find handed down to us in the Bible.  Take a look at Today’s Readings and see if you can’t find some correlation to what’s going on in the world today.

Reading 1 LAM 2:2, 10-14, 18-19

The Lord has consumed without pity
all the dwellings of Jacob;
He has torn down in his anger
the fortresses of daughter Judah;
He has brought to the ground in dishonor
her king and her princes.

On the ground in silence sit
the old men of daughter Zion;
They strew dust on their heads
and gird themselves with sackcloth;
The maidens of Jerusalem
bow their heads to the ground.

Worn out from weeping are my eyes,
within me all is in ferment;
My gall is poured out on the ground
because of the downfall of the daughter of my people,
As child and infant faint away
in the open spaces of the town.

In vain they ask their mothers,
“Where is the grain?”
As they faint away like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
And breathe their last
in their mothers’ arms.

To what can I liken or compare you,
O daughter Jerusalem?
What example can I show you for your comfort,
virgin daughter Zion?
For great as the sea is your downfall;
who can heal you?

Your prophets had for you
false and specious visions;
They did not lay bare your guilt,
to avert your fate;
They beheld for you in vision
false and misleading portents.

Cry out to the Lord;
moan, O daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent
day and night;
Let there be no respite for you,
no repose for your eyes.

Rise up, shrill in the night,
at the beginning of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your little ones
Who faint from hunger
at the corner of every street.

Responsorial Psalm 74:1B-2, 3-5, 6-7, 20-21

R. (19b) Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
Why, O God, have you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your flock which you built up of old,
the tribe you redeemed as your inheritance,
Mount Zion, where you took up your abode.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
Turn your steps toward the utter ruins;
toward all the damage the enemy has done in the sanctuary.
Your foes roar triumphantly in your shrine;
they have set up their tokens of victory.
They are like men coming up with axes to a clump of trees.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
With chisel and hammer they hack at all the paneling of the sanctuary.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
the place where your name abides they have razed and profaned.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
Look to your covenant,
for the hiding places in the land and the plains are full of violence.
May the humble not retire in confusion;
may the afflicted and the poor praise your name.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

Alleluia MT 8:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
And Jesus said to the centurion,
“You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.”
And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many
who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

So after reading and contemplating God’s word today, I will take away this lesson and try to live by it everyday of my life.  Jesus will take away my infirmities and bear my  diseases.  He will do the same for you; all we have to do is trust in the Lord and let Him guide our lives.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  If we truly want peace in the world; if we want to wash away the stain of prejudice and racism, there is only one way to do this – let Christ lead and us follow.  The only way to end the divisions caused by Satan, the divisions that are so evident in our world today, is to trust in the one who conquered Satan’s greatest tool – death – and trust in God alone.  God loves the just.  God also loves the sinner.  I have to believe that because I am a sinner and only through the Love and Forgiveness of God can I be saved from all that I have done wrong.  If I can be saved, so can you.  If we can be saved, so can everyone in this world – just or unjust.

Do something great for our Lord today – pray for your salvation; pray for my salvation; pray that all divisions soon cease.  Do not let Satan reign over us.  Lord, we are not worthy that You should enter under our roof but only say the word and our souls shall be healed.

 

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

 

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