Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (August 23, 2018): Living in the land of holiness

Thứ Tư, 22-08-2018 | 15:10:53


Today’s Readings:

Ezekiel 36:23-28
Ps 51:12-15,18-19
Matthew 22:1-14
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying,
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”‘
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Good News Reflection: Living in the land of holiness

What this world needs now, to deliver it from so much evil happening in so many different ways, is a stronger, holier Christian body of believers. In today’s first reading, God speaks to us with assurances that, because of our desire to love him and follow him, we will grow in holiness. No doubt about it!

Are you holy now? Yes! When you were baptized, your sinful nature died and you received life in the HOLY Spirit. The problem is, we don’t always act according to our true nature. We reject our own goodness and thus we sin — or said more accurately, we reject the Holy Spirit within us.

If we accept the invitation of Jesus to join the great wedding banquet, like he explains in today’s Gospel reading, our heavenly King graces us with a feast of his goodness. And our Queen Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who lived her entire life in the fullness of grace, adds her prayers to ours and shares with us her gift of grace.

This is how God proves his holiness to the world. He proves it, as Ezekiel prophesied, through us and our ever-increasing holiness. What sins are currently controlling you? God can help you overcome them! Read Ezekiel’s words as a promise from God to you personally:

“I will take you away from that world of sinfulness, because it’s foreign to your true nature, and I will bring you back into my kingdom, your real home.

“I will sprinkle purity (clean water) upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities. I will cleanse you from the muck of your idols, from everything that you hold dearer than your true God.

“I will remove your stony heart and give you a new heart — the Sacred Heart of my Son — and place within you a new spirit — my Holy Spirit. This Spirit will empower you to live by my statutes and decrees.

“You shall live in the land of holiness — my kingdom — which I gave to your ancestors, the saints who went before you.

“You shall be my child, and I will be your God. Indeed, this is already so, because you desire it! All I ever needed from you was your permission to lead you, to change you, and to embrace you. Thank you for giving this to Me in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in the penance rites of Mass, and in your everyday love for Me.”

Today’s Prayer:

Good Father, grant me the grace to be obedient to your will and to approach each mission filled with love and courage. Amen.

© 2018 by Terry A. Modica

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