14th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Hos 8:4–7, 11–13
Thus says Yahweh: Without my approval they set up kings and without my blessing appointed leaders. With their silver and gold they fashioned idols to their own ruin.
To me, Samaria, your calf is loathsome and my anger blazes against you. How long will you remain defiled? The calf is yours, Israel, a craftsman has made it; it is not God and will be broken into pieces. As they sow the wind, they will reap the whirlwind. Like the erect ear of corn they will bear no grain and produce no flour, or if they do, foreigners will devour it.
Ephraim built many altars but his altars made him more guilty. I wrote out for him the numerous precepts of my Law, but they look on them as coming from foreigners.
They offer sacrifices to me because they are those who eat the meat, but Yahweh does not accept their sacrifices for he is mindful of their sin and remembers their wickedness. They will return to Egypt.
Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38
Some people brought to Jesus a man who was dumb because he was possessed by a demon. When the demon was driven out, the dumb man began to speak. The crowds were astonished and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” (But the Pharisees said, “He drives away demons with the help of the prince of demons.”)
Jesus went around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and he cured every sickness and disease. When he saw the crowds he was moved with pity, for they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the workers are only few. Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest.”
A hard heart is able to prevent anything and everything from entering the mind; it is like a deadlock. It says that black is white and white black, and so it cuts you off from the truth. When you are cut off from the truth, what is left? Pure blind will alone. It is like switching off the headlights of your car and then driving fast in pitch darkness. Dangerous? Yes, very. There is nothing so dangerous as to close your eyes to the truth. Even if the truth is sometimes terrible, it is infinitely better to look at it than to close your eyes. You can learn something while your eyes (and your mind) are still open but with closed eyes, you hurl yourself to destruction, bringing others with you.
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