Ps 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 3 / (Green/White)
1st Reading: Ex 1:8-14, 22
Then a new king who had not known Joseph came to power and said to his people, “The Israelites are more numerous and stronger than we are. Let us deal warily with them lest they increase still more and, in case of war, side with our enemy, fight against us and escape from the land.” So they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. In that way they built the storage towns of Pithom and Rameses. But the more they oppressed the Hebrews the more they increased and spread, until the Egyptians dreaded the Israelites and became ruthless in making them work. They made life bitter for them in hard labor with bricks and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields. In all their work the Egyptians treated them harshly.
Pharaoh then gave this order to all the people: “Every infant boy born to the Hebrews must be thrown into the Nile, but every girl may live.”
Gospel: Mt 10:34 – 11:1
Do not think that I have come to establish peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father and daughter against her mother; a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Each one will have as enemies those of one’s own family.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his cross and come after me is not worthy of me. One who wants to benefit from his life will lose it; one who loses his life for my sake will find it. Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes him who sent me. The one who welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man because he is a just man will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is a disciple of mine, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.
When Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went on from there to teach and to proclaim his message in their towns.
The family is a beautiful institution, one of the pearls of God’s creation. And so, the love of one’s family is certainly a good and beautiful thing—in fact, God made it one of the ten commandments when he said, “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex 20:12).
However, love for one’s family, like anything human, can be distorted into something ugly. Some people place their family above everything else, even their conscience.
Examples of this are numerous. Nepotism is one of them. When a person gives a position of responsibility to an incompetent or dishonest relative just because he or she is a relative, that person places love of family above love of God and neighbor. When a person sides with a relative in a quarrel while knowing perfectly well that the relative is in the wrong, that person loves his or her family more than truth and justice. When families pressure two young people themselves above the respect of these young people’s freedom and happiness: they sin against God and man.
Here we must examine our consciences most carefully.
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