Ex 15:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-6
Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 4 / (Green/Red)
St. Apollinaris, bishop & martyr
1st Reading: Ex 14:5-18
The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled; then Pharaoh and his ministers changed their minds with regard to the people. “What have we done,” they said, “in allowing Israel to go and be free of our service?” Pharaoh prepared his chariot and took his army with him. There were six hundred of his best chariots; indeed he took all the Egyptian chariots, each one with his warriors.
Yahweh had hardened the mind of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who set out in pursuit of the Israelites as they marched forth triumphantly. The Egyptians—all the chariots and horses of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army—gave chase and caught up with them when they had encamped by the sea near Pihahiroth, facing Baalzephon.
The Israelites saw the Egyptians marching after them: Pharaoh was drawing near. They were terrified and cried out to Yahweh. Then they said to Moses, “Were there no tombs in Egypt? Why have you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done by bringing us out of Egypt? Isn’t this what we said when we were in Egypt: Let us work for the Egyptians. Far better serve Egypt than to die in the desert!”
Moses said to the people, “Have no fear! Stay where you are and see the work Yahweh will do to save you today. The Egyptians whom you see today, you will never see again! Yahweh will fight for you and all you have to do is to keep still.”
Yahweh said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. You will raise your staff and stretch your hand over the sea and divide it to let the Israelites go dryfoot through the sea. I will so harden the minds of the Egyptians that they will follow you. And I will have glory at the expense of Pharaoh, his army, his chariots and horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I gain glory for myself at the cost of Pharaoh and his army!
Gospel: Mt 12:38-42
Then some teachers of the law and some Pharisees spoke up, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Jesus answered them, “An evil and unfaithful people want a sign; but no sign will be given, them except the sign of the prophet Jonah. In the same way, as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
“At the judgment, the people of Nineveh will rise with this generation, and condemn it; because they reformed their lives at the preaching of Jonah, and here, there is greater than Jonah. At the judgment, the Queen of the South will stand up and condemn you. She came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here, there is greater than Solomon. “
W e, the people of the 21st century, are dazzled by the extraordinary achievements of technology. Practically every day we witness that some new advanced gadget has invaded the market: from ipads to microwave ovens and from the self-driving car to the unmanned drone (or robot plane). But are we any wiser for all that? Is there more peace among the peoples of the earth? Is there more happiness in our hearts? Are we becoming better humans? The answer to these questions is obvious: we grow technological savvy but we are dolefully lacking in wisdom.
In fact, the word “wisdom” has become almost quaint and archaic. Yet, as today’s gospel reading tells us, the Queen of the South “came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.” Would we be willing to exert such an effort? Yet, if our civilization to survive, we must build the future on Christ’s wisdom. In this we have been solemnly warned by the Second Vatican Council: “Our era needs… wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by man are to be further humanized. For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser men and women are forthcoming” (GS, n.15).
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