Psalter: Week 1
Ps 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11ab
Sing with joy to God our help.
1st Reading: Lev 23:1, 4–11, 15–16, 27, 34b–37*
Yahweh spoke to Moses, ... At twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month is Yahweh’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of this month it is Yahweh’s feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat bread without leaven. On the first day there will be a sacred assembly and no work of a worker shall be done. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh and on the seventh day you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no work of a worker.”
... “The tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. You are to hold a sacred assembly. You must fast, and you must offer a burnt offering to Yahweh.
“Speak to the Israelites and say to them:
The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of Tents for Yahweh, lasting seven days. The first day you shall hold an assembly; you must do no work of a worker. For seven days you must offer a burnt offering to Yahweh. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and you must offer a burnt offering to Yahweh. It is a day of solemn assembly in which you shall do no work of a worker.
These are the appointed feasts of Yahweh in which you are to proclaim holy assemblies for the purpose of offering offerings by fire, burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings to Yahweh, according to the ritual of each day.
Gospel: Mt 13:54–58
Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers? 55 Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? 56 Aren’t all his sisters living here? How did he get all this?” 57 And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family.” And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
We all need to belong. It is painful not to be recognized. It is even more painful not to be recognized and accepted by our own. Our collective experience tells us that it is oftentimes those people we love who can hurt us the most. Those whom we expect to understand us, accept us and love us may hurt us so badly that even just the thought of it is unbearable enough. When those we deeply love reject us, they break our heart. However, this should not hold us back from loving them. Our experience of pain brought by rejection should lead us to a choice of greater love.
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