DAILY MASS READINGS (August 9, 2018)

THURSDAY OF THE 18TH WEEK IN ORFINARY TIME/OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF ST. TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS, VIRGIN AND MARTYR (YEAR II, Green or Red)

 

Reading 1 (JEREMIAH 31:31-34)

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers:
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19)

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Alleluia (MATTHEW 16:18)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 16:13-23)

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
and he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Reflection: God’s faithfulness cannot be measured for it is infinite. Despite the stubbornness of the people, he still remains gentle and just to them. The First Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah describes the New Covenant that the Lord will imprint on the hearts of the people. It is not like that made by man, which is ritually sealed with the blood of animals but broken, but rather sealed with faith that the people may recognize him as their God. The New Covenant is fulfilled and ratified by Christ through the shedding of his Blood upon the Cross. This event has taken place so that we might be reconciled with the Father and become his adopted children. The Gospel from St. Matthew’s account narrates the Confession of St. Peter’s faith. Jesus asks his Apostles on who do people say that he is, and yhey reply with famous figures like St. John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, and other prophets. Now he asks them on who they say he is, and Peter boldly proclaims him as the Christ, the Son of the living God. Because of this Apostle’s deep understanding of faith, he is given the authority of the Church that Christ builds under his pastoral care. Even though Peter is appointed to be a Chief Shepherd of the Church, still at that time he didn’t understand the Paschal Mystery which his Master will undergo. That is why when he said that such thing should not happen, Jesus says to Satan to get behind him. The Lord calls Peter such not because he comes from Hell, but that his objection is only human, and not that of divine standards. The Apostles’ mindset on their Master is that powerful liberator described in the Jewish oracles who will free Israel from the Roman occupation. Still the authority of Christ in the Church conferred to Peter is a sign how her salvation from Christ’s sacrifice in atonement for sins will be proclaimed to people, both the sinners and the saints. And after more than 2000 years, she continues to stand because of the Lord’s assurance that the gates of Hell shall not prevail over her. God’s faithfulness to his people is revealed to us when we strive to become faithful to him and obedient to his divine will. Christ has given his life for us that we may become more close in our relationship with him and the Father. And that relationship is present in becoming members of the Church. Despite the sinfulness and shortcomings committed by some or most members of the Hierarchy and even us the Laity, she continues to be marked as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Let us be proud of the faith we have because we are called to practice and live out its Doctrines, Morals, and Worship in our daily lifestyle. May we all become faithful witnesses of God’s love to others.

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