Tuesday, 15 July 2014 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 7 : 1-9

When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, king Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, laid siege to Jerusalem but they were unable to capture it.

When the news reached the house of David, “Aram’s troops are encamped in Ephraim,” the heart of the king and the hearts of the people trembled as the trees of the forest tremble before the wind.

YHVH then said to Isaiah : “Go with your sin A-remnant-will-return, and meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field. Say to him, “Stay calm and fear not; do not lose courage before these two stumps of smoldering firebrands – the fierce anger of Rezin the Aramean and the blazing fury of the son of Remaliah.”

“You know that Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted against Judah, saying : Let us invade and scare it, let us seize it and put the son of Tabeel king over it. But the Lord YHVH says : It shall not be so, it shall not come to pass. For Damascus is only the head of Aram and Rezin the lord of Damascus. Samaria is only the head of Ephraim and Remaliah’s son is only the lord of Samaria.”

“Within fifty-six years, Ephraim will be shattered and will no longer be a people. But if you do not stand firm in faith, you, too will not stand at all.”

Friday, 11 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hosea 14 : 2-10

Return to your God YHVH, o Israel! Your sins have caused your downfall. Return to YHVH with humble words. Say to Him, “Oh You who show compassion to the fatherless, forgive our debt, be appeased. Instead of bulls and sacrifices, accept the praise from our lips.”

“Assyria will not save us : No longer shall we look for horses nor ever again shall we say, ‘Our Gods’ to the work of our hands.” I will heal their wavering and love them with all my heart, for My anger has turned from them.

I shall be like dew to Israel, like the lily will he blossom. Like a cedar he will send down his roots; the young shoots will grow and spread. His splendour will be like an olive tree, His fragrance, like a Lebanon cedar. They will dwell in My shade again, they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like a vine, and their fame will be like Lebanon wine.

What would Ephraim do with idols, when it is I who hear and make him prosper? I am like an ever-green cypress tree; all your fruitfulness comes from Me. Who is wise enough to grasp all this? Who is discerning and will understand? Straight are the ways of YHVH : the just walk in them, but the sinners stumble.

Thursday, 10 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hosea 11 : 1-4, 8c-9

I loved Israel when he was a child; out of Egypt I called My Son. But the more I have called, the further have they gone from Me – sacrificing to the Baals, burning incense to the idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; yet little did they realise that it was I who cared for them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with leading strings of love, and I became for them as One who eases the yoke upon their neck and stoops down to feed them.

My heart is troubled within Me and I am moved with compassion. I will not give vent to My great anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim for I am God and not human. I am the Holy One in your midst and I do not want to come to you in anger.

Monday, 23 June 2014 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Kings 17 : 5-8, 13-15a, 18

The army of the king of Asshur subjected the whole of Israel, and they came to Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, exiled the Israelites to Asshur and made them settle in Halah, at the banks of Habor, the river of Gozan, as well as in the cities of the Medes.

This happened because the children of Israel had sinned against YHVH, their God, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, where they were subject to Pharaoh, but they had turned back to other gods. They followed the customs of the nations which YHVH had driven out before them.

YHVH warned Israel and Judah through the mouth of every prophet and seer, saying : “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and precepts according to the laws which I commanded your fathers and which I have sent to you by My servants, the prophets.”

But they did not listen and refused as did their fathers who did not believe in YHVH, their God. They despised His statutes and the covenant He had made with their fathers, and the warnings He had given them.

So YHVH became indignant with Israel and cast them far away from His presence, leaving only the tribe of Judah.