July 2 2022 Gospel and Other Bible Readings with Reflection

First Reading – Amos 9:11-15

11 Thus says the LORD: On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David; I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old,
12 That they may conquer what is left of Edom and all the nations that shall bear my name, say I, the LORD, who will do this.
13 Yes, days are coming, says the LORD, When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the vintager, him who sows the seed; The juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains, and all the hills shall run with it.
14 I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, Plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits.
15 I will plant them upon their own ground; never again shall they be plucked From the land I have given them, say I, the LORD, your God.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalms 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

Response: The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
10 Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Response: The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
Response: The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
Response: The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Alleluia – John 10:27

Response: Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
Response: Alleluia, alleluia.

7/2/2022 Today’s Gospel Reading – Matthew 9:14-17

14 The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
17 People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

7/2/2022 Today’s Gospel Reflection – Matthew 9:14-17

The gospel reading above shows us the beginning of the tension between Jesus and His critics. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were quick to see and feel the difference between their usual life and the “new life” that Jesus brings. So they complained. Jesus responded by saying that the old has gone and the new has arrived. His use of a wedding as a metaphor means that His presence is like a party or a fun-filled celebration. Obviously, it is not a time for fasting but rather for rejoicing.

Jesus came not to preserve the status quo but to establish the Kingdom of God where there is peace and joy, love and justice, hope and faith. That is why His new radical way of life was at odds with the establishment particularly the religious authorities. Their opposition to Jesus would later culminate in the crucifixion.

We can easily understand the behavior of the critics of Jesus. Many people would rather cling to their cherished old way of life rather than embrace change. Especially if you are in a privileged situation like the Pharisees of old and the elite families in our time, there is no incentive for change. Yet change is the message of Jesus. He has arrived to inaugurate the foundation of a new world that would alter the way we relate to each other and to God.

Indeed, the moment one accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and savior, he becomes a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old self must be transformed into His likeness. It is no longer business as usual. Old habits must die to give way to new habits. It is not easy of course. As in all kinds of change, there is pain involved just like the tearing of old wineskins. But the fact remains, life in Christ is full of joy, hope and love.

*****

Fasting plays a big part in the life of the Jewish people. That is why, in the gospel reading above, the disciples of John were wondering why Jesus and His followers were not fasting. It is actually a question of why they do the things that they were doing. In this case, why were they fasting. Of course they may be aware of the reasons but there is one thing that they were missing and it is timing. There are reasons for doing things but there is a right time to do them.

Jesus compares Himself to a bridegroom with His disciples as His bride. Their union is like a wedding. He came to bring glad tidings such as forgiveness of sins, healing, freedom and salvation to His “bride”. In other words, we should rejoice in Him and with Him. That is why His presence alone makes it inappropriate to fast.

We read in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything. Many times in our life, we encounter failures and the main reason is incorrect timing. Jesus is teaching us to do the right things at the right time. Above all, He is telling us to do things with His presence and for His glory. Then the things that we do will be filled with joy.

For further reflection about fasting, go here.

Gospel Reading with Reflection for July 2 2022
Gospel Reading with Reflection for July 2, 2022

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