Sixth Sunday of Denha

Click play to listen the Evangalion (gospel reading) of the day.

The first reading in today’s Eucharistic Liturgy is Deut. 24:9-22. It contains beautiful admonitions to the Israelites which are equally applicable to men living today. A series of advices are given here all of which are very touching. A garment taken as a pledge from a poor person should be returned before sunset so that he/she may use it against the biting cold of the night. One should not withhold the wages of workers. People shall be punished only if they have personally committed crimes. Parents should not be punished for the crimes of their children nor vice versa. Justice shall be done to each citizen. A farmer should not glean the leftover grains from the fields nor the leftover fruits from the vineyards and orchards. The leftover should be for the poor people who come to glean. As a motivation for such good deeds the following touching statement is recorded twice in this passage of 14 verses: Remember that you were a slave in Egypt (Deut. 24:18-22).

 

The second reading for today is Isaiah 63:7-16. This passage is the remembrance of the love and mercy of Yahweh who led Israel out of Egypt and protected them all through their journey in the desert. Although He punished them for their rebellion, His spirit gave them rest and led them to their destination, the Promised Land. The last two verses of this passage is a prayer to Yahweh to look from heaven and have compassion on the People. Yahweh is addressed as Father and Redeemer of the People of Israel. These verses of the prophet were written during the Babylonian exile of the People of Israel.

 

The third reading is from the Epistle to the Hebrews 8:1-9:10. Christ is presented as the Mediator of a better Covenant than the one made through the mediation of Moses at Sinai and the liturgical arrangements of the Old Testament in which the High Priest of Israel performed expiatory rituals. The Old Testament Sanctuary and its High Priest were only shadows of what was to come in the New Testament with the advent of Jesus
Christ.

 

The fourth reading for today is from the Gospel according to St. John 3:22-4:3. The disciples of St. John the Baptist report to him the baptizing ministry of Jesus before He started His ministry in Galilee. The testimony of John the Baptist regarding Jesus recorded earlier (Cf.Jn.1:19-36) is given here in brief in other words: No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven (Jn.3:27). He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease (Jn.3:29-30).

 

The last statement in the above quoted passage tells us that John the Baptist accepted his role and destiny with joy. The words of verse 30 as the last words spoken by John the Baptist in this Gospel are very appropriate. This verse with its contrast between increase and decrease is to be compared with the verses in Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28 : Among those born of women, none is greater than John. The five closing verses of this third chapter (vv.31-36) present a monologue of Jesus very similar to the one at the end of the dialogue with Nicodemus (Jn.3:13-21).

 

Next we see Jesus going to Galilee. The departure of Jesus from Judah to go to Galilee after the above mentioned incident seems to mean the end of His ministry of baptizing.
Henceforth His ministry will be one of preaching and working of miracles as Signs of Divine intervention.

 

Credits: Father Thomas Kalayil, CMI <thomas 'dot' kalayil 'at' cmi 'dot' in>

 

Read more reflections