Seventh Sunday of Denha

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

The first Biblical reading in the Eucharistic Liturgy of today is Deut. 14:2 – 15:4. Verses 2 to 21 of chapter 14 contain a list of clean and unclean creatures of which only the clean ones, excluding those that die of themselves, could be eaten. This prescription is calculated to make the People of Israel to be careful even in eating because of their special status as the People of God. The following verse brings this idea to their mind: For you are a people holy to Yahweh your God (Deut. 14:21).Verses 22 to 29 deal with the tithe of the yield of the fields as well as the firstlings of the herd and flock. They are to be eaten in thanksgiving in the central sanctuary precincts. If the sanctuary is too far away, the things may be sold out and with the money in hand people have to go on a pilgrimage to the sanctuary and there things should be bought with the money for eating them in the precincts of the sanctuary. But every third year the tithe should be stored up in ones town for free distribution to the Levites, aliens, orphans and widows. This act will bring down the blessing of Yahweh upon each Israelite who does it. Verses1to 4 of chapter 15 deal with the sabbatical year.  All the debts have to be remitted by Israelite creditors to Israelite debtors. This provision is envisaged to make Israel an ideal commonwealth with all its citizens having sufficient wealth. The principle underlying this is that of fraternity under the saving power of God, the gist of the Ten Commandments and of all the laws of the Old Testament.

 

The next reading is Isaiah. 42:5-9, 14-17. At first Yahweh who is the Creator of everything declares that He has exalted Israel in righteousness and taken by the hand. He has given Israel as a light to the nations that Israel may open the eyes of the blind and to give freedom to prisoners who remain in dungeon and darkness.

 

The third reading prescribed for today is 1 Tim. 6:9-21. Here St. Paul warns about the dangers and evils that engulf those who love the riches of this world. Even Faith is jeopardized by some. The Apostle exhorts Timothy to shun all this and to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. The good confession of Faith will lead to eternal life to which a Christian is called. As for those who possess riches in this world, they have to be humble and thankful to God who has blessed them with wealth. The rich people should do good in order to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share. This will enable them to store up treasures in heaven and inherit eternal life.

 

The Gospel reading for today is Mt.7:28-8:13. Here as a conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount the Evangelist says that the listeners were astonished at the teaching of Jesus who, unlike the scribes, was teaching as one having authority. Thereafter two episodes are narrated. The first one is the curing of a leper. The leper approaches Jesus with the faith that He can heal him if He wills and expresses this faith in words. In response Jesus touches the leper and heals him. Here we should remember that lepers were not allowed to come near healthy persons. The healthy persons would not touch a leper either. But both these barriers are broken by the faith of the leper.

 

The next episode is the manifestation of faith by a Roman centurion, a non-Israelite. He came to Jesus with the request to heal his servant who was lying paralyzed at home and was terribly suffering. The nobility of the centurion here is to be specially noted. At that time servants or slaves were considered as equal to animals. Their health or ill-health did not bother their masters. But the centurion here is an exception to such masters. He is sympathetic and generous considering the servant as a human being. Jesus agrees to go to the centurion’s house to heal the servant. But here comes the profession of faith and of unworthiness by the centurion. He thinks that he is unworthy to receive the holy person of Jesus into his house and therefore requests Him just to say a word from where He was to cure the servant. Jesus admires the faith of the centurion and publicly declares that such a faith is not found even in Israel, the chosen People of God. In accordance with the request of the centurion, Jesus cures the servant with His word and makes the centurion happy.

 

 

All the Biblical passages prescribed for today should influence the Christian believers to deepen their faith in order to have the correct attitude towards worldly wealth and to cultivate a sharing mentality which will make them excel in all the Christian virtues.

 

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

 

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