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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament

Love and the Cross of Christ

Submitted by on Friday, 5 August 2011No Comment


Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Deuteronomy 4:32-40
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 77
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:24-28

Deuteronomy and God’s Love. "For the love of your fathers," Moses declares, explaining the main reason why God brought Israel out of Egypt, led them through the desert and now would be bringing them into the Promised Land. The "fathers" are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, men who have lived by the promises of God although they never saw these promises come to reality. The Israelites who now stand at the threshold of the land promised to the fathers are more fortunate in that they will see and taste what their fathers only heard about.

God has been faithful to his covenant, and Moses demands the same from the Israelites. He says "you must know and fix in your hearts." Fidelity to the covenant requires memory. Memory requires "repetition" — repeated proclamation of the magnalia Dei. Proclamation, memorization, keeping the laws and statutes, proclamation… this is the cycle of Israelite life under the covenant. From the liturgy where the Word of God is proclaimed, the Israelites remember, and are live out the demands of the covenant in their daily lives. Psalm 77 is an instance where a hasid, a faithful Israelite, recalls the mighty works of Yahweh for his people and from it draws strength for the morrow.

The Cross of the Disciple. The life of the Christian is a participation in the Paschal Mystery of the Lord. Baptized in the sign of the Cross, his life becomes a sharing in the Death of Christ so that he may share in His Resurrection. The whole life of the Christian is a dying to oneself such that even his physical death is the climax of all the "deaths" he has experienced through life.

The Cross that the disciple carries is the yoke and burden which the Son asks him to carry. "My yoke is easy," he says, "and my burden light." The Cross is folly to men, but from it comes the Wisdom of God. It is tied up with the Gospel that Paul preaches. To bear the marks of the Cross on one’s body is to bear the marks of one’s journey with the Lord, the marks of one’s having been His student and follower.

"He who would serve me, must follow me, so that where I am, there my servant will also be," says the Lord. He would like his followers to be with Him in His glory. But they too must pass through the ways of Good Friday so that they may arrive at the Tomb of Easter.

On the Cross and Discipleship

Deuteronomy 4:32-40
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
32Ask of the days of old, that have been before thy time from the day that God created man upon the earth, from one end of heaven to the other end thereof, if ever there was done the like thing, or it hath been known at any time,
33That a people should hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fire, as thou hast heard, and lived:
34If God ever did so as to go, and take to himself a nation out of the midst of nations by temptations, signs, and wonders, by fight, and a strong hand, and stretched out arm, and horrible visions according to all the things that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt, before thy eyes.
35That thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, and there is no other besides him.
36From heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might teach thee. And upon earth he shewed thee his exceeding great fire, and thou didst hear his words out of the midst of the fire,
37Because he loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them. And he brought thee out of Egypt, going before thee with his great power,
38To destroy at thy coming very great nations, and stronger than thou art, and to bring thee in, and give thee their land for a possession, as thou seest at this present day.
39Know therefore this day, and think in thy heart that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath, and there is no other.
40Keep his precepts and commandments, which I command thee: that it may be well with thee, and thy children after thee, and thou mayst remain a long time upon the land, which the Lord thy God will give thee.
Matthew 16:24-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
24Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
26For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
28Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

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