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Readings from August 8-13, 2011

Submitted by on Sunday, 7 August 2011No Comment

Joshua succeeds Moses

This week’s lectio cursiva will be broken up by the celebration of the feast of St. Lawrence the Deacon. The Old Testament selections will be taken from the moment Moses makes the ark of wood that would bear the reminders of the covenant at Sinai, until the renewal of the Covenant under Joshua. The Gospel selections will be taken from Matthew 17:22 until Matthew 19. The topics covered will be about paying the temple tax (Monday), greatness in the Kingdom (Tuesday), forgiveness (Thursday), marriage (Friday) and the "little ones" (Saturday).

Monday, August 8

The reading from Deuteronomy 10:12-22 is a speech occuring after Moses has placed in an ark of wood a copy of the tablets of stone which God carved with his finger on Sinai. The verse selection begins with the requirements of God:

  • to fear the Lord
  • to walk in all his ways
  • to love Him
  • to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul

A key-phrase is "circumcise your hearts". The circumcision of the flesh is a mark of the descendant of Abraham and is a physical reminder that he is included in the covenant with Abraham.

The "circumcision of the heart" is the interior equivalent of the physical mark, the fidelity and loyalty that should characterize the love by which the Israelite responds to God’s love. It is set against the "stubbornness" that the people of Israel showed in the desert.

In verse 22, we find Moses giving a description of the Israelites that shows how God has fulfilled his promise to Abraham: they have become as numerous as that stars of heaven.

The Gospel reading from Matthew 17:22-27 is from the episode of the temple tax and the fish. Read about it here.

Tuesday, August 9

In Deuteronomy 31:1-8, Moses informed the people that he will not pass the Jordan river into the promised land (1-2). Instead, the Lord himself will be walking ahead of the people (3a). Moses also names his successor, Joshua ben-Nun (3b).

Because of the incident of the twelve spies (Numbers 13-14) who disheartened the people with their false report regarding Canaan, the Lord decided that that generation will not enter the land promised to the fathers. Instead, their children — the "little ones" (v. 31, "parvulos" Vulgate) — will be the ones who will enjoy the benefits of that promise.

The idea of the "little ones" inheriting the promises of God is taken up by Jesus once more. He declares that unless one becomes like a child, he will never enter the kingdom of heaven (See Matthew 18:1-5).

Wednesday, August 10

The readings will be taken from the sanctoral for this day’s feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. Read this article.

Thursday, August 11

The selection from Joshua 3 features the passing of the Israelites over the Jordan river. Just as Israel passed through the Red Sea, so now those inheriting the land passes through the Jordan. The episode features the ark of the Covenant which has taken the place of the tent of Dwelling. The ark will be Yahweh’s sacramental presence before Israel.

To the question: "How many times should I forgive my brother"? Jesus says "seventy-times seven times". And he followed this up with a parable about the servant who was forgiven by his king. The servant though forgiven could not forgive the little that his fellow servant owed him. And so his king punished him for it. The parable also explains the prayer: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

Friday, August 12

Joshua 24 has been divided for the readings of today and tomorrow. The greater part of Joshua 24 is about the renewal of the covenant in the land that has been taken in possession by the Israelites. The first part, which we read today, is Joshua’s review of what God has done for Israel.

In the gospel selection, we read the discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees about divorce. Jesus declares that divorce is not the will of God, although it was permitted by Moses because of the stubbornness of heart of Israel.

Saturday, August 13

Joshua 24:14-28 is the renewal of the covenant proper. After the opening review of the marvels of the Lord, Joshua asks the people whether they are going to uphold the covenant at Sinai. After giving their positive response, Joshua renews the covenant.

In the gospel selection, Jesus tells his disciples to allow the little children to come to Him. He says that it is for these that the Kingdom of Heaven is intended.

Matthew 17:22
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
22And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall rise again. And they were troubled exceedingly.
Deuteronomy 10:12-22
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
12And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but that thou fear the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways, and love him, and serve the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul:
13And keep the commandments of the Lord, and his ceremonies, which I command thee this day, that it may be well with thee?
14Behold heaven is the Lord's thy God, and the heaven of heaven, the earth and all things that are therein.
15And yet the Lord hath been closely joined to thy fathers, and loved them and chose their seed after them, that is to say, you, out of all nations, as this day it is proved.
16Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and stiffen your neck no more.
17Because the Lord your God he is the God of gods, and the Lord of lords, a great God and mighty and terrible, a who accepteth no person nor taketh bribes.
18He doth judgment to the fatherless and the widow, loveth the stranger, and giveth him food and raiment.
19And do you therefore love strangers, because you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.
20Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him only: to him thou shalt adhere, and shalt swear by his name.
21He is thy praise, and thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thy eyes have seen.
22In seventy souls thy fathers went down into Egypt: and behold now the Lord thy God hath multiplied thee as the stars of heaven.
Matthew 17:22-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
22And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall rise again. And they were troubled exceedingly.
23And when they were come to Capharnaum, they that received the didrachmas, came to Peter and said to him: Doth not your master pay the didrachmas?
24He said: Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying: What is thy opinion, Simon? The kings of the earth, of whom do they receive tribute or custom? of their own children, or of strangers?
25And he said: Of strangers. Jesus said to him: Then the children are free.
26But that we may not scandalize them, go to the sea, and cast in a hook: and that fish which shall first come up, take: and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater: take that, and give it to them for me and thee.
Deuteronomy 31:1-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And Moses went, and spoke all these words to all Israel,
2And he said to them: I am this day a hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer go out and come in, especially as the Lord also hath said to me: O Thou shalt not pass over this Jordan.
3The Lord thy God then will pass over before thee: he will destroy all these nations in thy sight, and thou shalt possess them: and this Josue shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath spoken.
4And the Lord shall do to them as he did to Sehon and Og the kings of the Amorrhites, and to their land, and shall destroy them.
5Therefore when the Lord shall have delivered these also to you, you shall do in like manner to them as I have commanded you,
6Do manfully and be of good heart: fear not, nor be ye dismayed at their sight: for the Lord thy God he himself is thy leader, and will not leave thee nor forsake thee.
7And Moses called Josue, and said to him before all Israel: Take courage, and be valiant: for thou shalt bring this people into the land which the Lord swore he would give to their fathers, and thou shalt divide it by lot.
8And the Lord who is your leader, he himself will be with thee: he will not leave thee, nor forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Matthew 18:1-5
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?
2And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them,
3And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
5And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
Joshua 24:14-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
14Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him with a perfect and most sincere heart: and put away the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
16And the people answered, and said: God forbid we should leave the Lord, and serve strange gods.
17The Lord our God he brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: and did very great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way by which we journeyed, and among all the people through whom we passed.
18And he hath cast out all the nations, the Amorrhite the inhabitant of the land into which we are come. Therefore we will serve the Lord, for he is our God.
19And Josue said to the people: You will not be able to serve the Lord: for he is a holy God, and mighty and jealous, and will not forgive your wickedness and sins.
20If you leave the Lord, and serve strange gods, he will turn, and will afflict you, and will destroy you after all the good he hath done you.
21And the people said to Josue: No, it shall not be so as thou sayest, but we will serve the Lord.
22And Josue said to the people: You are witnesses, that you yourselves have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they answered: We are witnesses.
23Now therefore, said he, put away strange gods from among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel.
24And the people said to Josue: We will serve the Lord our God, and we will be obedient to his commandments.
25Josue therefore on that day made a covenant, and set before the people commandments and judgments in Sichem.
26And he wrote all these things in the volume of the law of the Lord: and he took a great stone, and set it under the oak that was in the sanctuary of the Lord.
27And he said to all the people: Behold this stone shall be a testimony unto you, that it hath heard all the words of the Lord, which he hath spoken to you: lest perhaps hereafter you will deny it, and lie to the Lord your God.
28And he sent the people away every one to their own possession.

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