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Ordinary Time: June 8th
Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Other Commemorations: Third Sunday after Pentecost
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As Jesus was walking on He saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed Him (Matt 9:9).
The first reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Hosea 6:3-6. In this reading Hosea is concerned about the priority of mercy along with a proper understanding and performance of ritual sacrifice. Hosea does not want rituals abandoned, he wants them purified and properly used, not mindlessly and perfunctorily abused. Crude ideas about sacrifice need reforming, but man still needs the ritual of sacrifice. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin
The second reading
is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 4:18-25. In this reading, Abraham is set before us as an example of a man who had perfect faith. — The Sunday Readings
by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
is from Matthew 9:9-13. The call of Matthew to the apostolate, and Christ's partaking of a meal with Matthew and his sinner friends that evening, is a proof of the Lord's forgiving mercy and understanding. Matthew became a faithful follower of Jesus, and gave his life for the spread of the gospel of mercy and divine love. The fellow tax-collectors and sinners, we can feel sure, learned much from that action of Jesus, and that sign of understanding on his part, helped many, if not all of them, to change their lives.
It is the same Christ that we are dealing with. It is the same Christ who has called us to follow Him. He knows our human frailties. He knew when He called us that we would trip, many times perhaps, on our upward climb. But He had planned to be ever near us, to lift us up and put us on the road again. He left to His Church, to us, the lovely sacrament of divine mercy, which will wash away each and every sin, if we receive it with true repentance.
The true Christian should really appreciate all that Christ has undergone — the humiliation of the Incarnation, the insults from His enemies, the cruel death on the cross, and all of it so that each one of us, and not just a select few, could get to heaven. What true Christian would be so ungrateful to Christ as to refuse to ask pardon for his sins, and so unmindful of his own eternal future as to risk his all because he is too proud to repent.
The Pharisees acted thus. Their self-esteem and pride would not let them admit that they too were sinners. In fact, their sin, the sin of spiritual pride, was more serious than the sins of weakness for which they despised and condemned their fellow Jews.
Should there be any Christian among us today whose pride and self-esteem will not let him humbly confess his sins, let him take a look at the crucifix. There he shall see Jesus hanging, dying a slow death on the cross, in order to bring him to heaven. It was our sins that nailed Jesus to the cross, but does Jesus hold it against us? Far from it. Those outstretched arms, amidst all their agonizing pain, are stretched out to welcome us back and to grant us a full pardon for all out past deeds.
Is there any human heart so hardened by pride, as to be able to resist this call to repentance and forgiveness offered by the very victim of his offenses?
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings
by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.