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Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – Joshua 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17: The LORD instructed Joshua to have the priests carry the ark of the covenant into the Jordan River. When they did, the waters halted, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – Ezekiel 12:1-12: The LORD instructed the prophet to act out a symbolic exile, carrying baggage and digging through a wall. This was a sign to the rebellious house of Israel of their impending captivity and exile.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 114: Israel’s liberation from Egypt is celebrated, and the power of the divine is symbolized by describing the sea fleeing and mountains skipping like rams.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 78: Israel angered God through rebellion and idolatry, leading to His anger and rejection. He allowed His people to be captured and subjected to their enemies.
  • GospelMatthew 18:21–19:1: Jesus teaches about the importance of forgiveness through a parable of a servant forgiven of a huge debt who then refuses to forgive a smaller debt, resulting in his punishment.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

  • Forgiveness and Mercy: Peter’s question about forgiveness and Jesus’ response highlight the theme of extending forgiveness generously. Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant emphasizes the importance of showing mercy and forgiveness to others as God has shown to us.
  • Radical Forgiveness: Jesus’ teaching goes beyond societal norms, advocating for a radical approach to forgiveness. This theme emphasizes the transformative power of forgiveness and the need to break the cycle of retaliation.
  • Forgiving Sevenfold: The number seven represents completeness in the Bible, and Jesus’ instruction to forgive “seventy times seven” underscores the limitless nature of forgiveness. This theme highlights the call to forgive without limits, mirroring God’s boundless mercy.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven: The parable of the unforgiving servant ends with a warning about the heavenly Father’s response to unforgiveness. This theme underscores the connection between forgiveness and entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.

Matthew 18:21-22

Thoughts for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Peter’s question in the Gospel for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time reflects a very human concern with fairness and limits. His suggestion of forgiving seven times seems generous, but Jesus takes it much further, saying “seventy-seven times.” This isn’t a literal number but symbolizes limitless forgiveness. We are thus called to an endless capacity to forgive, just as God endlessly forgives us.

Jesus illustrates this teaching with the parable of the unforgiving servant. The servant’s enormous debt, which is generously forgiven by the king, represents our immeasurable debt to God. This forgiveness is something that Catholics acknowledge and appreciate, especially in the context of the sacrament of reconciliation.

However, the servant’s refusal to forgive a fellow servant’s minor debt highlights the hypocrisy of accepting forgiveness without extending it to others. The king’s reaction is a stern warning. We see this as a reminder that forgiveness received must be matched with forgiveness given. This connection is also reflected in the Lord’s Prayer.

The passage underscores the vital role of mercy in the Christian life. It challenges us to go beyond legalism and human calculations of fairness, embracing a God-like compassion. This doesn’t mean ignoring wrongdoing but facing it with a readiness to forgive and heal. It’s about a lifestyle rooted in understanding, patience, and empathy.

Overall, this portion of Matthew’s Gospel invites us to reflect on the boundless nature of divine forgiveness and the call to imitate this in our relationships with others. The willingness to forgive without limit is a sign of spiritual maturity and a profound way to express love. It keeps the community united and reflects the essence of what it means to follow Christ.

Prayer for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Dear Jesus, our compassionate Savior, inspire limitless forgiveness in our hearts. . Remind us that forgiveness heals and draws us closer to your kingdom. In your name, we gather, embracing the call to forgive and be forgiven. Amen.


Homilies and Reflections for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Word On Fire: The Relentless Act of Forgiveness

In his reflection for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron focuses on the theme of forgiveness as taught by Jesus. Forgiveness is portrayed as an act, not just an attitude, and it’s about actively repairing a broken relationship. It’s relentless and involves bearing the burden of others, even if they refuse to reciprocate. Jesus’ own practice of forgiveness, even on the cross, serves as an example for Christians. Barron emphasizes the teaching that forgiveness should be given not just seven times, but seventy-seven times, highlighting the never-ceasing effort to establish love.

USCCB Reflection: Love, Forgiveness, and Transformation

This USCCB video reflection for Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time emphasizes the theme of God’s unwavering love and promise. Both readings highlight God’s commitment to His people. The exaltation of Joshua in the first reading and the parable of forgiven debt in the Gospel illustrate God’s presence in our lives. Jesus fulfills the promise of the old Covenant, guiding us and providing light. Faith and openness to God’s gifts prevent failure. The reflection likens the flowing waters halting at the souls of our feet to the transformation brought by God’s gifts. Repentance, love, and contrition lead to conversion. Forgiveness, mirroring God’s grace, fosters improved relationships on Earth and aligns with the goal of heavenly happiness.

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