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Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday August 17, 2024

Daily Mass Readings for Saturday 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 24:14-29: Joshua gathers the tribes of Israel and urges them to serve the LORD sincerely, rejecting other gods. The people affirm their allegiance to the LORD, recounting His miracles and protection. Joshua warns of God's jealousy and sets a covenant, marking it with a stone.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) - Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32: The LORD questions the proverb about fathers' actions affecting their children and declares it will no longer be used in Israel. He emphasizes individual responsibility, describing the attributes of a virtuous person and stating that only those who sin shall die.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) - Psalm 16: I find refuge in the LORD, my inheritance. Guided by His counsel and undisturbed with Him at my side, He shows me the path to life and eternal delight.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) - Psalm 51: Create for me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Return to me the joy of salvation, and I will teach others your ways. You desire a contrite heart, not sacrifices.
  • Gospel - Matthew 19:13-15: Children were brought to Jesus for blessings. The disciples tried to stop them, but Jesus insisted on welcoming them, saying the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as the little ones.

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

  • Childlike Faith: Jesus' welcoming attitude towards children emphasizes the theme of childlike faith. He values their innocence, humility, and trust as qualities that reflect the essence of genuine faith.
  • Kingdom of Heaven: Jesus' statement that the Kingdom of heaven belongs to children highlights the theme of the kingdom's accessibility and the worthiness of childlike qualities in the eyes of God.
  • Inclusion and Acceptance: Jesus' rebuke of the disciples who tried to prevent the children from approaching Him underscores the theme of inclusion and acceptance. This shows that all, regardless of age, are welcome in God's presence.
  • Cultural and Spiritual Significance: The Gospel passage's lasting impact on culture showcases the theme of its enduring spiritual significance. Jesus' sentiment towards children has become an integral part of Christian values and cultural norms.
  • Proximity to Heaven: The passage illustrates that children embody qualities cherished in the heavenly realm. This theme highlights how embracing childlike qualities brings individuals closer to the essence of God's kingdom.

Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Matthew 19:14

Thoughts for Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

In the gospel for Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, we see Jesus turning the conventional wisdom of the time on its head. While children were often seen as insignificant in ancient society, Jesus places them at the very heart of the Kingdom of Heaven. He welcomes them, embraces them, and points to them as examples for all. In a world where status and power often dominate, this is a startling reminder for Catholics that innocence, trust, and humility are the keys to the spiritual life.

The disciples' attempt to keep the children away, met with Jesus' rebuke, shows the radical inclusivity of Christ's message. Nobody is insignificant or unwelcome in God's presence. It's a profound message for the Church, calling Catholics to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and valued, recognizing the dignity of every human person.

Jesus' praise of childlike faith is not a call to be naive or simplistic but to approach God with open hearts, full of trust and humility. It's an invitation for Catholics to renew their faith, to approach God as a child approaches a loving parent, confident in His love and mercy. This childlike faith isn't weak; it's powerful, leading us to deeper union with God.

The cultural and spiritual significance of this passage goes beyond its immediate context. Jesus' respect and love for children have shaped Christian values and continue to resonate today. For Catholics, it's a call to protect the young and vulnerable, to see in them Christ Himself, and to strive to create a world where every child is cherished.

Finally, the image of the children in Jesus' arms reminds us that we are all called to that same intimacy with Christ. Embracing childlike qualities is not about turning back the clock but about growing into the full stature of our calling as Christians. For Catholics, it's an encouragement to be authentic in faith, to strive for purity of heart, and to seek the simplicity that brings us closer to God.

This passage isn't just about children; it's about all of us. It calls Catholics to humility, trust, inclusivity, and love, qualities that are essential for the Kingdom of Heaven. It's a timeless message, as relevant today as it was when Jesus spoke these words.

Prayer for Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Dear Jesus, bless the children who seek you. Guide parents and educators to nurture their faith. May the children's hearts remain open to your teachings, and may we all learn from their genuine trust and curiosity. Amen.

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

Word On Fire: Childlike Qualities and Spiritual Connection

Bishop Robert Barron's reflection for Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time emphasizes the childlike quality that Jesus says should characterize those who belong to the kingdom of heaven. Children, according to Bishop Barron, don't hide the truth and act in harmony with their nature, mirroring stars, flowers, or animals. They can lose themselves in simple joys without concern for others' reactions. Being childlike doesn't mean being unsophisticated or childish; it's about being rooted in what God wants us to be. Bishop Barron cites Thomas Aquinas, described as "childlike" and "innocent," as an example of this pure connection to one's God-given purpose.

USCCB Reflection: Rejecting False Gods

This USCCB video reflection for Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time brings attention to the difference between false gods and the God of Jesus Christ. False gods are not limited to ancient deities but extend to modern obsessions with consumption, wealth, power, and fear. These false idols deceive us into thinking we need more, creating harm to others and the environment. The fear leads to suspicion, hate, and division. The reflection calls for a rejection of these false gods, urging us to follow the example of Joshua and to recognize the love and peace found in the one true God.

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