19th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Friday 13th August 2021

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Ss Pontian, pope and Hippolytus, priest

19th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Friday 13th August 2021

Josh. 24:1-13; Ps. 135:1,2,3,16,17,18,21,22,24;
Mt. 19:3-12 (Ps Wk III)

Joshua was getting old. He wanted to make sure that Israel remained faithful to the covenant with God, so he gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem. He reminded the people of all that God had done for them. God had brought them out of Egypt through the wilderness to the land which God had promised to them. Joshua wanted the people to remember God’s faithfulness and renew their covenant with God – to promise to be faithful to the God of Israel alone.

Some Pharisees came to Jesus to question him about divorce. At that time, different groups of Pharisees permitted divorce but on differing grounds. Jesus knew that this question was asked to trick him, so he shifted the discussion from the legality of divorce to grounds for divorce. Divorce was not God’s original intent, but Moses allowed it because of the people’s hardheartedness. Jesus concluded by saying that unchastity is the only acceptable reason for divorce. Jesus admitted that not everyone could accept this teaching. When questioned by the disciples, Jesus added that celibacy was an option but only voluntary.

Lord, help me to be faithful to You.

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