20th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 21st August 2023

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St Pius X, Pope, pray for us

20th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 21st August 2023

Jdg. 2:11-19; Ps. 105:34-37,39-40,43-44;
Mt. 19:16-22 (Ps. Wk. IV)

The Book of Judges in today’s reading narrates the story of the people of Israel who shuttled back and forth between true worship to Yahweh and the practicing of idolatry serving Baal and the Ashtaroth. Their sin of pride and disobedience led them to be delivered into the hands of the plunderers and their enemies. However, God heard their sorrow and, because He cared for them deeply, He raised up judges and granted them intervention and help. Yet their evil practices and stubborn conduct continued to turn against the judges and brought about their downfall.

Their story mirrors our story too. What do the Baals and Ashtaroth have in our lives while simultaneously professing our faith in God? What leads us to worship these idols despite our experiences of God’s saving help and love? Like the rich young man in the Gospel, sincere and humble as we are, we are invited to dig deep to discover our heart’s true longing and desire.

Are material possessions, external piety, strict observances of Laws, being seen as ‘good Catholics’ or any earthly attachments giving us a false sense of security and peace, while our hearts remain restless and empty?

Jesus is inviting us, just as He invited the rich young man, to set our priority right: let go of earthy pleasure and direct our heart fully to God and allow Him to use us as He sees fit, shifting our perspective of ‘happiness’ from gaining treasure on earth to treasure in heaven.

Lord, help us, steward all we possess, stewarding it for the kingdom of God, especially for the poor and the marginalised in society.

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