Friday, Jun. 19th 2020

Friday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

Foreword: During Ordinary Time, the entrance and communion antiphons of the Sunday liturgy are repeated throughout the week. In this way, the themes developed at the Sunday mass are enriched and expanded as they interact with the different readings found on each day of the following week in much the same way that a kaleidoscope presents a constantly changing view of colors, forms, and designs.

Today we observe the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which celebrates the unfathomable depth of God’s love for us. Our opening antiphon sets the tone of this remarkable feast: The designs of his Heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death, and to keep them alive in famine (Ps 32: 11, 19).

Indeed, God’s everlasting love reaches from age to age. In today’s first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the chosen people of the most significant event in their nation’s history: their exodus from slavery in the land of Egypt and their passage through the Red Sea to freedom and to the Promised Land. He went on to say: It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you…It was because the Lord loved you…(Dt 7:7-8). The responsorial refrain is our joyous response to that love: The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him. The psalm continues: Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness and compassion (Ps 103:10).

The Gospel from St. Matthew presents the familiar and consoling passage: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart… (Mt 11:28-29). Jesus invites us to imitate his merciful love, to take upon ourselves his meek and humble heart that radiates the Father’s love to all creation. Through this kind of love, we make light the burdens of others. The second reading from the First Letter of St. John takes us a further step in the imitation of God’s love: …if God so loved us, we also must love one another (1 Jn 4:11) And if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. (1 Jn 4:12).

The communion antiphon is a reminder of the proof of Christ’s love for us, evidence that he truly died on the cross: One of the soldiers opened his side with a lance, and at once there came forth blood and water (Jn 19: 34). And from that lanced side flowed that love which is the Church. The optional communion text further elaborates this point: Thus says the Lord: Let whoever is thirsty come to me and drink. Streams of living water will flow from within the one who believes in me (Cf. Jn 7: 37-38). We drink from his pierced side the water of life which flows from the heart of him loved us with an everlasting love.

Thought for today: How am I called to radiate Christ’s love to others? How can I lighten the burden of those around me?

Reflection by Br. Michael Marcotte, OSB

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