Catholic Daily Mass Readings and Reflection for today I Friday August 18 2023

 Daily Mass Readings for Friday, 18 August 2023

First Reading: Joshua 24: 1-13

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 136: 1-3, 16-18, 21-22 and 24

Alleluia: First Thessalonians 2: 13

Gospel: Matthew 19: 3-12

Friday, 18 August 2023

First Reading

Joshua 24: 1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,

summoning their elders, their leaders,

their judges and their officers.

When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:

"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:

In times past your fathers, down to Terah,

father of Abraham and Nahor,

dwelt beyond the River and served other gods.

But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River

and led him through the entire land of Canaan.

I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac.

To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.

To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle,

while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

"Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies

which I wrought in her midst.

Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea,

the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea

with chariots and horsemen.

Because they cried out to the LORD,

he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians,

upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them.

After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,

and dwelt a long time in the desert,

I brought you into the land of the Amorites

who lived east of the Jordan.

They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power.

You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them,

the two kings of the Amorites, before you.

Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab,

prepared to war against Israel.

He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you;

but I would not listen to Balaam.

On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him.

Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho,

the men of Jericho fought against you,

but I delivered them also into your power.

And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them

out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

"I gave you a land that you had not tilled

and cities that you had not built, to dwell in;

you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves

which you did not plant."

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 and 24

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his mercy endures forever;

Give thanks to the God of gods,

for his mercy endures forever;

Give thanks to the LORD of lords,

for his mercy endures forever.

His mercy endures forever.

Who led his people through the wilderness,

for his mercy endures forever;

Who smote great kings,

for his mercy endures forever;

And slew powerful kings,

for his mercy endures forever.

His mercy endures forever.

And made their land a heritage,

for his mercy endures forever;

The heritage of Israel his servant,

for his mercy endures forever;

And freed us from our foes,

for his mercy endures forever.

His mercy endures forever.


See 1 Thes 2:13

Alleluia, alleluia.

Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,

but, as it truly is, the word of God.

Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,

"Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"

He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning

the Creator made them male and female and said,

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother

and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate."

They said to him, "Then why did Moses command

that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?"

He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts

Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,

but from the beginning it was not so.

I say to you, whoever divorces his wife

and marries another commits adultery."

His disciples said to him,

"If that is the case of a man with his wife,

it is better not to marry."

He answered, "Not all can accept this word,

but only those to whom that is granted.

Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;

some, because they were made so by others;

some, because they have renounced marriage

for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.

Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."

Todays Reflection

Holy Living

Jesus' response to the indissolubility of marriage is that it requires wholehearted sacrifice and selflessness. This selfless living is essential for a life based on true love, as it always looks to the good of the other and never focuses on oneself. Only grace can enable us to live a life based on true love. Our fallen human nature tends to "navel gaze," thinking about ourselves and not focusing on the love of others. Jesus said that this form of love can only be embraced by those to whom it is granted.

To live a life based on true love, we must live by grace. Our feeble human minds cannot arrive at the high calling of charity by itself. Only by grace can we understand that selfless living is best for those we are called to love and for ourselves. By living like Christ, we can become who we were made to be.

Reflect on the high calling of love given to us and reflect on how well we act as Christ to those closest to us. Consider whether we forgive, turn the other cheek, seek mercy, compassion, understanding, gentleness, and other virtues of the Holy Spirit. If we are lacking and find selfishness, ask the Lord to grant us the grace to understand and embrace our high calling of love. This will enable us to live the vocation to which we have been called.

In conclusion, Jesus' love is beyond all comprehension and can only be understood through the gift of His grace. We must trust in Jesus to live a life that is an ongoing instrument of the perfection of love that He lived.