Daily Readings Audio | Daily Meditation | July 27, 2020 – August 2, 2020

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July 27. 2020

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Jeremiah tells of the Lord’s instructions to him regarding a loincloth. The Lord then used the rotted, good for nothing loincloth as a metaphor for Israelites behavior. In the Gospel, Jesus uses two parables, mustard seed and yeast, to explain the kingdom of heaven.

God’s kingdom is built up in many ways, often from the smallest of beginnings. Today we reflect on how. our efforts, no matter how insignificant, can contribute to building the kingdom of God. Similar to the transformation that takes place from a tiny mustard seed or as a speck of yeast, God can bring about great things. from the smallest starting point. Let us pray for our holy Church, may the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 401

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Reading 1 Jer 13:1-11

The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth;
wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water.
I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on.
A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus:
Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing,
and go now to the Parath;
there hide it in a cleft of the rock.
Obedient to the LORD’s command, I went to the Parath
and buried the loincloth.
After a long interval, the LORD said to me:
Go now to the Parath and fetch the loincloth
which I told you to hide there.
Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth
from the place where I had hid it.
But it was rotted, good for nothing!
Then the message came to me from the LORD:
Thus says the LORD:
So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot,
the great pride of Jerusalem.
This wicked people who refuse to obey my words,
who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts,
and follow strange gods to serve and adore them,
shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing.
For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins,
so had I made the whole house of Israel
and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD;
to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty.
But they did not listen.

Responsorial Psalm Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21

R. (see 18a)  You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R.     You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R.     You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R.     You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Alleluia Jas 1:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He  spoke to them another parable.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

 

July 28, 2020

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In the first reading, Jeremiah laments the destruction which overwhelms them, and prays to the Lord to remember his covenant with them. In the Gospel, Jesus explains the parable of the weeds in the field to his disciples. He attaches its meaning to the end of the age when the righteous will shine like the sun and be separated from all evildoers.

Cultivate the word of God in the world.  There are many challenges to a life of discipleship. When we wonder about God’s presence, we can think about two things. The first is that God has, and always will, remember his covenant with us. The second is, if we are not seeing God, then it is we who are surrounded by weeds that need removing. To cultivate the seed, the word of God in our lives is to focus on bearing good fruit in his name, and not allowing the things of this world to get in our way. Let us pray for the Church as it carries forth its mission to build God’s kingdom, may Christ the sower guide its holy work. Amen.

Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 402

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Reading 1 Jer 14:17-22

Let my eyes stream with tears
day and night, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people,
over her incurable wound.
If I walk out into the field,
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city,
look! those consumed by hunger.
Even the prophet and the priest
forage in a land they know not.

Have you cast Judah off completely?
Is Zion loathsome to you?
Why have you struck us a blow
that cannot be healed?
We wait for peace, to no avail;
for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness,
the guilt of our fathers;
that we have sinned against you.
For your name’s sake spurn us not,
disgrace not the throne of your glory;
remember your covenant with us, and break it not.
Among the nations’ idols is there any that gives rain?
Or can the mere heavens send showers?
Is it not you alone, O LORD,
our God, to whom we look?
You alone have done all these things.

Responsorial Psalm 79:8, 9, 11 and 13

R. (9)  For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R.     For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
R.     For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R.     For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

 

July 29, 2020

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Obligation memorial Saint Martha

Jeremiah laments his situation, and the Lord responds that if he repents, he shall be restored and be the Lord’s mouthpiece. In the Gospel, Jesus visits Martha and Mary. Martha welcomes Jesus, but then is burdened with serving, and frustrated that Mary is not helping. Jesus tells Martha that there is a need for only one thing.

The Lord asks for our complete trust in him. The story of Mary and Martha allows us to ask ourselves if we, too, are anxious and worried about many things. Instead of anxiety, Jesus asks for our trust in him. To know that God is the sovereign Lord brings us comfort in an anxious world. Today the Lord asks for our trust, so that he can bring healing and peace into our hearts and lives. Let us pray for the Church, the Body of Christ, may the Lord in his mercy increase us in holiness and charity. Amen.

Memorial of Saint Martha
Lectionary: 403/607

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Reading 1 Jer 15:10, 16-21

Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth!
a man of strife and contention to all the land!
I neither borrow nor lend,
yet all curse me.
When I found your words, I devoured them;
they became my joy and the happiness of my heart,
Because I bore your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
I did not sit celebrating
in the circle of merrymakers;
Under the weight of your hand I sat alone
because you filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain continuous,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook,
whose waters do not abide!
Thus the LORD answered me:
If you repent, so that I restore you,
in my presence you shall stand;
If you bring forth the precious without the vile,
you shall be my mouthpiece.
Then it shall be they who turn to you,
and you shall not turn to them;
And I will make you toward this people
a solid wall of brass.
Though they fight against you,
they shall not prevail,
For I am with you,
to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD.
I will free you from the hand of the wicked,
and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.

Responsorial Psalm 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18

R. (17d)  God is my refuge on the day of distress.
Rescue me from my enemies, O my God;
from my adversaries defend me.
Rescue me from evildoers;
from bloodthirsty men save me.
R.     God is my refuge on the day of distress.
For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
mighty men come together against me,
Not for any offense or sin of mine, O LORD.
R.     God is my refuge on the day of distress.
O my strength! for you I watch;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
As for my God, may his mercy go before me;
may he show me the fall of my foes.
R.     God is my refuge on the day of distress.
But I will sing of your strength
and revel at dawn in your mercy;
You have been my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of distress.
R.     God is my refuge on the day of distress.
O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
my merciful God!
R.     God is my refuge on the day of distress.

Alleluia Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 11:19-27

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

or

Lk 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Martha, please go here.

 

July 30, 2020

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Optional memorial Saint Peter Chryssologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

The Lord speaks to Jeremiah, and tells him to go to the potter’s house where he will receive a message. Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? Says the Lord. In the Gospel, Jesus says the Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, collecting fish of every kind. When the net is brought ashore, the good and bad fish are separated: Thus it will be at the end of the age.

The call to the kingdom of God is universal, and everyone who comes to the Father will be made new.  Jesus invites everyone into the kingdom of God, seeking to bring them to God the Father. All get drawn into his net, believers and unbelievers alike. He can work with mistakes on our part, remolding us like the potter rework clay. As long as we are in his hands, the Father can do wonderful things. Let us pray for the young people, may God guide and protect them amid the pressures in their lives. Amen.

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 404

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Reading 1 Jer 18:1-6

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Rise up, be off to the potter’s house;
there I will give you my message.
I went down to the potter’s house and there he was,
working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel,
as this potter has done? says the LORD.
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter,
so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm 146:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab

R. (5a)  Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R.     Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.   Alleluia.
Put not your trust in princes,
in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.
When his spirit departs he returns to his earth;
on that day his plans perish.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God.
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia See Acts 16:14b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our heart, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Chrysologus, please go here.

 

July 31, 2020

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Obligation memorial Saint Ignatius of Loyola, priest

God sends Jeremiah to speak to the people of Judah, so that they might listen and turn back, each from his evil way. But the priests and prophets demand to know why Jeremiah prophesies in the name of the Lord, and say he must be put to death. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches in the synagogue in Nazareth. The people questioned the source of his authority to do so and took offense at him.

Live a life for the greater glory of God. The prophet Jeremiah proclaims God’s message to the people of Judah, but it is met with rejection. They seek to end his life. Preaching in the Synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus also encounters rejection. And others will seek to end his life. But the messages of both, the good news of God’s favor and mercy, are stronger than death. They attest to God’s great glory. Saint Ignatius of Loyola was transformed by the Gospel, and lived a life for the greater glory of God, challenging his followers to do the same. Let us pray for missionaries who bring the joy of the gospel to distant lands, may God bless them with the spirit of wisdom. Amen.

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Lectionary: 405

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Reading 1 Jer 26:1-9

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim,
son of Josiah, king of Judah,
this message came from the LORD:
Thus says the LORD:
Stand in the court of the house of the LORD
and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah
who come to worship in the house of the LORD;
whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing.
Perhaps they will listen and turn back,
each from his evil way,
so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them
for their evil deeds.
Say to them:  Thus says the LORD:
If you disobey me,
not living according to the law I placed before you
and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets,
whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them,
I will treat this house like Shiloh,
and make this the city to which all the nations of the earth
shall refer when cursing another.

Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people
heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD.
When Jeremiah finished speaking
all that the LORD bade him speak to all the people,
the priests and prophets laid hold of him, crying,
“You must be put to death!
Why do you prophesy in the name of the LORD:
‘This house shall be like Shiloh,’ and
‘This city shall be desolate and deserted’?”
And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14

R. (14c)  Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Those outnumber the hairs of my head
who hate me without cause.
Too many for my strength
are they who wrongfully are my enemies.
Must I restore what I did not steal?
R.    Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Since for your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
Because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R.    Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
R.    Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Alleluia 1 Pt 1:25

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever;
this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house.”
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, please go here.

 

August 1, 2020

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Obligation memorial Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and doctor of the Church.

In the first reading, Jeremiah defends his prophetic mission before the people of Israel and against the priests and false prophets, urging them all to listen and turn back to God. The Gospel recounts the martyrdom of John the Baptist, imprisoned and executed by Herod for denouncing his unlawful relationship with Herodias.

God provides us with holy people to help us hear his truth. The religious leaders of Israel verbally attack Jeremiah, and Herod has John the Baptist killed, because Jeremiah’s prophecy and John’s admonishment threaten their sinful way of life. The truth is sometimes hard to hear. But God provides us with holy people to help us, such as the prophets, and saint Alphonsus Liguori, whom the Church celebrates today. The Saint of moral theologians, Saint Alphonsus founded the Redemptorist congregation, and is known for his practical approach to living as a Christian disciple. Let us pray for the Church, may the Holy Spirit strengthen each of us in our baptismal vocation as true disciples. Amen.

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 406

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Reading 1 Jer 26:11-16, 24

The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
“This man deserves death;
he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.”
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
“It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city
all that you have heard.
Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
listen to the voice of the LORD your God,
so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
As for me, I am in your hands;
do with me what you think good and right.
But mark well: if you put me to death,
it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
on this city and its citizens.
For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you,
to speak all these things for you to hear.”

Thereupon the princes and all the people
said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve death;
it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.”

So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah,
so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death

Responsorial Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34

R. (14c)  Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me.
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Alleluia Mt 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 14:1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, please go here.

 

August 2, 2020

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The Lord speaks through Isaiah, exhorting his people to come to the water and be renewed by the everlasting covenant. Paul tells the Romans that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ. In the Gospel, after hearing of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus heals the sick and feeds the 5,000 abundantly.

Christ gives us all we need to feed those he calls us to serve. Today’s readings call us, like the disciples, to feed others but only after having been nourished ourselves. We are invited to delight in rich fare, feasting on the love of God that is stronger than death. In responding to God’s call, we can trust that Christ will give us all we need to carry out his commands. Let us pray for the Church, may Christ continue to bless her with all she needs to bring his love to the world. Amen.

Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 112

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Reading 1 Is 55:1-3

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Reading 2 Rom 8:35, 37-39

Brothers and sisters:
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Alleluia Mt 4:4b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God
R.   Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.