August 17, 2018
First Reading: Ezekiel 16:1-15, 60, 63
1Again the word of the LORD came to me: 2“Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, 3and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite. 4And as for your birth, on the day you were born your navel string was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor swathed with bands. 5No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you; but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. 6“And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, `Live, 7and grow up like a plant of the field.’ And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full maidenhood; your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare. 8“When I passed by you again and looked upon you, behold, you were at the age for love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yea, I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord GOD, and you became mine. 9Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil. 10I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with leather, I swathed you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11And I decked you with ornaments, and put bracelets on your arms, and a chain on your neck. 12And I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. 13Thus you were decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered cloth; you ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful, and came to regal estate. 14And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed upon you, says the Lord GOD. 15“But you trusted in your beauty, and played the harlot because of your renown, and lavished your harlotries on any passer-by. 60yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant. 63that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I forgive you all that you have done, says the Lord GOD.”
2“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted. 5“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
3And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and 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’? 6So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” 7They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.” 10The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” 11But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”
Reflection for the day: ‘By assisting them we shall not only give great pleasure to God, but will acquire also great merit for ourselves. And, in return for our suffrages, these blessed souls will not neglect to obtain for us many graces from God, but particularly the grace of eternal life. I hold for certain that a soul delivered from Purgatory by the suffrages of a Christian, when she enters paradise, will not fail to say to God: “Lord, do not suffer to be lost that person who has liberated me from the prison of Purgatory, and has brought me to the enjoyment of Thy glory sooner than I have deserved.”‘-St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
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