1 Sarah lived a hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3 And Abraham rose up from before his dead, and said to the Hittites, 4 “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Mach-pelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5 The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?”6 Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there.7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.”
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was dwelling in the Negeb. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there were camels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel, 65 and said to the servant, “Who is the man yonder, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. 10 And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
THE FIRST READING: Abraham is aware that his mission is coming to a close after Sarah’s passing.He orders his faithful servant to ensure that Isaac find a wife from his relatives and not from the Canaanite community. Although the Canaanites were a well established Semitic group with their own language, the Israelites were a nomadic community making their way to the promised land. Abrahams wish was that Isaac marry a woman from his tribe who shall continue the Tradition that was established by God.
THE GOSPEL READING: Tax collector’s or ‘publicani’ were employees of the Roman authority who were seen to be thieves despite the fact that they were members of the Jewish community. Our Lords purposeful visit to the office of a tax collector was met with a tinge of scorn by the Pharisees to the extent that they interrogated the disciples on this matter. To be clear, the Pharisees were out of touch with the Torahs prescriptions that all God’s people are called to share in the salvation promise that was made to Abraham.
Most Catholics sadly operate as undercover believers who are reluctant to share our faith and beliefs publicly with strangers or longstanding colleagues or friends, nevermind engaging our families on matters of Church teaching and intercessory prayer in difficult times! We can certainly learn from our seperated brethren who are very vocal about their love of the Lord despite the fact that they do not have the fullness of the faith. Christianity and our salvation is not a personal matter in so far as we live only for ourselves! Our participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass needs to comport and give meaning with how we live the faith. Our Lord direct and educate us today that it is our duty to evangelize ‘all God’s people’ with words and actions that draw and call them to also share in His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is the fullness of His kingdom!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 106:1-5
1 Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! 2 Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? 3 Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
4 Remember me, O LORD, when thou showest favor to thy people; help me when thou deliverest them; 5 that I may see the prosperity of thy chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thy heritage.
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days
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