1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.4 “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5 you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; 11 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
13 “You shall not kill.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbors.”
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower.
19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
THE BOOK OF EXODUS brings to mind how God’s people were freed from slavery with the explicit prescription that they do not worship any other gods! A battery of commandments are enumerated to be guardrails to rightly order the peoples lives to God and their fellow man in and through the mandated Sabbath sacrificial observance.
God’s declaration of His “jealous”nature is to be understood to mean that His love for the people demands that He guard, protect, provide and work for the good of His people to avoid their being separated and snatched by Satan. What is very obvious is that the way of life of the community is intrinsically linked to and inspired by their mode of worship and God’s commandments.
St MATTHEWS explain the mystery of the parable of the sower and our need to comprehend the deeper meaning and implications of the ordinances of God. A superficial or lukewarm lackadaisy attitude and response to God’s message and His kingdom is fertile ground for Satan to rob us from our joy and blessings during times of struggle and percecution! Moreover our intemperate attraction to worldly fame, riches and stuff can potentially seperate us from our obligations to worship, pray and remain in the presence of God.
We are called to jealously guard our gift of faith by vigorously proclaiming and living it in private and in public. If indeed we present ourselves in public or at home in a way that do not subtle or explicitly indicate our trust and love of God; our devotion to our spouse and children with a healthy jealousy as their guardian, provider and prayer warrior, then we are either a could not care less dominating or an absent spouse who live to impress the world! We recall our Lords anger when the temple was desecrated by traders to the extent that he violently expelled the trespassers because of His burning zeal for the house of God! Jn 2:17 We are called to be joyful, jealous guardians and fruitful citizens of God’s kingdom to prevent the desecration of our soul!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 19:8-11
8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
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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