Word of the day
Reading of the day
A reading from the Book of Genesis 28:10-22A
Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set,
he stopped there for the night.
Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head
and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground,
with its top reaching to the heavens;
and God's messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
"I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham
and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you are lying
I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth,
and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.
In you and your descendants
all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!"
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone
that he had put under his head,
set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it.
He called the site Bethel,
whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.
Jacob then made this vow: "If God remains with me,
to protect me on this journey I am making
and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear,
and I come back safe to my father's house, the LORD shall be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God's abode."
Gospel of the day
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
And from that hour the woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.
Words of the Holy Father
To have access to His heart, to Jesus’ heart, there is only one requirement: to feel in need of healing and to entrust yourself to Him. I ask you: do each of you feel that you need to be healed? Of something, of some sin, of some problem? And, if you feel this, do you have faith in Jesus? These are the two requirements in order to be healed, in order to have access to his heart: to feel in need of healing and to entrust yourself to Him. In this Gospel passage the themes of faith and of new life, which Jesus came to offer to all, are intertwined. When he enters the house where the dead girl lies, he sends outside those who are weeping and making tumult (cf. v. 40), and he says: “The child is not dead but sleeping” (v. 39). Jesus is Lord, and before him physical death is like a dream: there is no reason to despair. Another death is the one to fear: that of the heart hardened by evil! Yes, we should be afraid of that one! When we feel we have a hardened heart, a heart that is hardened, allow me to say, a mummified heart, we should be afraid of this. This is the death of the heart. But sin too, the mummified heart too, is never the last word with Jesus, because he has brought us the infinite mercy of the Father. And even if we have hit rock bottom, his tender and strong voice reaches us: “I say to you, arise!”. (Angelus, 1 July 2018)