Word of the day

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Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading of the day

From the book of Genesis
Gn 23:1-4.19; 24:1-8.62-67

The span of Sarah's life was one hundred and twenty-seven years.
She died in Kiriatharba (that is, Hebron)
in the land of Canaan,
and Abraham performed the customary mourning rites for her.
Then he left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites:
"Although I am a resident alien among you,
sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground,
that I may bury my dead wife."

After the transaction, Abraham buried his wife Sarah
in the cave of the field of Machpelah,
facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.

Abraham had now reached a ripe old age,
and the LORD had blessed him in every way.
Abraham said to the senior servant of his household,
who had charge of all his possessions:
"Put your hand under my thigh,
and I will make you swear by the LORD,
the God of heaven and the God of earth,
that you will not procure a wife for my son
from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,
but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred
to get a wife for my son Isaac."
The servant asked him:
"What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land?
Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?"
"Never take my son back there for any reason," Abraham told him.
"The LORD, the God of heaven,
who took me from my father's house and the land of my kin,
and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me,
'I will give this land to your descendants'–
he will send his messenger before you,
and you will obtain a wife for my son there.
If the woman is unwilling to follow you,
you will be released from this oath.
But never take my son back there!"

A long time later, Isaac went to live in the region of the Negeb.
One day toward evening he went out . . . in the field,
and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching.
Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him,
she alighted from her camel and asked the servant,
"Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?"
"That is my master," replied the servant.
Then she covered herself with her veil.

The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent;
he married her, and thus she became his wife.
In his love for her, Isaac found solace
after the death of his mother Sarah.

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to Matthew
Mt 9,9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, ""Follow me.""
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
""Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?""
He heard this and said,
""Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."" 

Words of the Holy Father

We have heard the Gospel account of the call of Matthew. Matthew was a “publican”, namely, a tax collector on behalf of the Roman Empire, and for this reason was considered a public sinner. But Jesus calls Matthew to follow him and to become his disciple. Matthew accepts, and invites Jesus along with the disciples to have dinner at his house. Thus an argument arises between the Pharisees and the disciples of Jesus over the fact that the latter sit at the table with tax collectors and sinners. “You cannot go to these people’s homes!”, they said. Jesus does not stay away from them, but instead goes to their houses and sits beside them; this means that they too can become his disciples. It is likewise true that being Christian does not render us flawless. Like Matthew the tax collector, each of us trusts in the grace of the Lord regardless of our sins. We are all sinners, we have all sinned. By calling Matthew, Jesus shows sinners that he does not look at their past, at their social status, at external conventions, but rather, he opens a new future to them. I once heard a beautiful saying: “There is no saint without a past nor a sinner without a future”. This is what Jesus does. (General Audience, 13 April 2016)