Mass Readings: July 16

First: Exodus 12:37-42
Resp: Psalm 136:1,23-24,10-15
Gospel: Matthew 12:14-21

Reprinted from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community.

"LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, FREE AT LAST"

"At the end of four hundred and thirty years, all the hosts of the Lord left the land of Egypt." –Exodus 12:41

The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 430 years. Slavery was all they ever knew. Everyone in their families knew nothing but slavery. They could not remember a time when they were not slaves. They had no personal experience of the word "freedom." They could only guess what it would be like not to be slaves.

Are we like the Israelites? Are there enslaving elements in our lives? Have we always been enslaved by these things? Are all our friends also enslaved? Would it be difficult for us to imagine not being enslaved? We desperately need Jesus – not only to free us, but also to show us what freedom means.

Without Jesus, we couldn't even imagine the possibility of freedom. In an enslaved world that has been enslaved for a long time, our only hope of freedom is divine intervention. God would have to become a man, give us a new nature, send the Holy Spirit, and live inside us for us to be free. In fact, that is what God did. Jesus is the God-Man, the Truth (Jn 14:6) that sets us free (Jn 8:32, 36).

PRAYER: Jesus, my Redeemer, have mercy on me.
PROMISE: "Here is My Servant Whom I have chosen, my loved One in Whom I delight. I will endow Him with My Spirit and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles." –Mt 12:18
PRAISE: The Carmelites purchased a seminary and prayed fervently for vocations. When enrollments dried up, they were forced to sell it to a Protestant group who used the building as a seminary. This seminary has produced over fifty Protestant ministers who have since converted to the Catholic church.