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Greetings on this the Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Ex 14:5-18; Resp Exodus 15:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-6; Mt 12:38-42
Notes: My counting of the ten healings in direct reversal of the ten plagues is not meant to be a firm theological statement (unless you think the writer of the gospel of Matthew was keeping a thread in this nature). It is a soft theological thread.

  • Ten plagues were of the battle of good over evil for a nation. Pharaoh was reactionary.
  • The ten healings are divine acts of good over evil for a person. Pharisees were reactionary.

First reading
In the first reading Pharaoh and his servants have become reactionary.

Releasing the Hebrews from captivity was a rational act:

  • the overwhelming signs of power of the Lord in releasing them (plagues).
  • the realization of the injustice of slavery.
  • the realization that we are not the master of all things.

We of faith only need to be still in the face of such overwhelming odds.

But Moses answered the people,
“Fear not! Stand your ground,
and you will see the victory the LORD will win for you today.
These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again.
The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

Responsorial Exodus
Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

Alleluia Verse
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel Portion
Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.
The Ten healings:

  1. Curing every disease and illness among the people, Galilee, Syria, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
  2. The Cleansing of a Leper.
  3. The Healing of a Centurion’s Servant.
  4. The Cure of Peter’s Mother-in-Law & Other Healings.
  5. The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs.
  6. The Official’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage.
  7. The Healing of a Paralytic.
  8. The Healing of Two Blind Men.
  9. The Healing of a Mute Person.
  10. The Man with a Withered Hand.

Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.
Seriously, after these ten examples prior in the sequence within the gospel of Matthew?

Jesus replies:

  • You are like Jonah, a caricature of a narrow mentality, and a disobedient, narrow-minded prophet. The men of Nineveh repented. Someone greater is here.
  • You laud Solomon. But you laud him for his natural wisdom and great wealth:
    • The gold that came to Solomon in one year weighed six hundred and sixty-six gold talents.
    • Solomon’s Riches: Chariots and Horses.
    • Solomon’s Renown.

The queen of Sheba, having heard a report of Solomon’s fame, came to test him with subtle questions. She concluded: Blessed be the LORD, your God, who has been pleased to place you on the throne of Israel. In his enduring love for Israel, the LORD has made you king to carry out judgment and justice.” Someone greater is here.

Jesus is warning them, the Pharisees are reactionary.

  • You don’t see the healing.
  • You judge like Jonah.
  • You value the superficial and profane.


This intense exchange is for our benefit.
It is the range of possible responses to the challenge.

Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.

Instead our request should be:

  • Let me repent like the men of Nineveh.
  • Let me have judgment and justice as like Solomon.
  • Let me see the healings of Jesus for what they are.

Save me from my reactionary impulses.


Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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