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Greetings on this the Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Jos 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17; PS 114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Mt 18:21–19:1
Notes: I hope you are enjoying the summer. Too hot in some places and the fires! Whatever your cares, write a new song unto the Lord.

  • Song of Moses
  • Song of Miriam
  • Song of…. you!

First reading
Joshua is given the singular leadership role as Moses before him. Anointed to serve, the Lord performs a great miracle through his leadership and his priests.

As long as the priests holding the Ark of the Covenant (containing the Torah) the water did not flow and all the peoples crossed the river dry shod.

I wonder how long it took to get the entire nation across. Did the priests get tired holding the Ark?

Perhaps, like the ancient Song of Miriam, they sang praises to the Lord for his marvelous deeds.
When we praise God our worries and cares melt like wax before the fire.

The focus became the promise and the horizon. The cause of our problems and the sins of many are no longer with power over us.

Responsorial Psalm

Alleluia Verse
Let your countenance shine upon your servant
and teach me your statutes.

Gospel Portion
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”

Why did Peter ask this question?

Yesterday’s gospel, the portion immediately before today’s portion, Jesus described the escalation process for disagreement and the authority of the Church to judge and then gave the “when two or three are gathered…” famous saying quoted so frequently.

Why did Peter ask this question?

Did Peter want more process and procedures?
Did Peter want to aspire to update the Torah with a new more specific number?

Did Peter want to build a new fence around the Torah?

If so he was quickly disappointed.

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.

We are made in the image and called to the likeness of God.

God forgives, we must as well. Always.
It is hard work for us. I think the cross of Jesus was hard work too.

Each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee
and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.

He crossed the river.
I wonder what song they sang as they went?

Forgive, keep going, and sing. Sing the Lord is your salvation.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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