Tuesday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Matthew 18:1-5.10.12-14
by Daily Gospel | Source: Daily Gospel
Book of Deuteronomy 31:1-8.

When Moses had finished speaking these words to all Israel,
he said to them, "I am now one hundred and twenty years old and am no longer able to move about freely; besides, the LORD has told me that I shall not cross this Jordan.
It is the LORD, your God, who will cross before you; he will destroy these nations before you, that you may supplant them. (It is Joshua who will cross before you, as the LORD promised.)

The LORD will deal with them just as he dealt with Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites whom he destroyed, and with their country.
When, therefore, the LORD delivers them up to you, you must deal with them exactly as I have ordered you.

Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you."

Then Moses summoned Joshua and in the presence of all Israel said to him, "Be brave and steadfast, for you must being this people into the land which the LORD swore to their fathers he would give them; you must put them in possession of their heritage.

It is the LORD who marches before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed."

Book of Deuteronomy 32:3-4a.

For I will sing the LORD'S renown. Oh, proclaim the greatness of our God!
The Rock--how faultless are his deeds, how right all his ways! A faithful God, without deceit, how just and upright he is!

Think back on the days of old, reflect on the years of age upon age. Ask your father and he will inform you, ask your elders and they will tell you:

When the Most High assigned the nations their heritage, when he parceled out the descendants of Adam, He set up the boundaries of the peoples after the number of the sons of God;

While the LORD'S own portion was Jacob, His hereditary share was Israel.
The LORD alone was their leader, no strange god was with him.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 18:1-5.10.12-14.

At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

He called a child over, placed it in their midst,
and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.

What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?

And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.

In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.

Commentary of the day
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Ps 119[118], 22, 27-30  ; CSEL 62, 502-504

"It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost"

Come, Lord Jesus, seek your servant; seek your weary sheep; come, my shepherd... While you delay on the mountains, see!, your sheep is straying. So leave the ninety-nine that are safe in hand and come, look for the one that has strayed. Come, without seeking a helper, without making yourself known; it is you I am waiting for now. Take no whip; take up your love. Come with the gentleness of your Spirit. Don't hesitate to leave the ninety-nine that belong to you on the mountains: wolves cannot reach the heights where you have set them... Come to me who have strayed far away from the flocks on high, for you had set me up there, too, but the night wolves made me leave your sheepfolds.

Seek me, Lord, since my prayer seeks you. Seek me, find me, take me up, carry me! He whom you seek, you can find; he whom you find, stoop to take up; and he whom you take up, set on your shoulders. This burden of your love is never a load for you and you unwearyingly make of yourself the toll-keeper of justice. So come, Lord, since, if it is true that I stray, yet «I do not forget your word» (Ps 119[118],16) and still keep hoping for relief. Come, Lord, for you alone are still able to call your lost sheep and will cause no harm to those you will be leaving behind. They, too, will be happy to see the sinner return. Come! There will be redemption on earth and rejoicing in heaven (Lk 15,7).

Do not send your menservants, do not send hirelings: come and look for your sheep yourself. Take me up in that flesh that fell with Adam. By this act acknowledge in me, not the child of Eve but the son of Mary, pure virgin, virgin by grace, without stain of sin. Then carry me even to your cross, salvation of the straying, only rest for the weary, sole life of all who die.

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