Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Matthew 19:13-15
by | Source:
Book of Joshua 24:14-29.

"Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely. Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

But the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD for the service of other gods.

For it was the LORD, our God, who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, out of a state of slavery. He performed those great miracles before our very eyes and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples through whom we passed.

At our approach the LORD drove out (all the peoples, including) the Amorites who dwelt in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."

Joshua in turn said to the people, "You may not be able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God who will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.

If, after the good he has done for you, you forsake the LORD and serve strange gods, he will do evil to you and destroy you."

But the people answered Joshua, "We will still serve the LORD."

Joshua therefore said to the people, "You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the LORD." They replied, "We are, indeed!"

"Now, therefore, put away the strange gods that are among you and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel."

Then the people promised Joshua, "We will serve the LORD, our God, and obey his voice."
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem,
which he recorded in the book of the law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was in the sanctuary of the LORD.

And Joshua said to all the people, "This stone shall be our witness, for it has heard all the words which the LORD spoke to us. It shall be a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God."

Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own heritage.

After these events, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Psalms 16(15):1-2a.5.7-8.11.

  Amiktam of David. Keep me safe, O God; in you I take refuge
I say to the Lord, you are my Lord, you are my only good.
LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you have made my destiny secure.
I bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me.

I keep the LORD always before me; with the Lord at my right, I shall never be shaken.
You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 19:13-15.

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,
but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

After he placed his hands on them, he went away.


Commentary of the day
Saint Clement of Alexandria (150- c.215), theologian
The Pedagogue, I, 12, 17 ; SC 70

"The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these"


The role of Christ, our Teacher, is, as its name suggests, to be the guide of children. But we have yet to consider what children Scripture is talking about and then to give them their Teacher. The children in question are ourselves. Scripture draws attention to us in a great many ways, making use of various images to refer to us and highlighting the simplicity of faith in many different shades. It is said in the Gospel: «The Lord was standing on the shore... and he said to the disciples – who were fishing - : 'Children, have you caught anything?'» (Jn 21,4-5). It was his disciples whom he called 'children'. «People brought children to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said: 'Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'» (Mt 19,13-14). Our Lord himself clarifies the meaning of these words when he says: «Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven» (Mt 18,3). This has nothing to do with being born again but puts forward the simplicity of the child for our imitation...

We can, indeed, call 'children' those who only know God, their Father – newborn in the strict sense... There are some persons who have made progress in the Word, whom he calls to detachment from earthly concerns so as to listen only to their Father as children do. This is why he tells them: «Do not worry about tomorrow; sufficient for each day is its own evil» (Mt 6,34). See how he exhorts us to free ourselves from earthly cares so as to cleave only to our Father! Whoever carries out this command is indeed an infant, a child for God and for the world, since the former considers him wholly ignorant and the latter an object of care.










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