Weekly Readings July/August 2018

Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time

Monday 2 July

Amos 2.6-10, 13-16
Psalm 49
Matthew 8.18-22
At the centre of the narrative of ten miracles, Matthew records the incident of two who wish to follow Jesus, one a scribe and one already a disciple. The Lord replies with typical Semitic hyperbole, pointing to the hardship of being his follower. No compromise is allowed. We have no indication about whether either of them heeded his advice or not (Gospel: Mt. 8.18-22). The Lectionary omits Amos’ oracles against the surrounding nations and comes straight to the condemnation of Israel – the Northern Kingdom – in the late eighth century BCE. The expression ‘for three crimes, the four crimes’ is a Semitic one to heighten the tension of the narrative. The people – the upper classes, the rich and the merchants above all – are condemned for their total lack of responsibility especially towards the poor.

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