Thursday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings


Our first reading today from the Book of Sirach is a follow-up to the passages we have been hearing this week from the Second Book of Kings. It pays tribute to the life and accomplishments of the prophet Elijah and of his successor, Elisha. Yesterday, we placed the text of the entrance antiphon on the lips of Elisha who was fearful and uncertain about taking on the role of prophet to succeed Elijah: “O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Savior!” (Ps 26:7, 9). We see today that the Lord did indeed hear his voice and did not abandon or forsake him, for we read, “Nothing was beyond his power; beneath him flesh was brought back into life. In life he performed wonders, and after death, marvelous deeds” (Sir 48:13-14). It is fitting that in the responsorial refrain we hear Elijah and Elisha proclaim: “Rejoice in the Lord, you just!” It was God who worked marvelous wonders through the hands of these prophets to “turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob” (Sir 48:10). Psalm 97 goes on to proclaim the Lord’s kingship over all creation: “The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; …all gods are prostrate before him.”

We are called to place our confidence in that same almighty Lord in today’s Gospel from St. Matthew. Jesus teaches us to dare to address our prayer through the Spirit to the all-powerful God of Elijah and Elisha and to call him “Father,” the one “who knows what you need before you ask him.” He demonstrates how we are to ask for our daily sustenance, for forgiveness of our sins, and for deliverance from temptation. Today’s communion antiphon further expands upon that prayer: “Holy Father, keep in your name those you have given me, that they may be one as we are one, says the Lord” (Jn 17:11). We ask the Father to keep us in that Hallowed Name and to unite us with our brothers and sisters in the same way that Jesus is united with the Father—a unity that begins with our forgiveness of others who trespass against us.

Thought for today: In what way am I called to forgiveness today?

Reflection by Br. Michael Marcotte, OSB

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