I did not come to call the righteous but sinners

Mass Readings for Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, July 4, 2014 is the Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time.

“The church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners.” I have heard this quote often and it is so true. In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that he has come to help those who are struggling, not the perfect. This is Good News for all of us sinners!

First Reading

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! “When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?” We will diminish the containers for measuring, add to the weights, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”

On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun set at midday and cover the earth with darkness in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentations. I will cover the loins of all with sackcloth and make every head bald. I will make them mourn as for an only son, and bring their day to a bitter end.

Yes, days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send famine upon the land: Not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the Lord. Then shall they wander from sea to sea and rove from the north to the east In search of the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131, Matthew 4:4

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

My soul is consumed with longing
for your ordinances at all times.

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your justice give me life.

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Do not be unbelieving but believe

Mass Readings for Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle

Today, July 3, 2014 is the Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle.

Poor Thomas! He seems to be forever remembered for his doubts. But who among us doesn’t have doubts from time to time? Maybe the real message of Thomas is that if we are open to meeting the Lord, then Jesus will help us overcome our doubts.

First Reading

Ephesians 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 117:1bc, 2, Mark 16:15

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

For steadfast is his kindness for us,
and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever.

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Gospel

John 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”

But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Seek good and not evil that you may live

Mass Readings for July, 2014: Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, July 2, 2014 is the Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time.

When something bad happens in our lives, we often have to make a choice. Will we let it become something evil or give God the opportunity to turn it into something good? If we are open to letting God work through us, our grief and pain may remain, but his love can shine through our attitude and actions.

First Reading

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the Lord, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the Lord, I take no pleasure in your solemnities; Your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings. Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me burnt offerings, then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 5:4-8

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

You hate all evildoers;
you destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the Lord abhors.

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

But I, because of your abundant mercy,
will enter your house;
I will worship at your holy temple
in fear of you, O Lord.

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 8:28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

Why are you terrified

Mass Readings for July, 2014: Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, July 1, 2014 is the Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time.

We can say we trust in God, but sometimes our doubts and fears become overwhelming. We look to other solutions to take away our anxiety – maybe an easy way out of our stressful situations. But the truth is all we can really trust in is that Jesus is with us through all of our difficulties. We are not alone. He will see us through the storm.

First Reading

Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12

Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the Lord pronounces over you, over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:

You alone have I favored, more than all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your crimes.

Do two walk together unless they have agreed? Does a lion roar in the forest when it has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from its den unless it has seized something? Is a bird brought to earth by a snare when there is no lure for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground without catching anything? If the trumpet sounds in a city, will the people not be frightened? If evil befalls a city, has not the Lord caused it? Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets.

The lion roars— who will not be afraid! The Lord God speaks— who will not prophesy!

I brought upon you such upheaval as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah: you were like a brand plucked from the fire; Yet you returned not to me, says the Lord.

So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel! and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 5:4-8

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

You hate all evildoers;
you destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the Lord abhors.

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

But I, because of your abundant mercy,
will enter your house;
I will worship at your holy temple
in fear of you, O Lord.

Lead me in your justice, Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 8:23-27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”

He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.

The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

He that offers praise as a sacrefice

Mass Readings for June 30, 2014: Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, June 30, 2014 is the Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time.

We all like our comfort zones. We feel safe and secure there. But sometimes the Holy Spirit calls us forth out of our comfort zones to do God’s work. And when we are able to answer that call, we glorify God with our actions.

First Reading

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16

Thus says the Lord: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they sell the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals. They trample the heads of the weak into the dust of the earth, and force the lowly out of the way. Son and father go to the same prostitute, profaning my holy name. Upon garments taken in pledge they recline beside any altar; And the wine of those who have been fined they drink in the house of their god.

Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them, who were as tall as the cedars, and as strong as the oak trees. I destroyed their fruit above, and their roots beneath. It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and who led you through the desert for forty years, to occupy the land of the Amorites.

Beware, I will crush you into the ground as a wagon crushes when laden with sheaves. Flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong man shall not retain his strength; The warrior shall not save his life, nor the bowman stand his ground; The swift of foot shall not escape, nor the horseman save his life. And the most stouthearted of warriors shall flee naked on that day, says the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 50:16-23

Remember this, you who never think of God.

“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”

Remember this, you who never think of God.

“When you see a thief, you keep pace with him,
and with adulterers you throw in your lot.
To your mouth you give free rein for evil,
you harness your tongue to deceit.”

Remember this, you who never think of God.

“You sit speaking against your brother;
against your mother’s son you spread rumors.
When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.”

Remember this, you who never think of God.

“Consider this, you who forget God,
lest I rend you and there be no one to rescue you.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”

Remember this, you who never think of God.

Gospel

Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”

But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”

The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat

Mass Readings for June 29, 2014: Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Today, June 29, 2014 is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles.

St. Peter and St. Paul are treasures of the Church. They spread the fledgling faith of Christianity with zeal. Without their devotion to the message of Jesus Christ, our church might not exist today. But they were also sinners. Peter denied Christ and Paul persecuted Christians before his conversion. So we remember that even though we are imperfect, the work of God is accomplished through us.

First Reading

Acts of the Apostles 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. –It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.– He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.”

The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so.

Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him.

Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 34:2-9

The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the Lord ;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Glorify the Lord with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the Lord , and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the Lord heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the Lord is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Second Reading

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety

Mass Readings for June 28, 2014: Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, June 28, 2014 is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Any parent who has ever lost sight of a child in a crowded location can empathize with Mary in today’s gospel. We can feel the anxiety as she searches for Jesus, looking everywhere and not stopping until he is found. We understand her need to find him. Do we seek Jesus with that same fervor and tenacity?

First Reading

Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19

The Lord has consumed without pity all the dwellings of Jacob;
He has torn down in his anger the fortresses of daughter Judah;
He has brought to the ground in dishonor her king and her princes.

On the ground in silence sit the old men of daughter Zion;
They strew dust on their heads and gird themselves with sackcloth;
The maidens of Jerusalem bow their heads to the ground.

Worn out from weeping are my eyes, within me all is in ferment;
My gall is poured out on the ground because of the downfall of the daughter of my people,
As child and infant faint away in the open spaces of the town.

In vain they ask their mothers, “Where is the grain?”
As they faint away like the wounded in the streets of the city,
And breathe their last in their mothers’ arms.

To what can I liken or compare you, O daughter Jerusalem?
What example can I show you for your comfort, virgin daughter Zion?
For great as the sea is your downfall; who can heal you?

Your prophets had for you false and specious visions;
They did not lay bare your guilt, to avert your fate;
They beheld for you in vision false and misleading portents.

Cry out to the Lord; moan, O daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent day and night;
Let there be no respite for you, no repose for your eyes.

Rise up, shrill in the night, at the beginning of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your little ones
Who faint from hunger at the corner of every street.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 74:1b-7, 19b, 20-21

Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

Why, O God, have you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your flock which you built up of old,
the tribe you redeemed as your inheritance,
Mount Zion, where you took up your abode.

Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

Turn your steps toward the utter ruins;
toward all the damage the enemy has done in the sanctuary.
Your foes roar triumphantly in your shrine;
they have set up their tokens of victory.
They are like men coming up with axes to a clump of trees.

Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

With chisel and hammer they hack at all the paneling of the sanctuary.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
the place where your name abides they have razed and profaned.

Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

Look to your covenant,
for the hiding places in the land and the plains are full of violence.
May the humble not retire in confusion;
may the afflicted and the poor praise your name.

Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

Gospel

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.

After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

God is Love

Mass Readings for June 27, 2014: Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today, June 27, 2014 is the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Christianity is more than just a set of ideals or principles. It is a response to the love and mercy Jesus pours out on us. In honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we recall that infinite divine love for us. Today’s readings remind us of that love, which flows forth from God.

First Reading

Deuteronomy 7:6-11

Moses said to the people: “You are a people sacred to the Lord, your God; he has chosen you from all the nations on the face of the earth to be a people peculiarly his own. It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the Lord loved you and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn your fathers, that he brought you out with his strong hand from the place of slavery, and ransomed you from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

Understand, then, that the Lord, your God, is God indeed, the faithful God who keeps his merciful covenant down to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments, but who repays with destruction a person who hates him; he does not dally with such a one, but makes them personally pay for it. You shall therefore carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees that I enjoin on you today.”

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 10

The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and forget not all his benefits.

The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.

The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Second Reading

1 John 4:7-16

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.

In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

Gospel

Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Help Us O God Our Savior

Mass Readings for June 26, 2014: Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, June 26, 2014, is the Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

We must be more than surface Christians. We must truly seek to do the will of God. We must try to discern what God wants us to do and follow that path. Many things we can do are good works, but God may be leading us in a specific direction, out of our comfort zone. The Psalmist reminds of how we reach out to God in our times of distress, especially when we are in need of forgiveness. So if we do stumble and fall, we look to God for help.

First Reading

2 Kings 24:8-17

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his forebears had done.

At that time the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, himself arrived at the city while his servants were besieging it. Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, together with his mother, his ministers, officers, and functionaries, surrendered to the king of Babylon, who, in the eighth year of his reign, took him captive. And he carried off all the treasures of the temple of the Lord and those of the palace, and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel, had provided in the temple of the Lord, as the Lordhad foretold. He deported all Jerusalem: all the officers and men of the army, ten thousand in number, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None were left among the people of the land except the poor. He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, and also led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother and wives, his functionaries, and the chief men of the land. The king of Babylon also led captive to Babylon all seven thousand men of the army, and a thousand craftsmen and smiths, all of them trained soldiers. In place of Jehoiachin, the king of Babylon appointed his uncle Mattaniah king, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 79:1b-5, 8, 9

For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
as food to the birds of heaven,
the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth.

For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

They have poured out their blood like water
round about Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury them.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
O Lord, how long? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?

For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.

For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.

For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Gospel

Matthew 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Give me discernment

Mass Readings for June 25, 2014: Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, June 25, 2014, is the Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Discernment is more than just making a decision. It means we try to see where the Holy Spirit is leading us. Sometimes the choices before us are more clear – a choice between a good thing and a bad thing. Sometimes we must choose between two good things which can be more difficult. A healthy prayer life, a knowledge of the Bible and Church teachings, and an awareness of God’s love and mercy can help us discern how our actions fit in God’s plan and help us discern the best path.

First Reading

2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3

The high priest Hilkiah informed the scribe Shaphan, “I have found the book of the law in the temple of the Lord.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.

Then the scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your servants have smelted down the metals available in the temple and have consigned them to the master workmen in the temple of the Lord.” The scribe Shaphan also informed the king that the priest Hilkiah had given him a book, and then read it aloud to the king.

When the king heard the contents of the book of the law, he tore his garments and issued this command to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, son of Shaphan, Achbor, son of Micaiah, the scribe Shaphan, and the king’s servant Asaiah: “Go, consult the Lord for me, for the people, for all Judah, about the stipulations of this book that has been found, for the anger of the Lord has been set furiously ablaze against us, because our fathers did not obey the stipulations of this book, nor fulfill our written obligations.”

The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned together before him. The king went up to the temple of the Lord with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: priests, prophets, and all the people, small and great. He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant that had been found in the temple of the Lord , read out to them. Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the Lord that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees with their whole hearts and souls,
thus reviving the terms of the covenant which were written in this book. And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to gain.

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain:
by your way give me life.

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your justice give me life.

Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles?

Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.”

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