“O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. I will raise you from your graves, O my people. ”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37 :1-14)
In those days: The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Again he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no spirit in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the spirit came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. ’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the Lord.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 107:2-3.4-5.6-7.8-9 (R. 1)
R/. O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his mercy endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say this,
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
and gathered from far-off lands,
from east and west, north and south. R.
They wandered in a barren desert,
finding no way to a city they could dwell in.
Hungry they were and thirsty;
their soul was fainting within them. R.
Then they cried to the Lord in their need,
and he rescued them from their distress,
and he guided them along a straight path,
to reach a city they could dwell in. R.
Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
his wonders for the children of men;
for he satisfies the thirsty soul,
and the hungry he fills with good things. R.
ALLELUIA Psalm 25 :4b.5a
Alleluia. Teach me your paths, O Lord. Guide me in your truth. Alleluia.
“You shall love the Lord your God, your neighbour as yourself. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 22:34-40)
At that time: When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
As human beings, there are certain things we cannot attain for ourselves. Salvation is more of what God will give us than what we can attain for ourselves. Our life, death and salvation are all God’s gifts. Therefore, when life’s experience drag us to the depths of despair or even to the grave, God is capable of lifting us from there and restoring us back to life. Just as sin is described as consequences of our hardness of heart, God promises to revive us by giving us a new heart that is capable of obedience and genuine love for God. In gratitude to God’s immeasurable love for us, we ought to pray that God may purify our heart and that he brings us to love him as he deserves.