FIRST READING

Because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you. I will restore the tents of Jacob.

A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30: 1-2.12- 15.18-22)

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. “For thus says the Lord: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous. There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant. Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you. Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob, and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be. Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those who make merry. I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honoured, and they shall not be small. Their children shall be as they were of old, and their congregation shall be established before me; and I will punish all who oppress them. Their prince shall be one of themselves, their ruler shall come forth from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? Says the Lord. And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm Ps102:16-18.19-21 and 22-23 (R. 17)

R/. The Lord shall build up Sion, He will appear in all his glory

The nation shall fear the name of the Lord,

And all the earth’s kings your glory.

When the Lord shall build up Sion,

He will turn to the prayers of the helpless;

He will not despise their prayers. R/.

Let this be written for ages to come,

that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;

the Lord looked down from heaven to the earth,

to hear the groans of the prisoners,

and free those condemned to die. R/.

R/. The Lord shall build up Sion, He will appear in all his glory

The children of your servants shall dwell untroubled,

And their descendants established before you.

May the name of the Lord be proclaimed in Sion,

And his praise in Jerusalem,

When peoples and kingdoms are gathered as one

To offer their worship to the Lord. R/.

Alleluia John 1:49b

Alleluia. Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 15: 1-2.10-14)

At that time: Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

God’s justice is all comprehensive. It considers the gravity of the transgression and administers just sentence. However, God’s justice does not stop at punishing the offender. It also includes a programme of restoration. In spite of sin, God promises to restore the tents of Jacob. Suffering, no matter the cause, is not an end in itself but God’s way of enabling us to achieve physical and spiritual revival. St John Marie Vianney believed in God’s tireless effort to recover what is lost. In spite of our sinfulness, God does not give up on us as his people because he never ceases to be our God.

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