Readings and Reflection for August 23, Monday Saint Rose of Lima, virgin (M)

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FIRST READING 
“You turned to God from idols, to wait for his Son, whom he raised from the dead.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians (1Thessalonians 1:1-5.8b-10)

The beginning of the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. Your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM    Psalm149:1b-2.3-4.5-6a and 9bc (R. 4a)
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Or: Alleluia.

Sing a new song to the LORD,
His praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its Maker;
Let Sion’s children exult in their king. R.

Let them praise his name with dancing,
And make music with timbrel and harp,
For the LORD takes delight in his people;
He crowns the poor with salvation. R.

R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Or: Alleluia.

Let the faithful exult in glory,
And rejoice as they take their rest.
Let the praise of God be in their mouths
This is an honour for all his faithful. R.

ALLELUIA John10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“Woe to you, blind guides.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 23:.13-22)

At that time: Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits up on it.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Jesus challenged the negative behavior of the religious leaders of his time. Their way of life did not match what they preached. Sometimes our lifestyle as leaders, preachers and teacher is a far cry from what we teach and preach. However, we must never relent in the struggle to let Gospel values be reflected in our daily lives. At their ordination ceremony bishops instruct priests: “Believe what you read; preach what you believe, and practice what you preach.” None of these three injunctions – believing, preaching and practice, can be accomplished with the help of God. Pope Paul VI says: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

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