FIRST READING
“O that you had listened to my commandments!”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 48 :17- 19)

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had listened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, .and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm 1:1-2.3.4 and 6 (R. see John 8: 12)
R/. He who follows you, Lord, will have the light of life

Blessed indeed is the man
Who follows not the counsel of the wicked, 
nor stands in the path with sinners,
nor abides in the company of scorers, 
but whose delight is the law of the Lord,
and who ponders his law day and night. R/.

He is like a tree that is planted 
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season, 
and whose leaves shall never fade; 
and all that he does shall prosper. R/.

R/. He who follows you, Lord, will have the light of life

Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they, like winnowed chaff, 
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord knows the way of the just, 
but the way of the wicked will perish. R/.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. The Lord is coming, run out to meet him; he is the prince of peace. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
They listened neither to John nor to the Son of man.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 11:16-19)

At that time: Jesus said to the crowds, “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! ’Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
Personal change is very difficult to achieve; there are always excuses to avoid it. Two such excuses are what today’s Gospel speaks about. Jesus compares the critics to children who want to play a different game from the one suggested. We may resist because we think the caller is either too conservative or too liberal. Though advent is not a season of penance but of preparation, we can find multiple excuses not to adequately prepare or to delay the spiritual, soul-searching preparation that gives real liturgical and spiritual energy to Advent. “A cosmetic Advent leads to a cosmetic Christmas.”

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