FIRST READING    
“God will come and save you.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 35:1 –10)

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the lily it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters shall break for thin the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm85:9ab and 10. 11 -12.13-14(R. Isaiah 35:4f)
R/. Our God will come and save us!

I will hear what the Lord God speaks;
He speaks of peace for his people and his faithful. 
His salvation is near for those who fear him,
And his glory will dwell in our land. R/.

Merciful love and faithfulness have met; 
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth, 
and justice look down from heaven. R/.

R/. Our God will come and save us!

Also the Lord will bestow his bounty, 
and our earth shall yield its increase. 
Justice will march before him,
And guide his steps on the way. R/.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Behold, the King is coming, the Lord of the earth, and he shall remove the yoke of our captivity. Alleluia.

GOSPEL    
“We have seen strange things today.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 5:17-26)

On one of those days, as Jesus was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralysed, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into their midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you, ’or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”— he said to the man who was paralysed—“I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
We often demand perfection in others, according to our own tastes, habits or standards. We tend to judge others; we criticize their behavior, words, way of life, style of dress, parenting skills and possessions. We hold on to grudges and resentments and have a hard time letting others be who they are. We make the mistake of thinking we have the power to change others. Yet only God knows who we are, where we ourselves need healing. Only God has the power to touch our hearts and forgive all that prevents us from being fully human and holy. Conversion is a gift of God.

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