Readings and Reflection for January 12, Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING

“Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today.”’

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 3:7- 14)

Brethren: As the Holy Spirit says, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall never enter my rest.”’ Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 95:6-7abc.7d and 8-9. 10-11 (R. 8a)

R/. O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.

O come; let us bow and bend low.

Let us kneel before the God who made us,

for he is our God and we

the people who belong to his pasture,

the flock that is led by his hand. R/.

O that today you would listen to his voice!

“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,

as on that day at Massah in the desert

when your forebears put me to the test;

when they tried me, though they saw my work.” R/.

R/. O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.

For forty years I wearied of that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are astray;

this people does not know my ways.’

Then I took an oath in my anger,

‘Never shall they enter my rest. ”’ R/.

ALLELUIA (Matthew 4:23)

Alleluia. Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every infirmity among the people. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“The leprosy left him, and he was wade clean.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 1:40-45)

At that time: A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

knowledge is acquired not only by personal experience but also by learning and hearing. The wise tortoise said that he would learn from what happened to the lion and avoid a repeat in his own life. The sad story of the evil that come upon Israel of old should teach us the danger of disobedience to God, so that we do not share the same destructive fate that they did. Without obedience to God none of us shall enter the eternal place of rest prepared for us. The man cured in the Gospel did not follow the instructions of Jesus, but prevented Jesus from freely going to others. We must not give way to our feelings and desire to go against God’s command.

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