Readings and Reflection for January 16, Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time


“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.”
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 4: 12-16)

Brethren: The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 19:8.9:10.15 (R. John 6:63c)
Your words, O Lord, are Spirit and life.

The law of the Lord is perfect;
it revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple. R.

The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladder the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear;
it gives light to the eyes. R.

R. Your words, O Lord, are Spirit and life.

The fear of the Lord is pure,
abiding forever.
The judgements of the Lord are true;
they are, all of them, just. R.

May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer! R.

ALLELUIA Luke 4:18
Alleluia. The Lord has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives. Alleluia.

“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 2:13- 17)

At that time: Jesus went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd gathered about him, and he taught them. And as he passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with the tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Imagine yourself a sinner like levi; Yet Jesus broke the protocols and gave himself up on the wood of the cross just to save you. It is an unmerited favour. In response to that, levi leaves everything to follow Jesus (Mark 2:14). Moreover, he draws people like him also to follow Jesus (Mark 2:15). We are all beneficiaries of the unmerited favour. He took our nature and had a share in our weaknesses that he might help us out of them as a wounded healer (Heb 4:12-16). St John tells us that, having been healed, we too must help others to become healed (1 John 3:16). We cannot do this well if we look down on others as the teachers of law and the Pharisees did (Mark 2:16).


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