FIRST READING

They covet fields and take away houses.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Micah (Micah 2: 1-5)

Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds! When the maiming dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. They covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, against this family I am devising evil, from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time. In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes It from me! Among our captors he divides our fields.” Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 10:1-2.3-4a.7-8b.14 (R. 12b)

R/. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!

O Lord, why do you stand afar off,

and hide yourself in times of distress?

The poor are devoured by the pride of the wicked;

they are caught in the schemes that others have made. R/.

For the wicked boasts of his soul’s desires;

the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.

The wicked says in his pride, “God will not punish.

There is no God.” Such are his thoughts. R/.

R/. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!

His mouth is full of cursing, guile, oppression;

under his tongue are deceit and evil.

He sits in ambush in the villages;

in hidden places, he murders the innocent. R/.

But you have seen the trouble and sorrow.

You note it; you take it in your hands.

The helpless one relies on you,

for you are the helper of the orphan. R/.

ALLELUIA 2 Corinthians 5 :19

Alleluia. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“He ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 12:14-21)

At that time: The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all, and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets; he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick, till he brings justice to victory; and in his name will the Gentiles hope.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Through the prophet, Micah, God pronounces judgement on the wealthy elites in southern Israel. His humble background had a great impact on his preaching that was always directed against the unmitigated injustice of the ruling class against the rural poor. He raised concern particularly against the real estate agents and land grabbers who did not respect the Covenant Laws that guaranteed ownership of land by every Israelite as their heritage (cf. Lev 25:23; Num 36:7). For this stern position, the people turned against him. Similarly in the gospel, the Pharisees plotted to destroy the life of Jesus despite the good he was doing to others this did not deter him but rather motivated him to do more for the cause of justice, love and peace. “In him all nations will put their hope.”

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