FIRST READING

He has showed you, O man, what the Lord requires of you.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Micah (Micah 6: 1-4.6-8)

Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps50:5-6.8-9.16bc-17.21 and 23 (R. 23bc)

R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.

“Gather my holy ones to me,

Who made covenant with me by sacrifice.”

The heavens proclaim his justice,

For he, God, is the judge.” R/.

“I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices;

Your offerings are always before me.

I do not take more bullocks from your farms,

Nor goats from among your herds.” R/.

R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.

“How can you recite my commandments,

And take my covenant on your lips,

You who despise correction,

And cast my words behind you?” R/.

“You do this, and should I keep silence?

Do you think that I am like you?

I accuse you, lay the charge before you.

A sacrifice of praise gives me honour,

And to one whose way is blameless,

I will show the salvation of God.” R/.

ALLELUIA psalm 95:7d.8a

ALLELUIA. Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord. ALLELUIA.

GOSPEL

“The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 12:38-42)

At that time: Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days’ and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the Wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

God interrogates the people of Israel and laments over their persistent intransigence despite his unfailing show of immense love for them. He went on to prescribe what they should do to reciprocate his kind gesture: they should do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with their God (cf. Micah 6:8). Like the Israel of old, the scribes and Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus because of their incredulity. The only sign that Jesus offers is the sign of Jonah. It is the sign of courage in preaching the truth, which without the backup of any miracle, was still able to achieve great results in terms of the conversion of the people of Nineveh. Jesus teaching too, filled with power and authority behind it, can achieve a far reaching effect on his listeners who are disposed to the values of the kingdom.

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