FIRST READING

“It is the time to seek the Lord.”

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Hosea (Hosea 10:1-3.7-8.12)

Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased the more altars he built; as his country improved he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars, and destroy their pillars. For now they will say: “We have no king, for we fear not the Lord, and a king, what could he do for us?” Samaria’s king shall perish, like a chip on the face of the waters. The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, fall upon us. Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Ps 105:2-3. 4-5.6-7(R. 4b)

R/. Constantly seek the Lord’s face.

Or: Alleluia.

O sing to him, sing his praise;

tell all his wonderful works!

Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice. R/.

Turn to the Lord and his strength;

constantly seek his face.

Remember the wonders he has done;

his marvels and his words of judgment. R/.

R/. Constantly seek the Lord’s face.

Or: Alleluia.

O children of Abraham, his servant,

O descendants of the Jacob he chose,

he, the Lord, is our God;

his judgements are in all the earth. R/.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. The kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia

GOSPEL

“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 10:1-7)

At that time: Jesus called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These Twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go; saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The gospel speaks of the mission of the twelve apostles. Having given them the mandate, Jesus also empowered them with divine authority to combat evil and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. As instructed, the pre-Easter mission is to be restricted to Jewish territory. But after the resurrection, this mission is to be extended to the whole world. By virtue of our baptism, we have all been given the mandate to preach the gospel and extend God’s kingdom of love, justice and peace to all. However, this mission would be more credible if it were backed by personal witness. Together, we are all expected to respond generously to the mission of Christ wherever our presence and services are required.

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