FIRST READING
A reading from the Second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

Brethren: The love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore, all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh; even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer, therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 11-12 (R. 8a)
R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And never forget all his benefits. R/.

It is the Lord who forgives all your sins,
Who heals every one of your ills,
Who redeems your life from the grave,
Who crowns you with mercy and compassion. R/.

R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He will not always find fault;
Nor persist in his anger for ever. R/.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So strong his mercy for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far from us does he remove our transgressions. R/.

Alleluia, Alleluia
Blessed is the Virgin Mary, who kept the word of God, and pondered it in her heart.

Gospel
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Luke (Luke 2:41-52)

The parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?” and they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

The Gospel of the Lord

Today’s Reflection

Devotion to Mary is both simple and complicated to understand. We admire her perfection: she was conceived without sin; was chosen to be the mother of Jesus; and was open to God’s will despite the risks involved. Her life was a model that we certainly can never measure up to. Like any one of us, she knew joy, pain and frustration; she knew both the bitter and the sweet. She understands our pain, although we can hardly fathom hers. She held many things close to her heart and, if we ask, she will hold us and our troubles there as well.

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