FIRST READING       
Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 11: 18.21b-30)

Brethren:  Since many boast of worldly things, I too will boast. Whatever any one dares to boast of — I am speaking as a fool – I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one — I am talking like a madman — with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 34:2-3.4-5.6-7 (R. see 18b)
R/. The Lord rescues them in all their distress.


I will bless the Lord at all times,
praise of him is always in my mouth.
In the Lord my soul shall make its boast;
the humble shall hear and be glad. R.

Glorify the Lord with me;
together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. R.

R/. The Lord rescues them in all their distress.

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This lowly one called; the Lord heard,
and rescued him from all his distress. R.

ALLELUIA Matthew 5:3
Alleluia. Blessed are the pure in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.

GOSPEL         
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 6:19-23)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

The Gospel of the Lord.
 

Today’s Reflection
Paul sees a threat to the new faith of his beloved Corinthian community posed by a rival group of preachers, who insist that converts embrace all of Jewish law as well as Christian baptism, and try to undermine Paul’s teaching on this issue. Paul maintains that he can meet and even surpass all the criteria of authenticity that they claim for their ministry, yet at the end he boasts not of his strength but of his weakness. It is weakness that opens him to the only source of strength that counts: the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Like Paul, true disciples do not base their confidence on the externals that elicit public acclaim and recognition, but on the strength that comes from trust in God.

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