FIRST READING
“Every male among you shall be circumcised. Sarah shall bear you a Son’
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 17:1.9-10.15-22)

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.” And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.” And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her; I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live in your sight!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.” When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 128:1-2.3.4-5 (R. 4)
R/. Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be blessed and prosper. R.

Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive
around your table. R.

R/. Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.

Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Sion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life! R.

ALLELUIA Matthew 8:17
Alleluia. Christ took our infirmities and bore our diseases.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL                      
“If you will, you can make me clean.”                     
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 8: 1-4)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The Gospel reveals that Jesus does not hesitate to touch our lives even when we are at our most unlovable and unattractive. His passionate concern for our well-being knows no barrier. He is not afraid of being contaminated by us, but enters fully into the dark, forbidding places of our personal and communal lives with his healing and life-giving presence. He wants to touch our lives as we are, not as we should be or could be. We need to approach him with the same determination as that leper.

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