Readings and Reflection for March 15, Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent


“Learn to do good, seek justice.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 1:10, 16-20)

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23 (R/. 23bc)
R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God

“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/.

“How can you recite my commandments,
and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise correction,
and cast my words behind you.” R/.

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

“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/.

Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, says the Lord, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

“They preach, but do not practice.”
A reading from the ho y Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 23:1-12)

At that time: Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honour at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Gospel of the Lord

Today, Jesus goes straight against the teachers of the Law and Pharisees who parade themselves as models, and demand public recognition. They love teaching others but do not practice what they teach. He does not condemn their teaching, because he knows they are true, but he does condemn their conduct because it is false, erroneous. True piety or religion is conforming our actions to our faith perception. We cannot believe in one thing and do exactly the opposite. For instance, one cannot say one believe in one God and then make use of fetish charms. Some Christians do precisely that. Being proficient by their training, they can explain the faith very well, but are largely found lacking in practice. Jesus condemns this attitude


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