FIRST READING
Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans4:1-8)

Brethren: What shall we say about Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due. And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. So also David pronounces a blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 32: 1-2.5.11 (R. see 7)
R/. You are a hiding place for me,
you surround me with cries of deliverance.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile. R/.

To you I have acknowledged my sin;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said, “I will confess my transgression to the Lord.
And you have forgiven the guilt of my sin. R/.

Rejoice in the Lord, exult you just!
Ring out your joy, all you upright of heart! R/.

ALLELUIA Psalm 33:22
Alleluia. May your merciful love be upon us, as we hope in you, O Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 12:1-7)

At that time: When so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, Jesus began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
Hypocrisy is a vice that robs faith of its very essence.  According to Pope Francis, hypocrisy destroys the Church.  A lot of Christians who practice a Christianity of convenience give in to hypocrisy because they profess faith but will not practice it.  This leads to a fake life. Jesus warns us to be on guard against false pretenses, to be true to ourselves and God.  Like St. Teresa of Avila, we must be conscious of the need for improvement in our spiritual life. What areas of my Christian life do I need to be true to? Do I claim to be what I am not? Being true and open to God’s grace gives us strength to live up to expectations.

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