Readings and Reflection for Tuesday January 24, Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

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FIRST READING

“Behold, I have come to do your will, O God.”

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:1-10)

Brethren: Since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshippers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sin. But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 40:2 and 4ab. 7-8a. 10. 11 (R. 8a.9a)

R/. See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.

I waited, I waited for the Lord,

and he stooped down to me; he heard my cry.

He put a new song into my mouth,

praise of our God. R/.

You delight not in sacrifice and offerings,

but in an open ear.

You do not ask for holocaust and victim.

Then I said, “See, I have come.” R/.

R/. See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.

Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly.

My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord. R/.

Your saving help I have not hidden in my heart;

of your faithfulness and salvation I have spoken.

I made no secret of your merciful love

and your faithfulness to the great assembly. R/.

ALLELUIA Matthew 11:25

Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 3:31-35)

“Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

At that time: The mother of Jesus and his brethren came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brethren are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brethren?” And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! Who- ever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

It is laughable to hear people say Jesus rejects his mother or insults her with the question he poses in the Gospel today. Instead, he elevates her even higher. Note that the Angel’s message to her (Luke 1:38) is not an imposition. She is free to refuse to be part of God’s plan but she accepts and cooperates with it. She therefore becomes Christ’s mother, having kept and obeyed the word of God. In the same way, Christ now proposes to us a relationship that topples biological identity. It is not a prerogative of any one or any race to belong to this relationship. One comes in only through faith and obedience to the will of God. Being Jesus’ relative offers one an ample opportunity to share in the abundance of life that he brings.

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