He will cast our sins into the depths of the sea.
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Micah (Micah 7: 14-15.18-20)
Shepherd your people, Lord, with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt I will show them marvellous things. Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in mercy. He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps85:2-4.5-6.7-8
R. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy.
O Lord, you have favoured your land,
and brought back the captives of Jacob.
You forgave the guilt of your people,
and covered all their sins.
You averted all your rage;
you turned back the heat of your anger. R.
Bring us back, O God, our saviour!
Put an end to your grievance against us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will your anger last from age to age? R.
Will you not restore again our life,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy,
and grant us your salvation. R.
ALLELUIA John 14:23
Alleluia. If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.
“Stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, ’Here are my mother and my brethren.”’
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 12:46-50)
At that time: While Jesus was speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?” And stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The people of Israel having been humbled by God’s unconditional love for them, are compelled to ask for forgiveness for their persistent unfaithfulness. It is only those who are truly humble and contrite of heart that can approach the sacrament of reconciliation for forgiveness. In the Gospel, Jesus recognizes as his true relations those who do God’s will in this regard.