Entrance Antiphon Cf. Ps 119:46-47
I spoke, O Lord, of your decrees before kings, and was not confounded I pondered your commands and loved them greatly.
O God, who willed that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession of what you teach. Through our Lord..
“If any one will not work, let him not eat. ”
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 3 :6- 10. 16- 18)
We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labour we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you. It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 128:1-2.4-5 (R. see 1a)
R/. Blessed are all who fear 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.
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.
ALLELLUIA 1 John 2:5
Alleluia. Whoever keeps Christ’s word, in him truly love for God is perfected. Alleluia.
“You are sons of those who murdered the prophets.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 23 :27-32)
At that time: Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus is very critical of people who appear to be very good Christians but who have very little or nothing of the Christian spirit. Such people are often a danger to others who might be deceived into following them. The Psalmist affirms that those who truly fear the Lord walk in his ways. The Christian way of life is transmitted from generation to generation. Every generation of Christians has a record of heroic men and women who are models of the way of life taught by Jesus Christ. Such people encourages us to continue steadfast on the right way without being deceived by false and pretentious guides.