Saint Matthew 23:13-22.
First Letter to the Thessalonians 1:1-5.8-10.
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly
calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father,
knowing, brothers loved by God, how you were chosen.
For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and (with) much conviction. You know what sort of people we were (among) you for your sake.
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and (in) Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
For they themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God
and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from (the) dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.Psalms 149(148):1-2.3-4.5-6a.9b.
Hallelujah! Sing to the LORD a new song, a hymn in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker, the people of Zion rejoice in their king.
Let them praise his name in festive dance, make music with tambourine and lyre.
For the LORD takes delight in his people, honors the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, cry out for joy at their banquet,
With the praise of God in their mouths, and a two-edged sword in their hands,
To execute the judgments decreed for them-- such is the glory of all God's faithful. Hallelujah!Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 23:13-22.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.'
Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?
And you say, 'If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.'
You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;
one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it;
one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.Commentary of the day
Dorotheus of Gaza (c.500-?), monk in Palestine
Instructions, I, § 8-9 ; SC 92 (copyright Cistercian studies, no.33)
God calls us unwearyingly to conversion
The goodness of God, as I have often told you, has not forsaken those he
created, but again urged him, again exhorted him. «Come to me,» he
said, «all you who labor and are heavy burdened and I will refresh you»
(Mt 11,28) – as much as to say, 'See how you have to work! See the
misery you have brought on yourself! See how you are tried by evil and
your own unruliness. But come, change your ways... Live through
lowliness of mind instead of going to your death through pretentious
See, brethren, what arrogance does? See what lowliness is able to do!
What need was there for all these contortions? If from the beginning man
had humbled himself and listened to God and obeyed his command, there
would have been no fall. Again, after Adam had done wrong, God had given
him a chance to repent and be forgiven and yet he kept on being
stiff-necked and unrepentant. For God came to him and said: «Adam, where
are you?» (Gn 3,9) as if to say: «From what glory are you come to
this?... Why did you sin? Why did you go astray?» – as if urging him
sharply to say, «Forgive me». But there was no sign of change of
humility. There was no sign of change of heart but rather the contrary.
He replied: «The wife you gave me, deceived me» – mark you, not 'my
wife' but «the wife you gave me», as if to say, 'this disaster you
placed upon my head'! So it is, my brethren, when a man has not the guts
to accuse himself, he does not scruple to accuse God himself.
Then God came to Eve and said to her: «Why did you not keep the command I
gave you?» as if saying, «If you would only say, 'Forgive me', to
humble your soul and be forgiven.» And again... she only answered: «The
Serpent deceived me!» (v.13) as if to say: «If the serpent did wrong,
what concern is that to me?» What are you doing, you wretches? Kneel in
repentance, acknowledge your fault, take pity on your nakedness. But
neither the one nor the other stooped in self-accusation.