Weekly Gospel Readings

Gospel March 29, 2020

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. At the time of this story, the people of Israel are captives in Babylon, living in physical exile from their homeland and in spiritual exile from God. They feel God has abandoned them. But Ezekiel bears witness to the reanimation of the dead Israel in preparation for her return to the Promised Land. He guarantees his community in exile that the Lord will one day bring them back to live in the freedom of the Promised Land. The Lord states, “I will open your graves, have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel.” 

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Gospel March 22, 2020

In the First Reading, from the First Book of Samuel, Samuel, a special servant of the God of Israel, is sent on a mission of great importance, to anoint a new king to replace Saul. Samuel thinks that God’s choice is surely one of Jesse’s seven sons who are present when he arrives, but he is mistaken. God chose the most unlikely candidate, namely, David, the shepherd boy, the youngest son of Jesse. Now Samuels sees what God had in mind, a young man with the confidence and character needed to fill a large role in God's Plan of Salvation.

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Gospel March 15, 2020

 

In the First Reading from the Book of Exodus, the ungrateful Israelites are grumbling about the lack of fresh water. They threaten Moses with stoning and even want to go back to Egypt. They still complain rather than praying with patience and expectation for the Lord to continue to help them. In the face of their grumbling, mistrust, and lack of gratitude Moses, the great intercessor and mediator, lifts up his hands in prayer and places his trust in God’s power to save his people, even his rebellious people. God does provide the necessary water in abundance and in a miraculous way.

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Gospel March 8, 2020

In the First Reading, from the Book of Genesis, we listen to the call of Abram (later changed to Abraham to signify his new relationship with God) to pick up all of his belongings and family and move to a land he didn't know. His obedience to God’s call is a model for all believers.  Abraham became the father of many nations and the Father of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.

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Gospel March 01, 2020

 

 

The First Reading, taken from the Book of Genesis describes the “Original Temptation” – “You will be like gods, knowing what is good and what is evil.” Adam and Eve were given the possibility of making a choice to live for God, dependent upon and obedient to His will, or to say no to God. The temptation to evil led Adam and Eve to an act of faithlessness and sin. In this case they did not love God enough to be faithful. That is what sin is!

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Gospel February 23, 2020

The First Reading is from the Book of Leviticus. In this brief passage, the writer reminds his fellow Israelites of their call to live a holy life. This is the command given to us by God through Moses: “Be holy, for I the Lord, your God, am holy.” A life of holiness is manifested through acts of love, mercy and kindness, particularly towards those who have hurt us. It also shows us the way to share in God’s holiness: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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Gospel February 16, 2020

The First Reading comes from the Book of Sirach. In today’s verses, Sirach instructs the people of Israel to trust in God and keep his commandments, for they will be saved by doing so. Before man are life and death, good and evil, Sirach says, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Our salvation, and life itself, are certainly blessings from God. Choosing to follow the ways of the Lord leads to these blessings. In other words, obedience to God’s law as the road that leads to life, and rejection of his commandments as the way that leads to death.

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Gospel February 9, 2020

In the First Reading from the prophet Isaiah, the people of Israel who had been taken into exile have just returned. Their land is devastated, and their religious life is in chaos. To please God, they need to practice a religious piety that leads them “to share their bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and homeless, clothe the naked.” They also need to “remove from their midst false accusations and malicious speech.” These are all concrete ways in which we flavor the earth with God’s goodness and allow the light of God to shine through us. 

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Gospel February 2, 2020

The First Reading is from the Prophet Malachi. In this passage, we hear a warning that a special messenger will come from God with great power and He will “purify the sons of Levi” with His message and His dedication and “then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord.” Malachi speaks about a “messenger” who will come to prepare a way for the Lord, who will in turn cleanse his Temple of sinful practices so that worthy worship can once again be offered. Christians saw the messenger as John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus and who in time would cleanse the Temple of beggars and sellers.

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Gospel January 26, 2020

The First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. The prophet blamed the defeat of the two provinces of Zebulum and Nephtali on the people of Israel. He considered it to be God’s punishment for their unfaithfulness and wickedness in abandoning God in favor of riches from trade. Isaiah seeks to offer words of hope and consolation to a people experiencing the darkness of oppression. “A new light will shine on a people living in a land of gloom.”

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Gospel Readings January 19, 2020

The First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. When commenting on the Book of Isaiah, scholars speak of three Isaiahs. Today’s reading is taken from second Isaiah, a prophet during Israel’s time in exile. Isaiah speaks of an unknown mysterious Servant who would one day unite the people of God. This Servant would restores Israel. He would be a light to the nations and brings back salvation to all the world. Christians have always understood Jesus and his mission to be the fulfillment of that messianic prophecy.   

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Gospel January 05, 2020

In the solemnity of the Epiphany (an appearance or a showing) of Christ to all humanity, the First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. God is about to bring a New Dawn to Israel. All the Nations will be drawn to the city bearing all kinds of gifts. This prophecy will be fulfilled when Jesus invites all people to come into his light. The Magi are the first Gentiles to respond to Jesus’ invitation.

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Gospel December 29, 2019

In the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the First Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Sirach. This reading is a commentary on the fourth commandment: ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ The Prophet Sirach gives us his idea of the ideal family, with all the responsibilities, honors and benefits that are bestowed on each member. Sirach lists the rewards that come with such respectful conduct: atonement for one’s sins, gift of offspring, answer to prayers, and a long life.

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Gospel December 22, 2019

In the fourth Sunday of Advent, the First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. We have the familiar story about the Prophet's confrontation with King Ahaz of Judah. Isaiah tells Ahaz to ask God for a sign so that God can show him that he is with him. Ahaz says he will not tempt the Lord. Even though Ahaz refuses to ask God for a sign, Isaiah says that God will give a sign: “The virgin will conceive a child and give him the name Emmanuel (God-with-us).” The essence of this story is that God's plan will triumph in spite of mankind's refusal to cooperate.

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