DAILY MASS READINGS (March 30, 2020)

MONDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF LENT (YEAR A, Violet)

Reading 1 (DANIEL 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 OR 13:41C-62)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel

In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim,
who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna,
the daughter of Hilkiah;
her pious parents had trained their daughter
according to the law of Moses.
Joakim was very rich;
he had a garden near his house,
and the Jews had recourse to him often
because he was the most respected of them all.

That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges,
of whom the Lord said, “Wickedness has come out of Babylon:
from the elders who were to govern the people as judges.”
These men, to whom all brought their cases,
frequented the house of Joakim.
When the people left at noon,
Susanna used to enter her husband’s garden for a walk.
When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk,
they began to lust for her.
They suppressed their consciences;
they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
and did not keep in mind just judgments.

One day, while they were waiting for the right moment,
she entered the garden as usual, with two maids only.
She decided to bathe, for the weather was warm.
Nobody else was there except the two elders,
who had hidden themselves and were watching her.
“Bring me oil and soap,” she said to the maids,
“and shut the garden doors while I bathe.”

As soon as the maids had left,
the two old men got up and hurried to her.
“Look,” they said, “the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us;
give in to our desire, and lie with us.
If you refuse, we will testify against you
that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you.”

“I am completely trapped,” Susanna groaned.
“If I yield, it will be my death;
if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.
Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt
than to sin before the Lord.”
Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her,
as one of them ran to open the garden doors.
When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden,
they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her.
At the accusations by the old men,
the servants felt very much ashamed,
for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.

When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day,
the two wicked elders also came,
fully determined to put Susanna to death.
Before all the people they ordered:
“Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah,
the wife of Joakim.”
When she was sent for,
she came with her parents, children and all her relatives.
All her relatives and the onlookers were weeping.

In the midst of the people the two elders rose up
and laid their hands on her head.
Through tears she looked up to heaven,
for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.
The elders made this accusation:
“As we were walking in the garden alone,
this woman entered with two girls
and shut the doors of the garden, dismissing the girls.
A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her.
When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this crime,
we ran toward them.
We saw them lying together,
but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we;
he opened the doors and ran off.
Then we seized her and asked who the young man was,
but she refused to tell us.
We testify to this.”
The assembly believed them,
since they were elders and judges of the people,
and they condemned her to death.

But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”

The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him, “What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”

Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”

After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him,
“Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you,
lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”

The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

The word of the Lord.

or

The assembly condemned Susanna to death.

But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”

The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him,
“What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”

Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”

After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him, “Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah,
beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,”
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”

The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6)

R. (4ab) Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

Verse Before The Gospel (EZEKIEL 33:11)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Gospel (JOHN 8:1-11)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The two Readings present to us about Mercy and Justice. Are the two values opposed from one another? The First Reading is a very long passage that speaks about the false accusation brought by the two elders against Susanna, who really had the intention of lusting over her beautiful body. That is why they accused her of adultery, when in fact they tried to rape her while she was taking a bath at the garden of her husband Joakim. But the Lord heard Susanna’s prayer and aware of her innocence, endowed the Spirit on the Prophet Daniel who exposed the perjury committed by the two elders and their plot against this woman. At that point, the assembly condemned them, and Susanna has been found not worthy of the charge brought about by her. Here the passage views mercy and justice to the innocent, while the guilty are punished accordingly. Even though these two elders are acknowledge has having religious authority, still their actions to lust over Susanna proves them to be hypocritical, and worse, to falsely accuse this woman of adultery. The Gospel presents to us Jesus’ encounter with a woman caught in committing adultery. When the Jewish leaders brought her to him, they also mentioned that the Law of Moses enforces such to be stoned to death. Yet Christ’s conscience is much higher above their expected answer. If he allows the death sentence, then he is accounted for murder that will lead to Roman imprisonment, and it contradicts his teaching of love. But if he does not allow the death sentence, then he is disregarding to Mosaic Law. However Christ’s conscience overcomes because he is aware of the trap they have ensnared for him. Bible scholars would say that what he wrote on the ground could possibly mean the sins of the people who wanted to stone the adulterous woman. No wonder he told them that anyone who has not committed sin may first throw at her, which was why they left one by one, beginning with the elders. But the story did not end there, for Jesus commissioned the woman to go along with a new way of life and never to commit sin again.So how do we understand the Context of Mercy and Justice? Pope Francis says: “Mercy is not opposed to justice but rather expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe” (MV 21). Simply it means that there is no opposition between the two. They are interconnected, wherein mercy applies to justice on what needs to be corrected according to the divine will, and justice applies to mercy on what is right and worthy according to the divine will as well. We have to understand that when we commit a sin, God will always reach out to us, so that we may return to him with penance and conversion. However if we keep on living a sinful and vicious life, then what will happen to us when our death has come? Of course that is eternity, but down into the flames, and we don’t want that to happen. Holy Week is upon us, and the greatest act of mercy and justice is when Christ suffered and died to save us all from sin that we may have the free will to do good and avoid evil, and to make us adopted children of God by our faith. Even if we try to exclude God in our lives, test or swear to him when we experience down moments, rely too much on what this world offers, and think we are better than others, it is he who will remind us especially during this Lenten Season that we should return to him, change our ways, and live devout and sincere lives to serve him and others through love. For if we came from God, then that is where we should be.

DAILY MASS READINGS (March 16, 2020)

MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF LENT (CYCLE A, Violet)

Reading 1 (2 KINGS 5:1-15AB)

A reading from the 2nd Book of Kings

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.
“If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,”
she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
“Go,” said the king of Aram.
“I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
“With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
“Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
“Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.
The prophet sent him the message:
“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
“I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?”
With this, he turned about in anger and left.

But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
“My father,” they said,
“if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
would you not have done it?
All the more now, since he said to you,
‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel.”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4)

R.    (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Verse Before The Gospel (PSALM 130:5, 7)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Gospel (LUKE 4:24-30)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Season of Lent invites us to embrace God’s message of salvation, which is not only for his chosen people, but also for all who believe in him. In the First Reading (2 Kings 5:1-15ab), Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, suffers a dreaded skin disease of leprosy. The king of Syria sends a letter to the king of Israel, asking for the cure of the commander’s leprosy. The king tore his robes, but Elisha calmed his anger and told him to write about a prophet in Israel. And so Naaman came to Elisha with his horses. Elisha told him to go into the Jordan River and dip himself seven times. Naaman was angered and refused, but his servants insisted that the message of the prophet is true because he was sent by God. So he went to the Jordan River and washed seven times, until the leprosy had gone away from him. Because of that, he worshipped the Lord with all his heart.In the Gospel (Luke 4:24-30), Jesus reiterates this story by telling his hard-headed and stony-hearted town folks about the salvation of God, which is not only applicable to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles. This is also the same thing that happened in Zarephath, when Elijah asked the widow to make him bread and water after a long journey, and she obeyed. Because of that, God promised to bless her and her son. And as a result, his town folks took him outside and attempted to hurl him down the hill, but he passed through their midst and left because of their lack of faith.My dear brothers and sisters, Naaman the Syrian was at first rejected by the king of Israel, but because of Elijah, help was given. Jesus was rejected by his own kinsmen at Nazareth, but he didn’t argue on why they refused to listen to him. But later on, after Pentecost, the Apostles proclaimed to the people about Christ’s Death and Resurrection. Even Saint Paul preached the message to both the Jews and the Gentiles. As a result, the number of Christians continue to grow from that time on even until now both from the Jews and the Gentiles. So as we journey down this Lenten road, let us embrace God’s salvation and be messengers to the people we encounter everyday through our words and actions.

MGA PAGBASANG PANG-ARAW-ARAW (Marso 15, 2020)

IKA-3 LINGGO NG KUWARESMA (TAON A, Lila)

UNANG PAGBASA (Exodo 17, 3-7)

Pagbasa mula sa aklat ng Exodo

Noong mga araw na iyon: talagang uhaw na uhaw na ang mga Israelita, kaya sinumbatan nila si Moises, “Inialis mo ba kami sa Egipto para patayin sa uhaw pati mga anak namin at mga hayop?”

Kaya, taimtim na nanalangin si Moises sa Panginoon, “Ano ang gagawin ko sa mga taong ito? Ibig na nila akong batuhin?” Sumagot ang Panginoon, “Magsama ka ng ilang pinuno ng sambahayan ng Israel at mauna kayo sa mga Israelita. Dalhin mo ang iyong tungkod na inihampas mo sa ilog at lumakad na kayo. Hihintayin ko kayo sa ibabaw ng malaking bato sa Horeb. Hampasin mo ito at bubuhal ang tubig na maiinom ng mga tao.” Gayun nga ang ginawa ni Moises; at ito ay nasaksihan ng mga kasama niyang lider ng Israel.

Ang lugar na yaon ay pinangalanan nilang “Masa” at “Meriba” dahil sa doo’y nagtalu-talo ang mga Israelita at sinubok nila ang Panginoon. Ang pinagtalunan nila ay kung pinapatnubayan sila ng Panginoon o hindi.

– Ang Salita ng Diyos.

SALMONG TUGUNAN (Salmo 94, 1-2. 6-7. 8-9)

Tugon: Panginoo’y inyong dinggin, huwag n’yo s’yang salungatin.

Tayo ay lumapit
sa ‘ting Panginoon, siya ay awitan,
ating papurihan
ang batong kublihan nati’t kalakasan.
Tayo ay lumapit,
sa kanyang harapan na may pasalamat,
Siya ay purihin,
ng mga awiting may tuwa at galak.

Tugon: Panginoo’y inyong dinggin, huwag n’yo s’yang salungatin.

Tayo ay lumapit,
sa kanya’y sumamba at magbigay-galang,
lumuhod sa harap
nitong Panginoong sa ati’y lumalang.
Siya ang ating Diyos,
tayo ay kalinga niyang mga hirang,
mga tupa tayong inaalagaan.

Tugon: Panginoo’y inyong dinggin, huwag n’yo s’yang salungatin.

Ang kanyang salita ay ating pakinggan:
“Iyang inyong puso’y
huwag patigasin, tulad ng ginawa
ng inyong magulang
nang nasa Meriba, sa ilang ng Masa.
Ako ay tinukso’t
doon ay sinubok ng inyong magulang,
bagamat nakita
aking aking ginawang sila’ng nakinabang.”

Tugon: Panginoo’y inyong dinggin, huwag n’yo s’yang salungatin.

IKALAWANG PAGBASA (Roma 5, 1-2. 5-8)

Pagbasa mula sa sulat ni Apostol San Pablo sa mga taga-Roma

Mga kapatid:

Yamang napawalang-sala na tayo dahil sa pananalig sa ating Panginoong Hesukristo, sa pamamagitan niya’y mayroon na tayong kapanatagan sa harapan ng Diyos. Sa pamamagitan nga niya’y tinatamasa natin ang kagandahang-loob ng Diyos, at lubos tayong nagagalak sa ating pag-asa na makakasama sa kanyang kaluwalhatian. Hindi tayo nabigo sa ating pag-asa, sapagkat ang pag-ibig ng Diyos at ibinuhos sa ating mga puso sa pamamagitan ng Espiritu Santo na ipinagkaloob na sa atin.

Sapagkat noong tayo’y mahihina pa, namatay si Kristo sa takdang panahon para sa mga makasalanan. Mahirap mangyaring ialay ninuman ang kanyang buhay alang-alang sa isang taong matuwid – bagamat maaaring may mangahas na gumawa nito alang-alang sa isang mabuting tao. Ngunit ipinadama ng Diyos ang kanyang pag-ibig sa atin nang mamatay si Kristo para sa atin noong tayo’y makasalanan pa.

– Ang Salita ng Diyos.

AWIT-PAMBUNGAD SA MABUTING BALITA (Juan 4, 42. 15)

(Luwalhati at papuri sa iyo, Panginoong Hesukristo!)

Aming pinananaligang
Tagapagligtas ng tanan,
Panginoon, kami’y bigyan
ng tubig na bumubuhay
upang kami’y di mauhaw.

(Luwalhati at papuri sa iyo, Panginoong Hesukristo!)

MABUTING BALITA (Juan 4, 5-15. 19b-26. 39a. 40-42)

Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon ayon kay San Juan

Noong panahong iyon: Dumating si Hesus sa isang bayan sa Samaria, na tinatawag na Sicar, malapit sa bukid na ibinigay ni Jacob sa kanyang anak na si Jose. Dito matatagpuan ang balon ni Jacob. Umupo si Hesus sa tabi nito, sapagkat siya’y napagod sa paglalakbay. Halos katanghaliang-tapat na noon.

May isang Samaritanang dumating upang umigib. SInabi ni Hesus sa kanya, “Maari bang makiinom?” Wala noon ang kanyang mga alagad sapagkat bumili ng pagkain sa bayan. Sinabi sa kanya ng Samaritana, “Kayo’y Judio at Samaritana ako! Bakit kayo humihingi sa akin ng inumin?” Sapagkat, ‘hindi nakikitungo ang mga Judio sa mga Samaritano. Sumagot si Hesus, “Kung alam lamang ninyo kung ano ang ipinagkakaloob ng Diyos, at kung sino itong humihingi sa inyo ng inumin, marahil ay kayo ang hihingi sa kanya, at kayo nama’y bibigyan niya ng tubig na nagbibigay-buhay.” “Ginoo,” wika ng babae, “malalim ang balong ito at wala man lamang kayong panalok. Saan kayo kukuha ng tubig na nagbibigay-buhay? Higit pa ba kayo kaysa aming ninunong si Jacob, na nagbigay sa amin ng balong ito? Uminom siya rito, pati ang kanyang mga anak, at ang kanyang mga hayop.” Sumagot si Hesus, “Ang uminom ng tubig na ito’y muling mauuhaw. Ito’y magiging isang bukal sa loob niya, babalong, at magbibigay sa kanya ng buhay na walang hanggan.” Sinabi ng babae, “Ginoo, kung gayun po’y bigyan ninyo ako ng tubig na sinasabi ninyo, Nang hindi na ako mauhaw, ni pumarito pa upang sumalok. Ginoo, sa wari ko’y propeta kayo. Dito sa bundok na ito sumamba sa Diyos ang aming mga magulang, ngunit sinasabi ninyong mga Judio, nasa Jerusalem lamang dapat sambahin ang Diyos.” Tinugon siya ni Hesus, “Maniwala ka sa akin, Ginang, dumarating na ang panahon na sasambahin ninyo ang Ama, hindi lamang sa bundok na ito o sa Jerusalem. Hindi ninyo nakikilala ang inyong sinasamba, ngunit nakikilala namin ang aming sinasamba, sapagkat ang kaligtasan ay galing sa mga Judio. Ngunit dumarating na ang panahon – ngayon na nga – na ang mga tunay na sumasamba sa Ama ay sasamba sa kanya sa espiritu at sa katotohanan. Sapagkat ito ang hinahanap ng Ama sa mga sumasamba sa kanya. Ang Diyos na Espiritu kaya dapat siyang sambahin sa espiritu at sa katotohanan.”

Sinabi ng babae, “Nalalaman ko pong paririto ang Mesiyas, ang tinatawag na Kristo. Pagparito niya, siya ang magpapahayag sa atin ng lahat ng bagay.” “Akong nagsasalita sa iyo ang tinutukoy roon,” sabi ni Hesus. Maraming Samaritano sa bayang yaon ang sumampalataya kay Hesus. Kaya’t paglapit ng mga Samaritano kay Hesus, hiniling nila na tumigil muna siya roon; at nanatili siya roon nang dalawang araw.

At marami pang sumampalataya nang mapakinggan siya. Sinabi nila sa babae, “Nananampalataya kami ngayon, hindi na dahil sa sinabi mo kundi dahil sa narinig namin sa kanya. Nakilala naming siya nga ang Tagapagligtas ng sanlibutan.”

– Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon.

Pagninilay: Mahalaga ang tubig sa ating buhay. Siguro ito ang pinakamahalagang pangangailangan natin. Kailangan natin ito sa pag-iinom upang hindi tayo’y mauhaw. Kailangan din natin gumamit ng tubig bilang panlinis ng mga bagay, pagkain, at pati na rin ang ating mga katawan. Sa Bibliya, maraming beses binanggit ang tubig. Ang Aklat ng Genesis ay naglalarawan sa tubig bilang lalang ng Panginoong Diyos. Ito rin ay hiniwalay ng Diyos upang mabuo ang mga katubigan at kalangitan. Ang mga tubig ng baha sa panahon ni Noe ay nagsilbing tagalinis ng kasamaan ng mundo, at makalipas ang 40 araw ay sumikat ang isang bahaghari bilang tanda ng tipan ng Diyos na hindi niya kailanma’y lilipulin ang mundo sa pamamagitan ng baha. Ang Aklat ng Exodo naman ay nagbangit sa tubig bilang paraan ng kaligtasan mula sa pagkaalipin sa Egipto at paglalakbay ng mga Israelita patungo sa Lupang Pangako. At narinig natin sa Unang Pagbasa kung paanong inilaan ng Panginoong Diyos ang tubig mula sa bato. Bagamat sinubok siya ng kanyang bayan, minarapat pa rin niya na bigyan sila ng tubig sa pamamagitan ni Moises. Sa Bagong Tipan, binanggit diyan unang-una ang tubig ng Ilog Jordan na nagpabinyag ng maraming tao, at mismo kay Hesus. Ang ating Ebanghelyo ay nagsasalaysay sa pagtatagpo ni Hesus sa isang babaeng Samaritana. Ang babaeng ito ay kabilang sa mga tinagurang “pagano” sapagkat ayon sa mga Hudyo, ang kaligtasan ay makakamtan lamang daw sa loob ng piniling bayan ng Diyos. Kung mapapansin po natin ang kwento, nag-igib siya sa balon sa ganap ng alas dose ng tanghali, ang oras kung saan mainit sa labas at halos walang tao sa balon. Dito natunghayan natin na mayroon siyang limang asawa dati at ngayon isang lalaking kanyang tinitirhan. Kaya nang humingi sa kanya si Hesus ng tubig, parang itinanggi niya ang hiling nito. Ngunit sumagot ang Panginoon na malalaman ng babaeng ito ang nais ng Diyos, ibibigay niya ito sa kanya. At ang sinumang iinom ng tubig na nagbibigay-buhay ay kailanma’y hindi mauuhaw. At marami pang pangangaral si Hesus sa Samaritana tungkol sa kaligtasan ng Diyos na nagaganap sa kabutihan ng puso ng tao, kaya’t nagulat ang babae nang malaman niya na nakausap at nakaharap niya ang Mesiyas [Hesus]. At ang mga tinawag niyang mga kababayan ay nagsitakbuhan nang marinig nila ang balitang iyon mula sa kanya. Kaya’t sinabi ni San Juan sa dulo ay maraming mga Samaritano ay sumampalataya kay Hesus dahil nabatid na nila na siya ang Mesiyas, ang Anak ng Diyos.
Mahalaga ang tubig upang linisin ang ating mga katawan at bigyan tayo ng lakas at kaginhawaan matapos mapagod. Higit pa dito, mahalaga rin ang tubig na nagbibigay-buhay na si Hesukristo. Sinasabi ng Salmo 63 na ang kaluluwa natin ay naghahangad at naghahanap sa Diyos katulad ng pagkauhaw natin sa tubig. Nawa’y kilalanin pa natin ang Panginoon at ang kanyang kagandahang-loob sa bawat isa, kahit anupamang lahi, relihiyon, kulay, o kasarian niyan. Nawa’y maging bukas tayo sa handog na kaligtasan sa pamamagitan ng pagiging buhay at pagbibigay kulay sa buhay ng ibang tao.

DAILY MASS READINGS (March 15, 2020)

3RD SUNDAY OF LENT (YEAR A, Violet)

Reading 1 (EXODUS 17:3-7)

A reading from the Book of Exodus

In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst
with our children and our livestock?”
So Moses cried out to the LORD,
“What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!”
The LORD answered Moses,
“Go over there in front of the people,
along with some of the elders of Israel,
holding in your hand, as you go,
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
for the people to drink.”
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah,
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
“Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9)

R. (8)  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading 2 (ROMANS 5:1-2, 5-8)

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

– The word of the Lord.

Verse Before The Gospel (JOHN 4:42, 15)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!)

Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world;
give me living water, that I may never thirst again.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!)

Gospel (JOHN 4:5-42)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her,
“Go call your husband and come back.”
The woman answered and said to him,
“I do not have a husband.”
Jesus answered her,
“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one speaking with you.”

At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, “What are you looking for?”
or “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?”
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
But he said to them,
“I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
So the disciples said to one another,
“Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
“He told me everything I have done.”
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

or (JOHN 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.

“I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Readings for this 3rd Sunday of Lent center on longing for God and his longing for us. The First Reading takes place years after the exodus event when the Israelites who have been saved from slavery in Egypt travel into the Desert of Sinai. At first, they are satisfied with their needs in life. But the latter part is that they have complained and argued on the presence of God due to the long travel to the Promise Land that made them hungry and thirsty, for they feel like they have been placed on a trap in order to die. But the Lord God provides them manna from the quail and as we have heard in our reading, water from the rock. The place is called Meribah and Massah because this miracle has taken place due to the provoking argument of the Israelites among one another on God. Yet the Responsorial Psalm reminds us that if we want to experience God’s love, we have to listen to his voice, recognize his good works, and obey his commands. We also need to have faith in the Lord Jesus, the life-giving water that gave us the Father’s grace through his Paschal Mystery (Passion, Death, and Resurrection). And Saint Paul in our Second Reading reminds us that this love of God given to us by Christ by our faith has been poured out into our hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the spring of the life-giving water, wherein he enlightens us with what took place in salvation history and how we are to carry out the messages taught by the Lord in our everyday lives. This is the Triune God who is always love and wills love as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Gospel presents to us an encounter of Christ with a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob at Sychar. Of course she’s a Samaritan, and Samaritans and Jews have opposition against each other. In fact, when the Northern and Southern Kingdoms separated, both were under the exiles of the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively. But when the Persians decreed all captives to return to their original place, Israel (North) remained in the place and embraced the Assyrian culture. There they intermarried with pagan wives outside their former religion. They worshipped God on Mount Gerizim in Samaria, the capital of that city. But Judah (South) returned to their kingdom and unified the separated one, and there they observed the decrees of Yahweh everyday faithfully. They worshipped him on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the capital of that city.Yet they have claimed themselves as only worthy of God’s salvation, and not even one outcast of their religion. Even so in this Gospel scene, Jesus talks with a woman, whom society at that time considers such as less significant than a man. Notice also that this Samaritan woman draws out water from the well at noon time, wherein it’s obvious that it is hottest time of the day. She does this because she is ashamed to be exposed by her co-villagers, for she has been married to five husbands (one after another), wherein she is only a live-in partner with the sixth man. Despite her bitter past, Jesus converses with her. Her profession of faith in the Lord is a three-way level up: First a Teacher, Second a Prophet, and Third the Messiah. When she returns to her town, she didn’t feel the shame of facing her co-villagers and then tells them that she has found the Messiah. So when those Samaritans have heard Jesus teach, they have believed in him.My dear brothers and sisters, when we long for God, we experience his love being revealed to us everyday in the sign of the times. Eventually in the life of this Samaritan woman, she has encountered the life-giving water that quenched the thirst of her misery and pain. In reality, it is the Lord who thirsts for us. When Christ at first requested the woman for a drink, it does not only pertain to his physical thirst after a long journey. It is also a reference to his Fifth Last Word on the Cross: “I thirst” (Cf. John 19:28). He thirsts for the salvation of souls from falling into Hell, the conversion of sinners from former ways into newness of life, the justice and righteousness of this world against all forms of violence, hatred and corruption, and the manifestation of the Father’s love to all, so that we may also become witnesses to it in our everyday lifestyle. Thus when we long for God, we also have to submit ourselves to his longing for us, especially in this Lenten Season to turn away from sin, ask for forgiveness, change our ways for the better, and become his witnesses through sacrifice, prayer, and good/kind deeds towards others.

MGA PAGBASANG PANG-ARAW-ARAW (Marso 10, 2020)

MARTES SA IKA-2 LINGGO NG KUWARESMA (TAON A, Lila)

UNANG PAGBASA (Isaias 1, 10. 16-20)

Pagbasa mula sa aklat ni propeta Isaias

Mga pinuno ng Sodoma,
pakinggan ninyo ang sinasabi ng Panginoon;
mga mamamayan sa Gomorra.
pakinggan ninyo ang aral ng ating Diyos.
Magpakabuti na kayo, magbalik-loob sa akin;
talikdan na ninyo ang masasamang gawain.
Tumigil na kayo ng paggawa ng masama.
Pag-aralan ninyong gumawa ng mabuti;
pairalin ang katarungan;
itigil ang pang-aapi;
tulungan ang mga ulila;
ipagtanggol ang mga balo.
“Halikayo at magliwanagan tayo,
gaano man karami ang inyong kasalanan,
handa akong ipatawad ang lahat ng iyan,
kahit na kayo’y maruming-marumi sa kasalanan,
kayo’y magiging busilak sa kaputian.
Kung kayo’y susunod at tatalima,
pasasaganain ko ang ani ng inyong lupain.
ngunit kung magpapatuloy kayo sa inyong pagsuway
ay tiyak na kayo’y mamamatay.”
Ito ang sabi ng Panginoon.

– Ang Salita ng Diyos.

SALMONG TUGUNAN (Salmo 49, 8-9. 16bk-17. 21 at 23)

Tugon: Ang masunurin sa Diyos ay sasagipin n’yang lubos.

Hindi ako nagagalit dahilan sa inyong handog,
ni sa inyong mga haing sa dambana’y sinusunog,
bagaman ang mga toro’y hindi ko na kailangan,
maging iyang mga kambing at ang inyong mga kawan.

Tugon: Ang masunurin sa Diyos ay sasagipin n’yang lubos.

Bakit ninyo inuusal yaong aking mga utos?
At bakit ang paksa ninyo ay sa tipan natutungod?
Pag kayo ay tinutuwid, agad kayong napopoot,
at hi ayaw na tanggapin yaong aking mga utos.

Tugon: Ang masunurin sa Diyos ay sasagipin n’yang lubos.

Kahit ito ay ginawa hindi kayo alumana,
kaya naman ang akala, kayo’t ako’y magkaisa;
ngunit ngayon, panahon nang kayo’y aking pagwikaan
upang inyong maunawa ang ginawang kamalian.
Ang parangal na nais ko na sa aki’y ihahain,
ay handog ng pagsalamat, pagpupuring walang maliw;
akin namang ililigtas ang lahat na masunurin.

Tugon: Ang masunurin sa Diyos ay sasagipin n’yang lubos.

AWIT PAMBUNGAD SA MABUTING BALITA (Ezekiel 18, 31)

(Luwalhati at papuri sa iyo, Panginoong Hesukristo!)

Sinabi ng Poong mahal:
“Kasamaan ay layuan,
kasalana’y pagsisihan;
kayo ay magbagong-buhay,
magbalik-loob na tunay.”

(Luwalhati at papuri sa iyo, Panginoong Hesukristo!)

MABUTING BALITA (Mateo 23, 1-12)

Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon ayon kay San Mateo

Noong panahong iyong, sinabi ni Hesus sa mga tao at sa kanyang mga alagad, “Ang mga eskriba at ang mga Pariseo ang kinikilalang tagapagpaliwanang ng Kautusan ni Moises. Kaya’t gawin ninyo ang itinuturo nila at sundin ang kanilang iniuutos. Ngunit huwag ninyo tularan ang kanilang gawa, sapagkat hindi nila isinasagawa ang kanilang ipinangangaral. Nagbibigkis sila ng mabibigat na dalahin at ipinapasan sa mga tao; ngunit ni daliri ay ayaw nilang igalaw upang tumulong sa pagdadala ng mga iyon. Pawang pakitang-tao ang kanilang mga gawa. Nilalaparan nila ang kanilang mga pilakterya at hinahabaan ang palawit sa laylayan ng kanilang mga damit. Ang ibig nila’y ang mga upuang pandangal sa mga piging at ang mga tanging luklukan sa mga sinagoga. Ang ibig nila’y pagpugayan sila sa mga liwasang-bayan, at tawaging guro. Ngunit kayo — huwag kayong patawag na guro, sapagkat iisa ang inyong Guro, at kayong lahat ay magkakapatid. At huwag ninyo tawaging ama ang sinumang tao sa lupa, sapagkat iisa ang inyong Ama, ang Amang nasa langit. Huwag kayong patawag na tagapagturo, sapagkat iisa ang inyong Tagapagturo, ang Mesias. Ang pinakadakila sa inyo ay dapat maging lingkod ninyo. Ang nagpakakataas ay ibababa, at ang nagpapakababa ay itataas.”

– Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon.

Pagninilay: Ang Panahon ng Kuwaresma ay panawagan ng kalinisan at kababang-loob. Narinig natin sa Unang Pagbasa ang paanyaya ni Hesus na tawagin ang mga taong nagkasala na magsisi mula sa mga kasalanan at manumbalik sa Diyos. Gaano mang kalaki ang ating mga pagkakasala at pagkukulang, ang Panginoon ay patuloy na nagmamahal sa atin. At kaakibat ng kanyang walang hanggang pag-ibig ay ang pagiging malinis hindi lang sa labas, kundi pati na rin sa loob. Ito ang hindi nakita ni Hesus sa mga Pariseo at eskriba sa Ebanghelyo. Madalas kilala ang mga pinuno ng mga Hudyo bilang mangaral at matataas ang posisyon. Ngunit sila na nga’y tagapagtupad at tagasunod ng Kautusan ay naghahangad na purihin ng ibang tao. Sila pa nga ang dumadagdag sa pamatok ng kanilang kapwa’y nangangailangan. Kaya tinuligsa ni Hesus ang kanilang pagiging “paimbabaw” o ibang salin ay “pakitang-tao” at “hipokrito”. Sa ayaw o gusto natin, iilan sa atin ay mayroon ganyang pag-uugali. Kaya nagsusuot tayo ng mga maskara upang magmukhang mabuti at matuwid sa harap ng napakaraming tao, subalit sa loob naman ay may mga nakatagong hangarin na hamakin ang ibang tao. Ang hamon sa atin ni Hesus ay kababang-loob sapagkat ito ang magpapataas sa atin bilang pangako na tayo’y kakamit ng tunay na buhay na walang hanggan. At nawa’y sa pagiging mapagkumbaba natin, lalung-lalo itong Panahon ng Kuwaresma, ay patuloy tayo na gumawa ng mabuti at matuwid na bagay sa ating kapwa hindi para maging sikat tayo, kundi ipakita ang ating pagmamahal sa kanila, na siya ring tanda ng pagmamahal natin sa Diyos.

DAILY MASS READINGS (March 10, 2020)

TUESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT (YEAR A, Violet)

Reading 1 (ISAIAH 1:10, 16-20)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23)

R.    (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
     Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Verse Before The Gospel (EZEKIEL 18:31)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!)

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!)

Gospel (MATTHEW 23:1-12)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the Gospel (Matthew 23:1-12), Jesus warns the crowds and his disciples about the scribes and Pharisees. He notices the hypocrisy of these Jewish leaders. They take up places of honor, preach the word of God with pride, and show their good works in public. However, they only do these things to belittle their fellow Jews. That is why they don’t observe the 613 laws they have created because they feel that they are more deserving than the rest. And they have a very large angst against our Lord because they see him as a threat to their power. No wonder they destructively criticized him for violating the Sabbath and not observing the traditions of their elders.So my dear brothers and sisters, the scribes and Pharisees showed us a bad example that is intolerable. They do these things just to win the praises of the public and not the favor of God. Jesus teaches us that as children of the Father, we should not look ourselves higher than others because God gave each one of us a special mission to fulfill in the end of our lives. Especially when we talk about religion, our practices, devotions, and Traditions should not make us think that we are very much closer to God. Rather, they should be done with humility, having the mindset of bringing others closer to God and doing kind and charitable acts with sincerity. That is why in the First Reading (Isaiah 1:10, 16-20), the Prophet Isaiah reminds us to undergo spiritual cleansing. We are called to purify our souls, turn from evil, and do kind acts, for the Lord is a God of mercy who forgives us our sins especially if we are truly sorrg for them and promise to devote better lives towards our relationship with him and other people. So as we journey down this Lenten road, let us not act like self-righteous people in performing righteous deeds, but rather do these acts with charity, humility, and kindness.

MGA PAGBASANG PANG-ARAW-ARAW (Pebrero 25, 2020)

MARTES NG IKA-7 LINGGO SA KARANIWANG PANAHON/MARTES DE CARNAVAL (TAON II, Berde)

UNANG PAGBASA (Santiago 4, 1-10)

Pagbasa mula sa sulat ni Apostol Santiago

Mga pinakamamahal, ano ang pinagmumulan ng inyong alitan at paglalaban-laban? Hindi ba’t ang masasamang nasa na namumugad sa kalooban ng bawat isa sa inyo, at pawang nagkakalaban-laban? Mayroon kayong pinakamimithi ngunit hindi ninyo makamtan, kaya’t papatay kayo kung kailangan, mapasainyo lamang ito. Dahil sa inyong pag-iimbot sa mga bagay na hindi inyo, kayo’y nagkakagalit at naglalaban-laban, sapagkat hindi kayo humihingi sa Diyos. At humingi man kayo, wala rin kayong natatanggap, sapagkat masama ang inyong layunin — humihingi kayo upang gamitin sa kalayawan. Mga taksil! Hindi ba ninyo alam na kapag kinaibigan ninyo ang sanlibutan ay kinakaaway naman ninyo ang Diyos? Kaya’t sinumang nagnanais na maging kaibigan ng sanlibutan ay kaaway ng Diyos. Baka naman ang akala ninyo’y walang kabuluhan ang nasasaad sa Kasulatan na, “Napakarubdob ng pag-ibig ng Diyos sa espiritung ibinigay niya sa atin, at ayaw niya ng mga kaagaw sa ating pag-ibig.” Ngunit higit na malakas ang tulong na ibinigay sa atin ng Diyos. Sapagkat ang sabi sa Kasulatan: “Ang Diyos ay laban sa mga palalo, ngunit tumutulong sa mga mapagkumbaba.” Kaya nga, pasakop kayo sa Diyos. Labanan ninyo ang diyablo at lalayuan niya kayo. Lumapit kayo sa Diyos at lalapit siya sa inyo. Linisin ninyo ang inyong mga kamay, kayong mga makasalanan! Linisin ninyo ang inyong puso, kayong pabagu-bago ang isip. Mamighati kayo, maghinagpis at tumangis! palitan ninyo ang pagluha ang inyong halakhakan, at ng kapanglawan ang inyong kagalakan! Magpakababa kayo sa harapan ng Panginoon at itataas niya kayo.

– Ang Salita ng Diyos.

SALMONG TUGUNAN (Salmo 54, 7-8. 9-10a. 10b-11a. 23)

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Wika ko, “Kung ako lamang ay may pakpak,
parang kalapati, ako ay lilipad;
ako ay hahanap ng dakong panatag.
Aking liliparin ang malayong lugar
at doon sa ilang ako mananahan.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Ako ay hahanap agad ng kanlungan
upang makaiwas sa bagyong daratal.”
Sila ay wasakin, Poon, guluhin mo;
pag-uusap nila’y bayaang malito.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Yamang karahasan ang nakikita ko,
at sa lungsod nila ay nagkakagulo.
Sa lungsod na puno ng sama’t ligalig,
araw-gabi’y doon sila lumiligid.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Ilagak sa Poon yaong suliranin
at ikaw ay hindi niya bibiguin,
hindi babayaan ang taong magaling.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

ALELUYA (Galacia 6, 14)

Aleluya! Aleluya!
Sa krus ni Kristo dinangal
itong ating pamumuhay
na para sa kanya lamang.
Aleluya! Aleluya!

MABUTING BALITA (Marcos 9, 30-37)

Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon ayon kay San Marcos

Noong panahong iyon, sina Hesus at ang kanyang mga alagad ay nagdaan sa Galilea. Ayaw ni Hesus na malaman ito ng mga tao, sapagkat tinuturuan niya ang kanyang mga alagad. Sinabi niya: “Ang Anak ng Tao ay ipagkakanulo at papatayin, ngunit muling mabubuhay sa ikatlong araw.” Hindi nila naunawaan ang sinabi niya, ngunit natatakot naman silang magtanong sa kanya.

At dumating sila sa Capernaum. Nang sila’y nasa bahay na, tinanong ni Hesus ang kanyang mga alagad, “Ano ba’ng pinagtatalunan ninyo sa daan?” Hindi sila kumibo, sapagkat ang pinagtatalunan nila’y kung sino sa kanila ang pinakadakila. Naupo si Hesus, tinawag ang Labindalawa at sinabi, “Ang sinumang nagnanais maging una ay dapat maging huli sa lahat, at maging lingkod ng lahat.” Tinawag niya ang isang maliit na bata, at pinatayo sa harapan nila. Pagkatapos, kinalong niya ito at sinabi, “Ang sinumang tumanggap sa isang maliit na batang tulad nitong alang-alang sa akin ay tumatanggap sa akin; at sinumang tumanggap sa akin — hindi ako ang kanyang tinatanggap kundi ang nagsugo sa akin.”

– Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon.

Pagninilay: Tayong lahat ay mga anak ng ating Kataas-taasang Diyos. Kaya tayo ay tinatawag na maging matapat sa kanyang dakilang kalooban. Ang Unang Pagbasa ay isang paalala sa atin na huwag maging dahilan o ugat ng mga pagkakawatak-watak at paninirang puri sa isang komunidad/lipunan. Mahalaga ang pahayag ni Santiago na tayo’y patuloy na maging matapat sa Diyos at sa kanyang kalooban. Kaya minsa’y kung ano ang itinuturo ng mundo ngayon, kadalasa’y hindi itong tamang gawin. Ito’y mahahalagang paanyaya sa atin na huwag tayong masyadong maimpluwensiya sa lahat ng nauusong bagay sa mundong ito, kundi magkaroon tayo ng isang bukas na loob upang tanggapin pa ang biyaya ng Panginoon. Si Hesus sa Ebanghelyo ay nag-anyaya sa atin kung paano dapat tayong mamuhay. Ito ay isang tugon sa mga argumento ng mga alagad sa isa’t isa kung sino raw ang pinakadakila. Sabi ni Hesus na upang tayo’y maging dakila sa Kaharian ng Diyos, dapat nating tularan ang isang bata, kaya ito’y pinatayo niya sa gitna ng tao. Ang bata na dating itinuturing ng lipunan na mahina ay may kahalagahan pala. Alam po natin na ang isang bata ay susunod sa utos ng kanyang magulang o higit pa dito sa isang utos na ikabubuti hindi lang ng kanyang sarili, kundi para na rin sa ibang tao. Dito makikita natin ang naging buhay ni Kristo nang bagamat siya ay Diyos ay nagkatawang-tao at naging bata sa ilalim ng isang Banal na pamilya, at siya’y nakapiling nina Birheng Maria at San Jose. Kaya ang pagiging “bata” ayon kay Hesus ay isang taong may kababang-loob at pagiging masunurin sa Diyos. Makikita natin sa unang bahagi ng sipi kung paano ipinaalam niya sa ikalawang pagkakataon tungkol sa kanyang Misteryong Paskwal. Ang pag-aalay ni Hesus sa Krus at ang Muling Pagkabuhay ay tanda na handa siyang sumunod sa kalooban ng Ama upang tayo ay matubos mula sa ating mga kasalanan. Kaya ipinakita sa atin na ang tanging paraan upang makamit natin ang kaluwalhatian at buhay na walang hanggan, kailangan nating manalig sa Panginoon at maging mga “childlike” sa kababang-loob at pagkamasunurin.