Reading 1 (MICAH 6:1-4, 6-8)

Hear what the LORD says:
Arise, present your plea before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice!
Hear, O mountains, the plea of the LORD,
pay attention, O foundations of the earth!
For the LORD has a plea against his people,
and he enters into trial with Israel.O my people, what have I done to you,
or how have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
from the place of slavery I released you;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.

With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with myriad streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my crime,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
You have been told, O man, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.


Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 50:5-6, 8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23)

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. 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.

Alleluia (PSALM 95:8)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 12:38-42)

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”
Reflection: In the First Reading (Micah 6:1-4, 6-8), the Prophet Micah speaks about God’s reproaches against Israel. God cries aloud in anguish on what his people has done in return, which in fact he delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Then in response, Micah proclaims that far beyond the holocausts and sin-offerings, what is important is the right and good action pleasing to the Lord, as we walk humbly with him. The prophecy is echoed during the Good Friday Liturgy as the faithful kiss the Holy Cross, which the traditional Reproaches is sung. Despite God’s disappointment with his people, he is still merciful and faithful to grant us salvation even until the power of the Cross and the emptiness of the tomb through his Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Gospel (Matthew 12:38-42), the scribes and Pharisees tempt Jesus to show a sign of who he is so that they could accuse him of blasphemy. But Jesus compares them as an evil generation, and he gave a sign greater than Jonah. Just like Jonah who laid in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights because of sin, Jesus lays in the tomb to preach the Gospel to the dead, including the great men of the Old Testament. Then on the third day, he rises from the dead to give us new life. After ascending into heaven, two angels told the apostles that he will come again in any time. That is why at the Mass, we recite this acclamation: “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” So our Readings remind us not to look for a sign, but be the sign for others, especially by putting our whole trust in the Lord. As we journey down this road, let us be a sign of peace, unity, and brotherhood as we recognize and manifest the wonders of the Lord.

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