DAILY MASS READINGS (October 17, 2018)

MEMORIAL OF ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, BISHOP AND MARTYR (YEAR II, Red)

 

Reading 1 (GALATIANS 5:18-25)

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

Brothers and sisters:
If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry,
sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy,
outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness,
dissensions, factions, occasions of envy,
drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.
I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh
with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6)

R. (see Jn 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.

Alleluia (JOHN 10:27)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (LUKE 11:42-46)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: In the First Reading (Galatians 5:18-25), St. Paul reminds us to live the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us free people in faith. When we received the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are empowered to be courageous witnesses of the Good News, bearing Christ in our lives even as we relate with other people and different factors of the world. We are enabled by the Spirit to live the 9 fruits of the Spirit within us that will make our lives more abundant in the Lord, while all forms of immorality and evil acts are ought to be avoided. In the Gospel (Luke 11:42-46), Jesus continues denouncing the Pharisees. He already noticed the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders of his time, doing righteous deeds (religious acts) to win praise from others and enforcing their fellow Jewish citizens to observe the Mosaic Law (or in fact their 613 rules) when they themselves do not observe it/them. Today, Jesus denounces the Pharisees of being show-offs of arrogance and pride. He is not criticizing their observance of paying tithes, but rather their focus on worldly desires instead of giving their attention to God. They also love to inherit seats of honor, meaning that they want their fellow Jews to recognize that they are very pleasing to God above the ordinary citizens because of religious observance. In the latter part of the Gospel passage, a scholar of the Law reacts to Jesus’ criticisms because he thinks the Lord’s words are also insulting to his group. In fact, Jesus criticized the scholars of the Law for imposing burdens on their fellow Jews to carry without them carrying it. Since they are studying the Law of Moses, they command their fellow citizens to observe the Law very strictly, yet they think highly superior of themselves by not observing it and their 613 commandments. The hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scholars of the Law during Jesus’ time is very relevant in our contemporary period of time. Some religious and political leaders appear to be very successful in life because of their background and abilities, but in reality, they do these things to win the praise and ire of the public citizens and lay faithful. This situation also exists in any occupation/profession when employers/mentors/leaders may appear to be very successful during their attainable achievements in low social statuses, but when they mistreat and abuse their fellow co-workers and learners at their present social classes, they have shown their true colors in nature. So as we journey down this road, let us heed the warning of our Lord Jesus Christ regarding hypocrisy and avoid letting that hypocrisy make us boastful and arrogant in belittling others.

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