DAILY MASS READINGS (February 29, 2020)

SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY (CYCLE A, Violet)

Reading 1 (ISAIAH 58:9B-14)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with maliceB
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6)

R. (11ab)  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you. 
You are my God.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

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 (LUKE 5:27-32)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the Jewish times, tax collectors were considered to be sinners. They were sinners because they love to cheat and steal from their fellow men, and they were traitors because they worked for the Roman Empire, appointed by King Herod Antipas of Galilee. Thus, tax collectors were considered outcasts and never forgiven by God. In the Gospel (Luke 5:27-32), we see how our Lord Jesus Christ approached a tax collector in Capernaum named Levi, and called him to follow him. Then Levi threw a banquet and invited Jesus, the Apostles, different tax collectors and sinners, and the Pharisees and scribes. The Pharisees and scribes noticed that Jesus is eating with tax collectors and sinners, so they approached the Apostles and asked them of this act. The Jewish leaders knew that Jesus was breaking many protocols in religion and society, which is why there are many conflicts between them and him. That is why our Lord Jesus Christ is the universal spiritual doctor, who heals and forgives us our sins. From being a tax collector, Levi became part of the Twelve, at which he is known to be as Saint Matthew (Cf. Matthew 9:9-13). As we journey down this Lenten road, let us prepare our hearts to receive the loving mercy of the Lord by being truly sorry for all the sins we have committed. Unlike the Pharisees and scribes, let us not close our hearts and minds to him because truly his mercy endures forever.

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