DAILY MASS READINGS (August 26, 2019)


Reading 1 (1 THESSALONIANS 1:1-5, 8B-10)

A reading from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace.

We give thanks to God always for all of you,
remembering you in our prayers,
unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love
and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,
before our God and Father,
knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.
For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone,
but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.
You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake. 
In every place your faith in God has gone forth,
so that we have no need to say anything.
For they themselves openly declare about us
what sort of reception we had among you,
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God and to await his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead, Jesus,
who delivers us from the coming wrath.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B)

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory. 
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.

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 (MATTHEW 23:13-22)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.
You do not enter yourselves,
nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You traverse sea and land to make one convert,
and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna
twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say,
‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’
Blind fools, which is greater, the gold,
or the temple that made the gold sacred?
And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’
You blind ones, which is greater, the gift,
or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;
one who swears by the temple swears by it
and by him who dwells in it;
one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God
and by him who is seated on it.”

– The word of the Lord.

Reflection: In Matthew 23:1-12, we heard how Jesus began denouncing the scribes and Pharisees because of their hypocrisies and self-righteousness. Today, he continues to reproach them by exposing how they show to their fellow Jews how they are more deserving. Even if they have strong relationship with God, they only focus on the gifts and treasures offered on the altar, and not the altar itself. This is the test of our identity as Catholic Christians. We may think that money is the sole item that can satisfy one person, but no really. We tend to purchase many items at malls, department stores, etc., and we spend a lot. But when we offer our money to the Church, we may think the priests are just using them for self-interest and enjoyment. We don’t see the reality that as we offer, we also help in the services of the Church such as the electric bill, improvement of speakers, building charitable institutions for the poor, etc. On the other hand, some of us may think that we are more deserving than others. Yes, we give money during Offertory to support the Church, but where is the heart of our offering? Do we do this just to make others jealous or boast of how large the amount we give? In other cases, when we commit ourselves to our beloved Catholic faith, we would attend Mass, pray the Rosary, recite Novenas, serve in the Church, etc. Yet as we do these things to make ourselves closer to the Lord, we should also bring others closely to him not by boasting and destructive criticism, but by showing a good example and doing kind and humble acts towards them.

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