Readings: Thursday, February 23, 2017

First Reading

First Reading: Sirach   5:1-8

Rely not on your wealth;
          say not: “I have the power.”
Rely not on your strength
          in following the desires of your heart.
Say not: “Who can prevail against me?”
          or, “Who will subdue me for my deeds?”
          for God will surely exact the punishment.
Say not: “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?”
          for the Most High bides his time.
Of forgiveness be not overconfident,
          adding sin upon sin.
Say not: “Great is his mercy;
          my many sins he will forgive.”
For mercy and anger alike are with him;
          upon the wicked alights his wrath.
Delay not your conversion to the Lord,
          put it not off from day to day.
For suddenly his wrath flames forth;
          at the time of vengeance you will be destroyed.
Rely not upon deceitful wrath,
          for it will be no help on the day of wrath

Responsorial Psalm

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm   1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R./ Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

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./ Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

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./ Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

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./ Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Holy Gospel

Gospel Reading: Mark   9:41-50

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
          because you belong to Christ,
          amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. 
  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,   
          it would be better for him if a great millstone
          were put around his neck
          and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed   
          than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
          into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled   
          than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye
          than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
          where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.  
  “Everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid,
          with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”