First Reading: From the Book of Second Kings 2:1, 6-14
Vrs1 This is what happened when Yahweh took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal,
Vrs6 Elijah said, ‘Elisha, you stay here, Yahweh is only sending me to the Jordan.’ But he replied, ‘As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ And they went on together.
Vrs7 Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan.
Vrs8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water divided to left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod.
Vrs9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Make your request. What can I do for you before I am snatched away from you?’ Elisha answered, ‘Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’
Vrs10 ‘Your request is difficult,’ Elijah said. ‘If you see me while I am being snatched away from you, it will be as you ask; if not, it will not be so.’
Vrs11 Now as they walked on, talking as they went, a chariot of fire appeared and horses of fire coming between the two of them; and Elijah went up to heaven in the whirlwind.
Vrs12 Elisha saw it, and shouted, ‘My father! My father! Chariot of Israel and its chargers!’ Then he lost sight of him, and taking hold of his own clothes he tore them in half.
Vrs13 He picked up Elijah’s cloak which had fallen, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
Vrs14 He took Elijah’s cloak and struck the water. ‘Where is Yahweh, the God of Elijah?’ he cried. As he struck the water it divided to right and left, and Elisha crossed over.
Responsorial Psalm: From Psalms 31:20, 21, 24
Vrs20 Safe in your presence you hide them, far from human plotting, shielding them in your tent, far from contentious tongues.
Vrs21 Blessed be Yahweh who works for me miracles of his faithful love (in a fortified city)!
Vrs24 Be brave, take heart, all who put your hope in Yahweh.
Gospel Reading: From the Gospel Account of Saint Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Vrs1 ‘Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.
Vrs2 So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
Vrs3 But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing;
Vrs4 your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
Vrs5 ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
Vrs6 But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
Vrs16 ‘When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
Vrs17 But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face,
Vrs18 so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.