First Reading: From the Book of First Kings 18:20-39
Vrs20 Ahab called all Israel together and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel.
Vrs21 Elijah stepped out in front of all the people. ‘How long’, he said, ‘do you mean to hobble first on one leg then on the other? If Yahweh is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.’ But the people had nothing to say.
Vrs22 Elijah then said to them, ‘I, I alone, am left as a prophet of Yahweh, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty.
Vrs23 Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one for themselves, dismember it but not set fire to it. I in my turn shall prepare the other bull, but not set fire to it.
Vrs24 You must call on the name of your god, and I shall call on the name of Yahweh; the god who answers with fire, is God indeed.’ The people all answered, ‘Agreed!’
Vrs25 Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one bull and begin, for there are more of you. Call on the name of your god but light no fire.’
Vrs26 They took the bull and prepared it, and from morning to midday they called on the name of Baal. ‘O Baal, answer us!’ they cried, but there was no voice, no answer, as they performed their hobbling dance round the altar which they had made.
Vrs27 Midday came, and Elijah mocked them. ‘Call louder,’ he said, ‘for he is a god: he is preoccupied or he is busy, or he has gone on a journey; perhaps he is asleep and needs to be woken up!’
Vrs28 So they shouted louder and gashed themselves, as their custom was, with swords and spears until the blood flowed down them.
Vrs29 Midday passed, and they ranted on until the time when the offering is presented; but there was no voice, no answer, no sign of attention.
Vrs30 Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come over to me,’ and all the people came over to him. He repaired Yahweh’s altar which had been torn down.
Vrs31 Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Yahweh had come, ‘Israel is to be your name,’
Vrs32 and built an altar in the name of Yahweh. Round the altar he dug a trench of a size to hold two measures of seed.
Vrs33 He then arranged the wood, dismembered the bull, and laid it on the wood.
Vrs34 Then he said, ‘Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.’ They did this. He said, ‘Do it a second time;’ they did it a second time. He said, ‘Do it a third time;’ they did it a third time.
Vrs35 The water flowed round the altar until even the trench itself was full of water.
Vrs36 At the time when the offering is presented, Elijah the prophet stepped forward. ‘Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,’ he said, ‘let them know today that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, that I have done all these things at your command.
Vrs37 Answer me, Yahweh, answer me, so that this people may know that you, Yahweh, are God and are winning back their hearts.’
Vrs38 Then Yahweh’s fire fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and licked up the water in the trench.
Vrs39 When all the people saw this they fell on their faces. ‘Yahweh is God,’ they cried, ‘Yahweh is God!’
Responsorial Psalm: From Psalms 16:1-2, 4, 5, 8, 11
Vrs1 [In a quiet voice Of David] Protect me, O God, in you is my refuge.
Vrs2 To Yahweh I say, ‘You are my Lord, my happiness is in none
Vrs4 People flock to their teeming idols. Never shall I pour libations to them! Never take their names on my lips.
Vrs5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, hold my lot secure.
Vrs8 I keep Yahweh before me always, for with him at my right hand, nothing can shake me.
Vrs11 You will teach me the path of life, unbounded joy in your presence, at your right hand delight for ever.
Gospel Reading: From the Gospel Account of Saint Matthew 5:17-19
Vrs17 ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.
Vrs18 In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved.
Vrs19 Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.