First Reading: From the Book of First Kings 21:17-29
Vrs17 Then the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite,
Vrs18 ‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it.
Vrs19 You are to say this to him, “Yahweh says this: You have committed murder and now you usurp as well. For this — and Yahweh says this — in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.” ‘
Vrs20 Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have caught me, O my enemy!’ Elijah answered, ‘I have caught you! For your double dealing, and since you have done what is displeasing to Yahweh,
Vrs21 I shall now bring disaster down on you; I shall sweep away your descendants and wipe out every manjack of the House of Ahab, fettered or free in Israel.
Vrs22 I shall treat your House as I treated the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah, for provoking my anger and leading Israel into sin.
Vrs23 (Against Jezebel too Yahweh spoke these words, “The dogs will eat Jezebel in the Field of Jezreel.”)
Vrs24 Those of Ahab’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’
Vrs25 And indeed there never was anyone like Ahab for double dealing and for doing what is displeasing to Yahweh, urged on by Jezebel his wife.
Vrs26 He behaved in the most abominable way, adhering to idols, just as the Amorites had, whom Yahweh had dispossessed for the Israelites.
Vrs27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put sackcloth next to his skin and fasted; he slept in the sackcloth; he walked with slow steps.
Vrs28 Then the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite,
Vrs29 ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I shall not bring the disaster in his days; I shall bring the disaster down on his House in his son’s days.’
Responsorial Psalm: From Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 11, 16
Vrs3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in mind.
Vrs4 Against you, you alone, I have sinned, I have done what you see to be wrong, that you may show your saving justice when you pass sentence, and your victory may appear when you give judgement,
Vrs5 remember, I was born guilty, a sinner from the moment of conception.
Vrs6 But you delight in sincerity of heart, and in secret you teach me wisdom.
Vrs11 do not thrust me away from your presence, do not take away from me your spirit of holiness.
Vrs16 Sacrifice gives you no pleasure, burnt offering you do not desire.
Gospel Reading: From the Gospel Account of Saint Matthew 5:43-48
Vrs43 ‘You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
Vrs44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;
Vrs45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.
Vrs46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?
Vrs47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?
Vrs48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
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