Reading I


A reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah (Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8)


When Hezekiah was mortally ill,

the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz came and said to him:

“Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order,

for you are about to die; you shall not recover.”

Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord: “O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly

I conducted myself in your presence,

doing what was pleasing to you!”

And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then, the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go, tell Hezekiah:

Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David:

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.

I will heal you: in three days you shall go up to the Lord’s temple;

I will add fifteen years to your life.

I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria;

I will be a shield to this city. ”Isaiah then ordered a poultice of figs to be taken

and applied to the boil, that he might recover.

Then Hezekiah asked,

“What is the sign that I shall go up to the temple of the LORD?” Isaiah answered:

“This will be the sign for you from the LORD

that he will do what he has promised:

See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun

on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz

go back the ten steps it has advanced.”

So, the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.



Responsorial Psalm (Is 38:10, 11, 12ABCD, 16)

  1. (see 17b) You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

Once I said,

“In the noontime of life I must depart!

To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned

for the rest of my years.”

  1. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

I said, “I shall see the LORD no more

in the land of the living.

No longer shall I behold my fellow men

among those who dwell in the world.”

  1. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

My dwelling, like a shepherd’s tent,

is struck down and borne away from me;

You have folded up my life, like a weaver

who severs the last thread.

  1. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

Those live whom the LORD protects;

yours is the life of my spirit.

You have given me health and life.

  1. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.


Alleluia (Jn 10:27)

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;

I know them, and they follow me.

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.




From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 12:1-8)


Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.

His disciples were hungry

and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.

When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,

“See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”

He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did

when he and his companions were hungry,

how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,

which neither he nor his companions

but only the priests could lawfully eat?

Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath

the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath

and are innocent?

I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.

If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,

you would not have condemned these innocent men.

For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”



Concluding that dialogue with the Pharisees, Jesus reminds them of a word of the prophet Hosea (6:6): “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’” (Mt 9:13). Addressing the people of Israel, the prophet reproaches them because the prayers they raised were but empty and incoherent words. Despite God’s covenant and mercy, the people often lived with a “façade-like” religiosity, without living in depth the command of the Lord. This is why the prophet emphasized: “I desire mercy”, namely the loyalty of a heart that recognizes its own sins, that mends its ways and returns to be faithful to the covenant with God. (General Audience, 13 April 2016)