Reading I


A reading from the Book of the prophet Hosea (Hos 14:2-10)


Thus says the LORD:

Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;

you have collapsed through your guilt.

Take with you words,

and return to the LORD;

Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,

and receive what is good, that we may render

as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.

Assyria will not save us,

nor shall we have horses to mount;

We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’

to the work of our hands;

for in you the orphan finds compassion.”

I will heal their defection, says the LORD,

I will love them freely;

for my wrath is turned away from them.

I will be like the dew for Israel:

he shall blossom like the lily;

He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,

and put forth his shoots.

His splendour shall be like the olive tree

and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.

Again, they shall dwell in his shade

and raise grain;

They shall blossom like the vine,

and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?

I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.

“I am like a verdant cypress tree”—

because of me you bear fruit! Let him who is wise understand these things;

let him who is prudent know them.

Straight are the paths of the LORD,

in them the just walk,

but sinners stumble in them.


Responsorial Psalm (Ps 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-13, 14 AND 17)

  1. (17b) My mouth will declare your praise.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;

in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.

Thoroughly wash me from my guilt

and of my sin cleanse me.

  1. My mouth will declare your praise.

Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart,

and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom.

Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

  1. My mouth will declare your praise.

A clean heart created for me, O God,

and a steadfast spirit renew within me.

Cast me not out from your presence,

and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

  1. My mouth will declare your praise.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,

and a willing spirit sustain in me.

O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

  1. My mouth will declare your praise.


Alleluia (Jn 16:13A; 14:26D)

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

When the Spirit of truth comes,

he will guide you to all truth

and remind you of all I told you.

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.




From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 10:16-23)


Jesus said to his Apostles:

“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;

so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.

But beware of men,

for they will hand you over to courts

and scourge you in their synagogues,

and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake

as a witness before them and the pagans.

When they hand you over,

do not worry about how you are to speak

or what you are to say.

You will be given at that moment what you are to say.

For it will not be you who speak

but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will hand over brother to death,

and the father his child;

children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.

You will be hated by all because of my name,

but whoever endures to the end will be saved.

When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.

Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel

before the Son of Man comes.”



Besides [sending us out] as “sheep in the midst of wolves”, the Lord even in our times sends us out as sentinels in the midst of people who do not want to be woken from their worldly lethargy which ignores the Gospel’s words of Truth, building for themselves their own ephemeral truths. And if we go to or live in these contexts, and we proclaim the Words of the Gospel, this is bothersome and they will look at us unkindly. But in all this, the Lord continues to tell us, as he did to the disciples of his time: “Do not fear!”. Let us not forget these words: always, when we experience any tribulation, any persecution, anything that causes us to suffer, let us listen to the voice of Jesus in our hearts: “Do not fear! Do not fear! Go Forth! I am with you!”. (Angelus, 25 June 2017)