Reading I


a reading from the First Book of Kings (1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-16)


At the mountain of God, Horeb,

Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.

But the word of the LORD came to him,

“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;

the LORD will be passing by.”

A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains

and crushing rocks before the LORD—

but the LORD was not in the wind.

After the wind there was an earthquake—

but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake there was fire—

but the LORD was not in the fire.

After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.

When he heard this,

Elijah hid his face in his cloak

and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”

He replied, “I have been most zealous for the LORD,

the God of hosts.

But the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant,

torn down your altars,

and put your prophets to the sword.

I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.”

The LORD said to him,

“Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.

When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king of Aram.

Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel,

and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah,

as prophet to succeed you.”


Responsorial Psalm (27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14)

  1. (8b) I long to see your face, O Lord.

Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;

have pity on me, and answer me.

Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.

  1. I long to see your face, O Lord.

Your presence, O LORD, I seek.

Hide not your face from me;

do not in anger repel your servant.

You are my helper: cast me not off.

  1. I long to see your face, O Lord.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD

in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD with courage;

be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

  1. I long to see your face, O Lord.




Phil 2:15d, 16a

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

Shine like lights in the world,

as you hold on to the word of life.

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.



From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 5:27-32)


Jesus said to his disciples:

“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.

But I say to you,

everyone who looks at a woman with lust

has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

If your right eye causes you to sin,

tear it out and throw it away.

It is better for you to lose one of your members

than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.

And if your right hand causes you to sin,

cut it off and throw it away.

It is better for you to lose one of your members

than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.


“It was also said,

Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.

But I say to you,

whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)

causes her to commit adultery,

and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”



So, be careful not to scandalize. Scandal is evil, because scandal wounds – it wounds God’s People where they are most vulnerable, and strikes the People of God where they are weakest – and many times, the wounds inflicted by scandal are borne by the faithful throughout their lives. Not only does it do harm: scandal is capable of murder – of killing hopes, killing dreams, killing families, killing so many hearts. How many Christians, by their example, with their inconsistency, drive people away from the Faith: the incoherence of Christians is one of the readiest weapons the devil has to weaken the People of God and to divert the People of God from the Lord – to say one thing and do another. (Santa Marta 13 Nov 2017)