Reading I

 

A reading from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel (Eze. 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32)

 

The word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, what is the meaning of this proverb

that you recite in the land of Israel:

 

“Fathers have eaten green grapes,

Thus, their children’s teeth are on edge”?

 

As I live, says the Lord GOD:

I swear that there shall no longer be anyone among you

who will repeat this proverb in Israel

For all lives are mine;

the life of the father is like the life of the son, both are mine;

only the one who sins shall die.

 

If a man is virtuous if he does what is right and just,

if he does not eat on the mountains,

nor raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel;

if he does not defile his Neighbour’s wife,

nor have relations with a woman in her menstrual period;

if he oppresses no one,

gives back the pledge received for a debt,

commits no robbery;

if he gives food to the hungry and clothes the naked;

if he does not lend at interest nor exact usury;

if he holds off from evildoing,

judges fairly between a man and his opponent;

if he lives by my statutes and is careful to observe my ordinances,

that man is virtuous he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.

 

But if he begets a son who is a thief, a murderer,

or lends at interest and exacts usury–

this son certainly shall not live.

Because he practiced all these abominations, he shall surely die;

his death shall be his own fault.

 

Therefore, I will judge you, house of Israel,

each one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD.

Turn and be converted from all your crimes,

that they may be no cause of guilt for you.

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed,

and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Why should you die, O house of Israel?

For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,

says the Lord GOD. Return and live!

 

 

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19)

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.

A clean heart creates 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.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,

and a willing spirit sustain in me.

I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners shall return to you.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;

should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.

My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;

a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

 

 

Alleluia (Mt 11:25)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;

you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 19:13-15)

 

Children were brought to Jesus

that he might lay his hands on them and pray.

The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;

for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

 

 

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

How beautiful is this trust of the parents and Jesus’ response! How I would like this passage to become the norm for all children! It is true that by the grace of God children in grave difficulty are often given extraordinary parents, ready and willing to make every sacrifice. But these parents should not be left alone! We should accompany them in their toil, and also offer them moments of shared joy and light hearted cheer, so that they are not left with only routine therapy. (…) Think what a society would be like if it decided, once and for all, to establish this principle: “It’s true, we are not perfect and we make many mistakes. But when it comes to the children who come into the world, no sacrifice on the part of adults is too costly or too great, to ensure that no child believe he or she was a mistake, is worthless or is abandoned to a life of wounds and to the arrogance of men”. How beautiful a society like this would be! (General audience, 8 April 2015)