Reading I


A reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah (Is 7:1-9)


In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah,

Rezin, king of Aram,

and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah,

went up to attack Jerusalem,

but they were not able to conquer it.

When word came to the house of David that Aram

was encamped in Ephraim,

the heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled,

as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind. Then, the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz,

you and your son Shear-jashub,

at the end of the conduit of the upper pool,

on the highway of the fuller’s field, and say to him:

Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear;

let not your courage fail

before these two stumps of smoldering brands

the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans,

and of the son Remaliah,

because of the mischief that

Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah,

plots against you, saying,

“Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force,

and appoint the son of Tabeel king there.” Thus, says the LORD:

This shall not stand, it shall not be!

Damascus is the capital of Aram,

and Rezin is the head of Damascus;

Samaria is the capital of Ephraim,

and Remaliah’s son the head of Samaria. But within sixty years and five,

Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation.

Unless your faith is firm

you shall not be firm!



Responsorial Psalm (Ps 48:2-3A, 3B-4, 5-6, 7-8)

  1. (see 9d) God upholds his city for ever.

Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised

in the city of our God.

His holy mountain, fairest of heights,

is the joy of all the earth.

  1. God upholds his city for ever.

Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”

is the city of the great King.

God is with her castles;

renowned is he as a stronghold.

  1. God upholds his city for ever.

For lo! the kings assemble,

they come on together;

They also see, and at once are stunned,

terrified, routed.

  1. God upholds his city for ever.

Quaking seizes them there;

anguish, like a woman’s in labour,

As though a wind from the east

were shattering ships of Tarshish.

  1. God upholds his city for ever.



Alleluia (Ps 95:8)

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

If today you hear his voice,

harden not your hearts.

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.




From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 11:20-24)


Jesus began to reproach the towns

where most of his mighty deeds had been done,

since they had not repented.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst

had been done in Tyre and Sidon,

they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.

But I tell you, it will be more tolerable

for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

And as for you, Capernaum:


Will you be exalted to heaven?

You will go down to the nether world.


For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,

it would have remained until this day.

But I tell you, it will be more tolerable

for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”




Today can be a day for us to make an examination of conscience, with this refrain [from Jesus]: “‘Woe to you, woe to you,’ because I have given you so much, I have given you Myself, I have chosen you to be Christian, and you prefer a life by halves, a superficial life: a little bit of Christianity and holy water, but nothing more.” When this kind of Christian hypocrisy is lived, what we end up doing is casting Jesus from our hearts. We pretend to have Him, but we have cast him out. “We are Christians,” [we say.] “We are proud to be Christians.” But we live like pagans. (Santa Marta, 5 Oct 2018)