Reading I

 

A reading from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel (Ez 2:8—3:4)

 

The Lord GOD said to me:

As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you:

be not rebellious like this house of rebellion,

but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.

 

It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me,

in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me.

It was covered with writing front and back,

and written on it was:

Lamentation and wailing and woe!

 

He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you;

eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.

So, I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat.

Son of man, he then said to me,

feed your belly and fill your stomach

with this scroll I am giving you.

I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.

He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel,

and speak my words to them.

 

 

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131)

R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise!

In the way of your decrees I rejoice,

as much as in all riches.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Yes, your decrees are my delight;

they are my Counselors.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

The law of your mouth is to me more precious

than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

How sweet to my palate are your promises,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Your decrees are my inheritance forever;

the joy of my heart they are.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

I gasp with open mouth,

in my yearning for your commands.

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

 

 

Alleluia (Mt 11:29)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

for I am meek and humble of heart.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14)

 

The disciples approached Jesus and said,

“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”

He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,

you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.

Whoever becomes humble like this child

is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

 

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,

for I say to you that their angels in heaven

always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.

What is your opinion?

If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,

will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills

and go in search of the stray?

And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it

than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.

In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father

that one of these little ones be lost.”

 

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

What does Jesus wish to teach us with this parable? He reminds us that we must be ready for the encounter with him. Many times, in the Gospel, Jesus exhorts keeping watch, and he also does so at the end of this narrative. He says: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (v. 13). But with this parable he tells us that keeping watch does not only mean not to sleep, but to be ready; in fact all the maidens are asleep before the bridegroom’s arrival, but upon waking some are ready and others are not. Thus, here is the meaning of being wise and prudent: it is a matter of not waiting until the last minute of our lives to cooperate with the grace of God, but rather to do so as of now. It would be good to consider for a moment: one day will be the last. If it were today, how prepared am I? But I must do this and that…. Be ready as if it were the last day: this does us good. (Angelus, 12 November 2017)