Reading I

A reading from the Second letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 2:1-3A, 14-17)


We ask you, brothers and sisters,

with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

and our assembling with him,

not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly,

or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement,

or by a letter allegedly from us

to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Let no one deceive you in any way.


To this end he has also called you through our Gospel

to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm

and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught,

either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.


May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,

who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement,

and good hope through his grace,

encourage your hearts and strengthen them

in every good deed and word.



Responsorial Psalm (Ps 96:10, 11-12, 13)


R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.

He has made the world firm, not to be moved;

he governs the peoples with equity.


R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;

let the sea and what fills it resound;

let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!

Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.


R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Before the LORD, for he comes;

for he comes to rule the earth.

He shall rule the world with justice

and the peoples with his constancy.


R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.



Alleluia (Heb. 4:12)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The word of God is living and effective,

able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.




From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 23:23-26)


Jesus said:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,

and have neglected the weightier things of the law:

judgment and mercy and fidelity.

But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,

but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,

so that the outside also may be clean.”




Be careful around those who are rigid. Be careful around Christians – be they laity, priests, bishops – who present themselves as so “perfect,” rigid. Be careful. There’s no Spirit of God there. They lack the spirit of liberty. And let us be careful with ourselves, because this should lead us to consider our own life. Do I seek to look only at appearance, and not change my heart? Do I not open my heart to prayer, to the liberty of prayer, the liberty of almsgiving, the liberty of works of mercy? (Santa Marta, 16 Oct 2018)