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Mass Readings

Catholic Ireland

Liturgical Readings for : Saturday, 27th February, 2021
Léachtaí Gaeilge
Next Sunday's Readings

FIRST READING

A reading from the book of  Deuteronomy     26:16-19 
Theme: You will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.

Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord; that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm                     Ps 118
Response                                        They are happy who follow God’s law.

1. They are happy whose life is blameless,
who follow God’s law!
They are happy those who do his will,
seeking him with all their hearts.         Response

2. You have laid down your precepts
to be obeyed with care.
May my footsteps be firm
to obey your statutes.                              Response

3. I will thank you with an upright heart
as I learn your decrees.
I will obey your statutes;
do not forsake me.                                  Response

Gospel Acclamation                  Lk 8:1
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart,
take the word of God to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Or                                              2Cor 6:2
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Now is the favourable time;
this is the day of salvation.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

GOSPEL 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to  Matthew              5:43-48
Glory to you, O Lord
You must be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike.

‘For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not?

‘You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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Gospel
Reflection     Saturday,      First Week of Lent    Matthew 5:43-48

The call of Jesus at the end of today’s gospel reading sounds very daunting, ‘You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect’. We are all very much aware that we are a long way from being perfect. Even the word ‘perfect’ can be off-putting for us. When we speak of someone as a perfectionist we are not always paying them a compliment. We think of perfectionists as overly demanding and somewhat intolerant of human weakness. However, when we read back over the whole of today’s gospel reading, we can see that when Jesus calls us to be as perfect as God, he is calling on us to be as loving as God. He is talking about the perfection of love. Jesus declares that God loves the good and the not so good equally, just as the sun shines and the rain falls on both alike. God’s love does not discriminate. There is no less or more when it comes to God’s love. As Saint John says in his first letter, God is Love. To say God’s love is perfect is to say that what we do or fail to do has no impact on the quality of God’s love for us. God loved the people who crucified Jesus as much as the martyrs who were killed for bearing witness to Jesus. God’s love cannot change. What changes is our capacity to receive God’s love and to allow ourselves to be transformed by it, so that something of God’s perfect love takes flesh in our own lives. We will never be as loving as God is loving in this life, loving others without any regard to how they relate to us. Some few people come very close to loving in such a divine way. When such people come to our attention, we stand amazed by them. Yet, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can all, at least, keep growing towards that quality of love which is of God. That is the goal of our lives as followers of Jesus. That goal is very beautifully expressed in the prayer, ‘May we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity’.


The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel reflection comes to us with thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2020-2021:  You have the Words of Eternal life: by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications  c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/

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For Video Scripture Reflections for next Sunday’s Gospel click here:  https://www.catholicireland.net/lent-videos/