Word of the day
Reading of the day
A reading from the Book of Sirach
I thank the LORD and I praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
When I was young and innocent,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer
I prayed for her before the temple,
and I will seek her until the end,
and she flourished as a grape soon ripe.
My heart delighted in her,
My feet kept to the level path
because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
In the short time I paid heed,
I met with great instruction.
Since in this way I have profited,
I will give my teacher grateful praise.
I became resolutely devoted to her—
the good I persistently strove for.
My soul was tormented in seeking her,
My hand opened her gate
and I came to know her secrets.
I directed my soul to her,
and in cleanness I attained to her.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to Mark
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
Then Jesus said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Words of the Holy Father
It was not only Pilate who washed his hands of Jesus; these men do so too: “We do not know.” Not entering into relationship with others, not getting involved in their problems, not fighting for their good, not fighting to heal the many people who are in need, saying “It’s best not to. Let’s not get dirty with this.” […] How many times do we hear stingy Christians excuse themselves for not giving alms to a person: “No, no. I don’t give anything because they are only going to get drink”. They wash their hands. […] And what would happen if the Lord were to wash his hands of us? Poor us. (Homily, Santa Marta, 16 December 2019)
- Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.