Word of the day

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Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading of the day

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews
Heb 7:1-3, 15-17

Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High,
met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings
and blessed him.
And Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything.
His name first means righteous king,
and he was also "king of Salem," that is, king of peace.
Without father, mother, or ancestry,
without beginning of days or end of life,
thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up
after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so,
not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent
but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.
For it is testified:

You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to Mark
Mk 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up here before us."
Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

Words of the Holy Father

The Gospel for today’s liturgy shows a few scribes and Pharisees amazed by Jesus’ attitude. (…) Why is Jesus  not concerned with this? Because for him it is important to bring faith back to its centre. We see it repeatedly in the Gospel: this bringing faith back to the centre. And to avoid a risk, which applies to those scribes as well as to us: to observe outward formalities, putting the heart and  faith in the background. Many times we too “put makeup” on our soul. Outward formality and not the heart of faith: this is a risk. It is the risk of a religiosity of appearances : looking good on the outside, while neglecting to purify the heart. There is always the temptation to “deal with God” with some outward devotion, but Jesus does not settle for this worship. Jesus does not want outward appearances, he wants a faith that touches the heart. (Angelus, 29 August 2021)