Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62

 

1 In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim.

2 He was married to a woman called Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, a woman of great beauty; and she was God-fearing, for

3 her parents were worthy people and had instructed their daughter in the Law of Moses.

4 Joakim was a very rich man and had a garden by his house; he used to be visited by a considerable number of the Jews, since he was held in greater respect than any other man.

5 Two elderly men had been selected from the people, that year, to act as judges. Of such the Lord had said, 'Wickedness has come to Babylon through the elders and judges posing as guides to the people.'

6 These men were often at Joakim's house, and all who were engaged in litigation used to come to them.

7 At midday, when the people had gone away, Susanna would take a walk in her husband's garden.

8 The two elders, who used to watch her every day as she came in to take her walk, gradually began to desire her.

9 They threw reason aside, making no effort to turn their eyes to Heaven, and forgetting the demands of virtue.

15 So they waited for a favourable moment; and one day Susanna came as usual, accompanied only by two young maidservants. The day was hot and she wanted to bathe in the garden.

16 There was no one about except the two elders, spying on her from their hiding place.

17 She said to the servants, 'Bring me some oil and balsam and shut the garden door while I bathe.'

19 Hardly were the maids gone than the two elders sprang up and rushed upon her.

20 'Look,' they said, 'the garden door is shut, no one can see us. We want to have you, so give in and let us!

21 Refuse, and we shall both give evidence that a young man was with you and that this was why you sent your maids away.'

22 Susanna sighed. 'I am trapped,' she said, 'whatever I do. If I agree, it means death for me; if I resist, I cannot get away from you.

23 But I prefer to fall innocent into your power than to sin in the eyes of the Lord.'

24 She then cried out as loud as she could. The two elders began shouting too, putting the blame on her,

25 and one of them ran to open the garden door.

26 The household, hearing the shouting in the garden, rushed out by the side entrance to see what had happened to her.

27 Once the elders had told their story, the servants were thoroughly taken aback, since nothing of this sort had ever been said of Susanna.

28 Next day a meeting was held at the house of her husband Joakim. The two elders arrived, full of their wicked plea against Susanna, to have her put to death.

29 They addressed the company, 'Summon Susanna daughter of Hilkiah and wife of Joakim.' She was sent for,

30 and came accompanied by her parents, her children and all her relations.

33 All her own people were weeping, and so were all the others who saw her.

34 The two elders stood up, with all the people round them, and laid their hands on her head.

35 Tearfully she turned her eyes to Heaven, her heart confident in God.

36 The elders then spoke, 'While we were walking by ourselves in the garden, this woman arrived with two maids. She shut the garden door and then dismissed the servants.

37 A young man, who had been hiding, went over to her and they lay together.

38 From the end of the garden where we were, we saw this crime taking place and hurried towards them.

39 Though we saw them together, we were unable to catch the man: he was too strong for us; he opened the door and took to his heels.

40 We did, however, catch this woman and ask her who the young man was.

41 She refused to tell us. That is our evidence.' Since they were elders of the people and judges, the assembly accepted their word: Susanna was condemned to death.

42 She cried out as loud as she could, 'Eternal God, you know all secrets and everything before it happens;

43 you know that they have given false evidence against me. And now I must die, innocent as I am of everything their malice has invented against me!'

44 The Lord heard her cry

45 and, as she was being led away to die, he roused the holy spirit residing in a young boy called Daniel

46 who began to shout, 'I am innocent of this woman's death!'

47 At this all the people turned to him and asked, 'What do you mean by that?'

48 Standing in the middle of the crowd, he replied, 'Are you so stupid, children of Israel, as to condemn a daughter of Israel unheard, and without troubling to find out the truth?

49 Go back to the scene of the trial: these men have given false evidence against her.'

50 All the people hurried back, and the elders said to Daniel, 'Come and sit with us and tell us what you mean, since God has given you the gifts that elders have.'

51 Daniel said, 'Keep the men well apart from each other, for I want to question them.'

52 When the men had been separated, Daniel had one of them brought to him. 'You have grown old in wickedness,' he said, 'and now the sins of your earlier days have overtaken you,

53 you with your unjust judgements, your condemnation of the innocent, your acquittal of the guilty, although the Lord has said, "You must not put the innocent and upright to death."

54 Now then, since you saw her so clearly, tell me what sort of tree you saw them lying under.' He replied, 'Under an acacia tree.'

55 Daniel said, 'Indeed! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God has already received from him your sentence and will cut you in half.'

56 He dismissed the man, ordered the other to be brought and said to him, 'Son of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you, lust has led your heart astray!

57 This is how you have been behaving with the daughters of Israel, and they have been too frightened to resist; but here is a daughter of Judah who could not stomach your wickedness!

58 Now then, tell me what sort of tree you surprised them under.' He replied, 'Under an aspen tree.'

59 Daniel said, 'Indeed! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God is waiting with a sword to rend you in half, and destroy the pair of you.'

60 Then the whole assembly shouted, blessing God, the Saviour of those who trust in him.

61 And they turned on the two elders whom Daniel had convicted of false evidence out of their own mouths.

62 As the Law of Moses prescribes, they were given the same punishment as they had schemed to inflict on their neighbour. They were put to death. And thus, that day, an innocent life was saved.

 


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

 

1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me

3 to restore my spirit. He guides me in paths of saving justice as befits his name.

4 Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death I should fear no danger, for you are at my side. Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me.

5 You prepare a table for me under the eyes of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup brims over.

6 Kindness and faithful love pursue me every day of my life. I make my home in the house of Yahweh for all time to come.

 


Gospel, John 8:1-11

 

1 and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.

3 The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in the middle

4 they said to Jesus, 'Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery,

5 and in the Law Moses has ordered us to stone women of this kind. What have you got to say?'

6 They asked him this as a test, looking for an accusation to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger.

7 As they persisted with their question, he straightened up and said, 'Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her.'

8 Then he bent down and continued writing on the ground.

9 When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until the last one had gone and Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained in the middle.

10 Jesus again straightened up and said, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'

11 'No one, sir,' she replied. 'Neither do I condemn you,' said Jesus. 'Go away, and from this moment sinno more.'

Reading 1, Wisdom 2:1, 12-22

 

1 And this is the false argument they use, 'Our life is short and dreary, there is no remedy when our end comes, no one is known to have come back from Hades.

12 Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.

13 He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.

14 We see him as a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;

15 for his kind of life is not like other people's, and his ways are quite different.

16 In his opinion we are counterfeit; he avoids our ways as he would filth; he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed and boasts of having God for his father.

17 Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have.

18 For if the upright man is God's son, God will help him and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.

19 Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his patience to the test.

20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death since God will rescue him -- or so he claims.'

21 This is the way they reason, but they are misled, since their malice makes them blind.

22 They do not know the hidden things of God, they do not hope for the reward of holiness, they do not believe in a reward for blameless souls.

 


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 34:17-18, 19-20, 21, 23

 

17 They cry in anguish and Yahweh hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

18 Yahweh is near to the broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed.

19 Though hardships without number beset the upright, Yahweh brings rescue from them all.

20 Yahweh takes care of all their bones, not one of them will be broken.

21 But to the wicked evil brings death, those who hate the upright will pay the penalty.

 


Gospel, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

 

1 After this Jesus travelled round Galilee; he could not travel round Judaea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.

2 As the Jewish feast of Shelters drew near,

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, not publicly but secretly.

25 Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, 'Isn't this the man they want to kill?

26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have recognised that he is the Christ?

27 Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.'

28 Then, as Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he cried out: You know me and you know where I came from. Yet I have not come of my own accord: but he who sent me is true; You do not know him,

29 but I know him because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me.

30 They wanted to arrest him then, but because his hour had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.

 

 

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:8-15

 

8 Thus says Yahweh: At the time of my favour I have answered you, on the day of salvation I have helped you. I have formed you and have appointed you to be the covenant for a people, to restore the land, to return ravaged properties,

9 to say to prisoners, 'Come out,' to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' Along the roadway they will graze, and any bare height will be their pasture.

10 They will never hunger or thirst, scorching wind and sun will never plague them; for he who pities them will lead them, will guide them to springs of water.

11 I shall turn all my mountains into a road and my highways will be raised aloft.

12 Look! Here they come from far away, look, these from the north and the west, those from the land of Sinim.

13 Shout for joy, you heavens; earth, exult! Mountains, break into joyful cries! For Yahweh has consoled his people, is taking pity on his afflicted ones.

14 Zion was saying, 'Yahweh has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.'

15 Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you.

 


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18

 

8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full of faithful love.

9 Yahweh is generous to all, his tenderness embraces all his creatures.

13 Your kingship is a kingship for ever, your reign lasts from age to age. Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words, and upright in all his deeds.

14 Yahweh supports all who stumble, lifts up those who are bowed down.

17 Upright in all that he does, Yahweh acts only in faithful love.

18 He is close to all who call upon him, all who call on him from the heart.

 


Gospel, John 5:17-30

 

17 His answer to them was, 'My Father still goes on working, and I am at work, too.'

18 But that only made the Jews even more intent on killing him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he spoke of God as his own Father and so made himself God's equal.

19 To this Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, by himself the Son can do nothing; he can do only what he sees the Father doing: and whatever the Father does the Son does too.

20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he himself does, and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you.

21 Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses;

22 for the Father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgement to the Son,

23 so that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father. Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him.

24 In all truth I tell you, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgement such a person has passed from death to life.

25 In all truth I tell you, the hour is coming -- indeed it is already here -- when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who hear it will live.

26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself;

27 and, because he is the Son of man, has granted him power to give judgement.

28 Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice:

29 those who did good will come forth to life; and those who did evil will come forth to judgement.

30 By myself I can do nothing; I can judge only as I am told to judge, and my judging is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Reading 1, Second Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

 

4 But that very night, the word of Yahweh came to Nathan:

5 'Go and tell my servant David, "Yahweh says this: Are you to build me a temple for me to live in?

12 And when your days are over and you fall asleep with your ancestors, I shall appoint your heir, your own son to succeed you (and I shall make his sovereignty secure.

13 He will build a temple for my name) and I shall make his royal throne secure for ever.

14 I shall be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does wrong, I shall punish him with a rod such as men use, with blows such as mankind gives.

16 Your dynasty and your sovereignty will ever stand firm before me and your throne be for ever secure." '

 


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29

 

2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, you have fixed your constancy firm in the heavens.

3 'I have made a covenant with my Chosen One, sworn an oath to my servant David:

4 I have made your dynasty firm for ever, built your throne stable age after age.'Pause

5 The heavens praise your wonders, Yahweh, your constancy in the gathering of your faithful.

27 So I shall make him my first-born, the highest of earthly kings.

29 I have established his dynasty for ever, his throne to be as lasting as the heavens.

 


Gospel, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24,

 

16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.

18 This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19 Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally.

20 He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.

21 She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.'

24 When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home;

 


Reading 2, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

 

13 For the promise to Abraham and his descendants that he should inherit the world was not through the Law, but through the uprightness of faith.

16 That is why the promise is to faith, so that it comes as a free gift and is secure for all the descendants, not only those who rely on the Law but all those others who rely on the faith of Abraham, the ancestor of us all

17 (as scripture says: I have made you the father of many nations). Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into existence what does not yet exist.

18 Though there seemed no hope, he hoped and believed that he was to become father of many nations in fulfilment of the promise: Just so will your descendants be.

22 This is the faith that was reckoned to him as uprightness.

 

 

Reading 1, Jeremiah 7:23-28

 

23 My one command to them was this: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. In everything, follow the way that I mark out for you, and you shall prosper.

24 But they did not listen, they did not pay attention; they followed their own devices, their own stubborn and wicked inclinations, and got worse rather than better.

25 From the day your ancestors left Egypt until today, I have sent you all my servants the prophets, persistently sending them day after day.

26 But they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have deliberately resisted, behaving worse than their ancestors.

27 So you will tell them all this, but they will not listen to you; you will call them, but they will not answer you."

28 Then you are to say to them, "This is the nation that will neither listen to the voice of Yahweh itsGod nor take correction. Sincerity is no more, it has vanished from their mouths.

 


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

 

1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim the rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving, acclaim him with music.

6 Come, let us bow low and do reverence; kneel before Yahweh who made us!

7 For he is our God, and we the people of his sheepfold, the flock of his hand. If only you would listen to him today!

8 Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as at the time of Massah in the desert,

9 when your ancestors challenged me, put me to the test, and saw what I could do!

 


Gospel, Luke 11:14-23

 

14 He was driving out a devil and it was dumb; and it happened that when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed.

15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he drives devils out.'

16 Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven;

17 but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, 'Any kingdom which is divided against itself is heading for ruin, and house collapses against house.

18 So, too, with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom last? - since you claim that it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out.