Thursday, 2 March 2017 : Thursday after Ash Wednesday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Deuteronomy 30 : 15-20

See, I set before you on this day life and good, evil and death. I command you to love YHVH, your God and follow His ways. Observe His commandments, His norms and His laws, and you will live and increase, and YHVH will give you His blessing in the land you are going to possess.

But if your heart turns away and does not listen, if you are drawn away and bow before other gods to serve them, I declare on this day that you shall perish. You shall not last in the land you are going to occupy on the other side of the Jordan.

Let the heavens and the earth listen, that they may be witnesses against you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life that you and your descendants may live, loving YHVH, listening to His voice, and being one with Him. In this is life for you and length of days in the land which YHVH swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Sirach 35 : 1-15

Keeping the Law is worthy many offerings. Being faithful to the commandments is like a peace offering. Returning kindness is an offering of fine flour; giving alms is a sacrifice of praise. Renouncing sin pleases the Lord, and shunning injustice is a sacrifice of atonement.

Do not appear before the Lord with empty hands. The commandment requires that you bring an offering. When the offering of the righteous is burnt on the altar, the fat drips down and a fragrant aroma rises to the Most High. The sacrifice of the just man pleases God and will not be forgotten. Honour the Lord with a generous heart and do not be stingy with the first fruits of your harvest.

Offer your gifts with a smiling face and when you pay your tithes do it gladly. Give to the Most High as He has given to you; give generously to the Lord according to what you have; the Lord will repay, He will reward you sevenfold. If you attempt to bribe Him with gifts He will not accept them; do not rely on offerings from dishonest gain.

The Lord is Judge and shows no partiality. He will not disadvantage the poor, He Who hears the prayer of the oppressed. He does not disdain the plea of the orphan, nor the complaint of the widow. When tears flow down her cheeks, is she not crying out against the one who caused her to weep?

Monday, 27 February 2017 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Sirach 17 : 20-28

Their misdeeds cannot be hidden from Him, all their sins are before the Lord. He holds a man’s almsgiving dear as a priceless signet ring; He cherishes a good deed like apple of His eye. One day He will rise and reward them; He will place their prize on their heads.

He allows those who repent to return; He comforts those whose hopes are fading. Be converted to the Lord and give up your sins, plead with Him to lessen your offence. Return to the Almighty, turn aside from wrongdoing and totally detest evil.

For who in the grave will praise the Almighty, if the living do not give Him glory? The dead man is as if he did not exist and cannot give praise; he who has life and health can praise the Lord.

Sunday, 26 February 2017 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Isaiah 49 : 14-15

But Zion said : “YHVH has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.”

Can a woman forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child of her womb? Yet though she forget, I will never forget you.

Saturday, 25 February 2017 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)
Sirach 17 : 1-13

The Lord created man from the earth and let him return to earth. He settled a fixed time for them and a set number of days, giving them power over everything on earth. He endowed them with a strength like His own, making them in His own image.

He put fear of them in all living things, thus they had mastery over the animals and birds. He endowed them with knowledge; He gave them tongue and eyes, ears and a mind to think with. He filled them with wisdom and knowledge; He taught them good and evil. He put His own eye in their hearts so they would understand the greatness of His works. They will praise His holy Name and relate the magnificence of His creation.

He gave them revealed knowledge as well and handed over to them the Law of life. He established an everlasting covenant with them and let them know His judgments. Human eyes saw the splendour of the Glory of God; their ears heard the grandeur of His voice.

Friday, 24 February 2017 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Sirach 6 : 5-17

A gentle word makes many friends, an agreeable tongue calls forth gracious replies. Let your friends be many; but your counsellors, one in a thousand! If you would gain a friend, begin by testing him and do not put your confidence in him too quickly. For there is the friend who is such when it suits him but he does not remain faithful in the time of your adversity.

There is the friend who becomes an enemy and, to your confusion, makes known why you quarrelled. There is the friend who shares your table but does not remain faithful when things go against you. In times of prosperity he will be like your shadow and he will speak freely to those of your household. But if you are humiliated, he will turn against you and will avoid meeting you.

Distance yourself from your enemies and be careful about your friends. The faithful friend is a secure refuge; whoever has found one has found a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond all price; hold him as priceless. A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, and those who fear the Lord will find one.

Whoever fears the Lord will make true friends for, as a man is, such will his friend be.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Sirach 5 : 1-10 (Greek Septuagint version – Sirach 5 : 1-8)

Do not rely on your wealth. Do not say, “I am self-sufficient.” Do not let yourself be carried away by greed and violence; they would make you their slave.

Do not say, “Who can stop me?” For the Lord has power to punish you. Do not say, “I have sinned and nothing has happened!” For the Lord bides His time.

Do not be so sure of pardon when you are heaping sin upon sin. Do not say, “His compassion is great! He will forgive the vast number of my sins!” For with Him is mercy but also anger; His fury will be poured out on sinners.

Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off from day to day. For suddenly the anger of the Lord will blaze forth and you will perish on the day of reckoning. Do not rely on riches wrongfully acquired for they will be of no use to you on the day of wrath.