Daily Catholic Readings – November 23, 2023
33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Psalter: Week 1
Readings of the Day
|Reading 1||1 Maccabees 2:15-29|
|Response||To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.|
|Gospel||Luke 19:41-44|Readings 1
1 Maccabees 2:15-29
15 Then the king’s officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Mo′de-in to make them offer sacrifice. 16 Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathi′as and his sons were assembled. 17 Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathi′as as follows: “You are a leader, honored and great in this city, and supported by sons and brothers. 18 Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and many gifts.” 19 But Mattathi′as answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, 20 yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. 21 Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. 22 We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.” 23 When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Mo′de-in, according to the king’s command. 24 When Mattathi′as saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar. 25 At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. 26 Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phin′ehas did against Zimri the son of Salu. 27 Then Mattathi′as cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” 28 And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. 29 Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there.
Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15 (R. 23bc)
R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.
The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Sion, the perfection of beauty,
God is shining forth. R/.
“Gather my holy ones to me,
who made covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The heavens proclaim his justice,
for he, God, is the judge. R/.
Give your praise as a sacrifice to God,
and fulfil your vows to the Most High.
Then call on me in the day of distress.
I will deliver you and you shall honour me.R/.
See Psalm 95:7d, 8a
V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia
V/. Today harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord.
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. No doubt that the city and temple of Jerusalem are icons of glory and pride for their people. But this glory and greatness cannot save them, they fail to be receptive and cooperative to God’s grace.
All the exterior splendour, pomp and name cannot condone and make good for their lack of receptivity and cooperation. God in His mercy has come to visit His people and save them through His only Son Jesus.
He shows them the ways of peace and urges them to walk these ways. He immolates himself for their sake. He bails himself out as ransom in order to purchase them back. But they do not recognize God’s visitation. They become obstinate and refuse to adhere to Jesus. This deeply anguishes the loving heart of Jesus who cries out bitter tears.
God continues to weep over us and the whole of humanity. His heart languishes looking at how man prides himself in the external displays and glories. He is deeply pained by how man seeks vain pleasures.
He is agonized at how man willingly renders himself in the hands of the enemies. True to Jesus’ words in the gospel passage, the “enemies surround him with barricades, shut him in and press on him on every side. And they will dash him and his children to the ground. They will not leave a stone upon a stone within his manmade kingdom”. How truly today’s man is bound in manifold ways!