Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,
Welcome to Catholic Mass Readings in Biblemsg.com. We are on the March 17, 2023 in the 3rd Friday of Lent. Today’s Mass readings and reflection on Hosea 14:1-9; Mark 12:28b-34. In our daily reflection today, the Main theme is The best offering!
Main Theme of the Day: The Best offering!
Table of Contents
|First Reading||Hosea 14:1-9|
|Gospel Reading||Mark 12:28b-34|
Catholic Daily Mass Readings
Thus says the Lord:
2. Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.
3. Take with you words, and return to the LORD; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
4. Assyria will not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount; We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.”
5. I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them.
6. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
7. and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
8. Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
9. Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. “I am like a verdant cypress tree”– Because of me you bear fruit!
10. Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.
Psalm 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
Response: I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
Mark 12: 28-34
28. One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
29. Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!
30. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
31. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32. The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’
33. And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34. And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Catholic Homily for Today
Focus: God’s love is everlasting and abounding. In response to this, we need to repent and return. Then we will experience the immensity of His blessings
1. Offerings and sacrifices are part of the worship of every religion. The purpose is not to appease or placate God. It is not a barter system where there is an exchange between prayers-offerings and favours-blessings
2. Today the gospel makes it clear that there is something more worth than burnt offerings and sacrifices. It is love, which is twofold, for God and others. This does not mean that rituals and offerings are not important or not needed
3. This only means that this two-pronged love is the highest priority. This is the greatest and first commandment. Nothing else can dominate or substitute this priority. Further, this also implies that all our offerings and ceremonies must be oriented to manifest and foster this double path of love
4. The more our religious practices become channels of love for God and others, the more they become worth. Loving God is not just following a commandment. It is a fitting response to God’s own loving us. God loves us so much and cares for us so much. Even though we defect from Him and collapse, He does not reject or abandon us
5. As soon as we repent and return to Him, He forgives all our iniquities. Not only that. He will bless us doubly with prosperity and joy. If our loving God becomes an act of gratitude and response to God loving us, our loving others is the expression and effect of loving God
6. In fact, these two are not separate or opposites. Love for God is the foundation and spring for love for others. Love for others is the outflow and authentication of love for God
Direction: We will be wise to integrate love for God and love for others. Faith and charity are two sides of the same coin. One cannot be complete without the other
Hope you had a good experience reading the catholic reflection for the day. With another inspiring message we shall meet in the next post. Stay Tuned in Biblemsg.com Thank You.