First Reading : (Hebrews 5:1-10)
Every high priest is taken from among human beings and is appointed to act on their behalf in relationships with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or who have gone astray, because he too is subject to the limitations of weakness.
That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron’s case. And so it was not Christ who gave himself the glory of becoming high priest, but the one who said to him: You are my Son, today I have fathered you, and in another text: You are a priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.
During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence, he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.
Responsorial Psalm :(Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4)
Yahweh declared to my Lord, “Take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool.”
Yahweh will stretch out the sceptre of your power; from Zion you will rule your foes all around you.
Royal dignity has been yours from the day of your birth, sacred honour from the womb, from the dawn of your youth.
Yahweh has sworn an oath he will never retract, you are a priest for ever of the order of Melchizedek.
Gospel: (Mark 2:18-22)
John’s disciples and the Pharisees were keeping a fast, when some people came to him and said to him, “Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”
Jesus replied, “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants cannot fast while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine into fresh skins!”