First Reading: (Sirach 5:1-8)
Do not put your confidence in your money or say, ‘With this I am self-sufficient.’ Do not be led by your appetites and energy to follow the passions of your heart.
And do not say, ‘Who has authority over me?’ for the Lord will certainly give you your deserts. Do not say, ‘I have sinned, but what harm has befallen me?’ for the Lord’s forbearance is long. Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin.
And do not say, ‘His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins’; for with him are both mercy and retribution, and his anger does not pass from sinners. Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, and on the day of punishment you will be utterly destroyed.
Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster.
Responsorial Psalm: (Psalms 1:1-2, 3-4, 6)
How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread,
nor a seat in company with cynics, but who delights in the law of Yahweh and murmurs his law day and night.
Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds.
How different the wicked, how different! Just like chaff blown around by the wind the wicked will not stand firm at the Judgement nor sinners in the gathering of the upright.
For Yahweh watches over the path of the upright, but the path of the wicked is doomed.
‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, then in truth I tell you, he will most certainly not lose his reward. ‘But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone hung round his neck.
And if your hand should be your downfall, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that can never be put out. And if your foot should be your downfall, cut it off; it is better for you enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
And if your eye should be your downfall, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm will never die nor their fire be put out.
For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you make it salty again?
Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’