First Reading: (Isaiah 1:10, 16-20)
Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen to what our God teaches, you people of Gomorrah. wash, make yourselves clean. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease doing evil.
Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow. ‘Come, let us talk this over,’ says Yahweh. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead — for Yahweh’s mouth has spoken.’
Responsorial Psalm: (Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23)
‘It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, those burnt offerings constantly before me; I will not accept any bull from your homes, nor a single goat from your folds.
But to the wicked, God says: ‘What right have you to recite my statutes, to take my covenant on your lips, when you detest my teaching, and thrust my words behind you?
You do this, and am I to say nothing? Do you think that I am really like you? I charge you, indict you to your face.
Honour to me is a sacrifice of thanksgiving; to the upright I will show God’s salvation.’
Gospel: (Matthew 23:1-12)
Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do and observe what they tell you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practise what they preach.
They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted respectfully in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant.
Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.