First Reading | Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Sin can be institutionalized. When this happens, sin becomes part of the social fabric of the society. This is a serious problem. Let us be vigilant in working against sin and making a stand for justice and truth. May we fight the enemy and be God’s ally in the battle against sin.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah! 16 Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes. Cease doing evil, 17 learn to do good. Make justice your aim, redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, and defend the widow. 18 Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord. Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool. 19 If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; 20 but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!
Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
R: To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
8 “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always. 9 I take from your house no bullock, no goats out of your fold.” (R) 16 “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, 17 though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?” (R) 21 “When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes. 23 He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.” (R)
Gospel | Matthew 23:1-12
We are no better than the scribes and Pharisees if we tolerate sin no matter how small it is. God is holy and just. He wants to abolish sin from our lives, and we must allow Him to do this during the Lenten season. There is nothing more important than to grow in holiness. Let us get rid of sin and be true friends of God.
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the Lord, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
1 Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. 5 All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, 7 greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ 8 As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. 10 Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.