First Reading: Joel 2:12-18
12 . Now, therefore, the Lord says: “Be converted to me with your whole heart, in fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13 . And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and convert to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and merciful, patient and full of compassion, and steadfast despite ill will.
14 . Who knows if he might convert and forgive, and bequeath a blessing after him, a sacrifice and a libation to the Lord your God?
15 . Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call an assembly.
16 . Gather the people, sanctify the church, unite the elders, gather together the little ones and infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom depart from his bed, and the bride from her bridal chamber.
17 . Between the vestibule and the altar, the priests, the ministers of the Lord, will weep, and they will say: “Spare, O Lord, spare your people. And do not bequeath your inheritance into disgrace, so that the nations would rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ”
18 . The Lord has been zealous for his land, and he has spared his people.
Psalm: Psalms 51:3-6b,12-14,17
3 . Be merciful to me, O God, according to your great mercy. And, according to the plentitude of your compassion, wipe out my iniquity.
4 . Wash me once again from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
5 . For I know my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me.
6 ab. Against you only have I sinned, and I have done evil before your eyes
12 . Create a clean heart in me, O God. And renew an upright spirit within my inmost being.
13 . Do not cast me away from your face; and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
14 . Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and confirm me with an unsurpassed spirit.
17 . O Lord, you will open my lips, and my mouth will announce your praise.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
20 . Brothers and Sisters: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, so that God is exhorting through us. We beseech you for Christ: be reconciled to God.
21 . For God made him who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the justice of God in him.
1 . But, as a help to you, we exhort you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
2 . For he says: “In a favorable time, I heeded you; and on the day of salvation, I helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
1 . “Pay attention, lest you perform your justice before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you shall not have a reward with your Father, who is in heaven.
2 . Therefore, when you give alms, do not choose to sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the towns, so that they may be honored by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
3 . But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 . so that your almsgiving may be in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.
5 . And when you pray, you should not be like the hypocrites, who love standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets to pray, so that they may be seen by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 . But you, when you pray, enter into your room, and having shut the door, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.
16 . And when you fast, do not choose to become gloomy, like the hypocrites. For they alter their faces, so that their fasting may be apparent to men. Amen I say to you, that they have received their reward.
17 . But as for you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 . so that your fasting will not be apparent to men, but to your Father, who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.
February 17, 2010
Psalter: Week IV