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Reading 1, Second Chronicles 24:17-25

17 After Jehoiada's death the officials of Judah came to pay court to the king, and the king listened to their advice,

18 and they abandoned the Temple of Yahweh, God of their ancestors, for the worship of sacred poles and idols. Judah and Jerusalem incurred wrath because of this guilt of theirs.

19 He sent their prophets to lead them back to Yahweh; these put the case against them, but they would not listen.

20 The spirit of God then invested Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said, 'God says this, "Why transgress Yahweh's commands to your certain ruin? For if you abandon Yahweh, he will abandon you."

21 They then plotted against him and, at the king's order, stoned him in the court of the Temple of Yahweh.

22 Thus King Joash, forgetful of the devotion which Jehoiada father of Zechariah had displayed on his behalf, murdered his son, who cried out as he died, 'Yahweh will see this and avenge it!'

23 At the turn of the year, the Aramaean army made war on Joash. When they reached Judah and Jerusalem, they massacred all the nation's government officials and sent all their booty to the king of Damascus.

24 Although the invading Aramaean army was only a small body of men, Yahweh allowed them to defeat a very large army because they had abandoned Yahweh, God of their ancestors; thus they executed judgement on Joash. After they had retired -- for they left him seriously wounded--

25 his own retainers plotted against him to avenge the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest and murdered him in his bed. When he died he was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 89:4-5, 29-30, 31-32, 33-34

4 I have made your dynasty firm for ever, built your throne stable age after age.'Pause

5 The heavens praise your wonders, Yahweh, your constancy in the gathering of your faithful.

30 'Should his descendants desert my law, and not keep to my rulings,

31 should they violate my statutes, and not observe my commandments,

32 'then I shall punish their offences with the rod, their guilt with the whip,

33 but I shall never withdraw from him my faithful love, I shall not belie my constancy.

34 'I shall not violate my covenant, I shall not withdraw the word once spoken.


Gospel, Matthew 6:24-34

24 'No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

25 'That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing!

26 Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are?

27 Can any of you, however much you worry, add one single cubit to your span of life?

28 And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin;

29 yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these.

30 Now if that is how God clothes the wild flowers growing in the field which are there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you who have so little faith?

31 So do not worry; do not say, "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What are we to wear?"

32 It is the gentiles who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.

33 Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God's saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well.

34 So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'



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New Jerusalem Bible

New Jerusalem Bible

The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

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