Baruch - Chapter 6
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1 'Because of the sins which you have committed before God you are to be deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of the Babylonians.
2 Once you have reached Babylon you will stay there for many years, as long as seven generations; after which I shall bring you home in peace.
11 when they have been dressed in purple cloaks, their faces have to be dusted, because of the temple dust which settles thick on them.
17 Just as the doors are locked on all sides on someone who has offended a king and is under sentence of death, so the priests secure the temples of these gods with gates and bolts and bars for fear of burglary.
18 They light more lamps for them than they do for themselves, and the gods see none of them.
19 They are like one of the temple beams, which are said to be gnawed away from within; the termites creep out of the ground and eat them and their clothes too, and they feel nothing.
23 'The gold with which they are parading their futility before the world is supposed to make them look beautiful, but if someone does not rub off the tarnish, these gods will not be shining much on their own, and even while they were being cast, they felt nothing.
24 However much was paid for them, there is still no breath of life in them.
27 Whatever is sacrificed to them, the priests re-sell and pocket the profit; while their wives salt down part of it, but give nothing to the poor or to the helpless. As to the sacrifices themselves, why, women during their periods and women in childbed are not afraid to touch them!
34 equally incapable of distributing wealth or money. If anyone fails to honour a vow he has made to them, they cannot call him to account.
38 These wooden gods overlaid with gold and silver are about as much use as rocks cut out of the mountain side. Their worshippers will be confounded!
43 when one of these has been picked up by a passer-by and been to bed with him, she then gloats over her neighbour for not having been thought as worthy as herself and for not having had her string broken.
48 If war or disasters befall them, the priests discuss where best to hide themselves and these gods;
49 how can anyone fail to realise that they are not gods, if they cannot save themselves from war or from disasters?
50 And since they are only made of wood overlaid with gold or silver, it will later become apparent that they are spurious; it will be obvious to everyone, to nations as to kings, that they are not gods but the work of human hands, and that there is no divine activity in them.
54 If fire falls on the temple of these wooden gods overlaid with gold or silver, their priests fly to safety while they for their part stay there like beams, to be burnt.
57 'These wooden gods overlaid with gold or silver cannot evade thieves or marauders; strong men may rob them of their gold and silver and make off with the robes they are dressed in; yet they are powerless to help even themselves.
58 Better to be a king displaying his prowess, a household pot of use to its owner, than to be these counterfeit gods; or merely the door of a house, protecting what is inside, than these counterfeit gods; or a wooden pillar in a palace than these counterfeit gods.
61 the clouds execute the order God gives them to pass over the whole earth, and the fire, sent from above to consume mountain and forest, carries out its orders.
63 So, no one can think or say that they are gods, powerless as they are to administer justice or to do anyone any good.
66 nor produce signs in heaven for the nations, nor shine like the sun, nor shed light like the moon.
71 From the purple and linen rotting on their backs you can tell that they are not gods; and in the end, eaten away, they will be the dishonour of the country.
72 Better, then, someone upright who has no idols; dishonour will never come near him.'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
Gospel, Matthew 16:13-19
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