Quote of the Week
The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.
4th Sunday of Lent
4th of March 2018
First Reading/ Josh 7: 10-13
Listen to the Book of Josh: Barikh-Mar.
Yahweh said to Joshua, ‘Stand up! Why are you lying prostrate like this? Israel has sinned; they have violated the covenant which I imposed on them. They have gone so far as to take what was under the curse of destruction, they have even stolen it; they have actually hidden it; they have put it in their baggage. That is why the Israelites cannot stand up to their foes, why they have turned tail on their enemies: because they have come under the curse of destruction themselves. Unless you get rid of the object among you which has been put under the curse of destruction, I shall be with you no longer.’ ‘Get up, sanctify the people and say, “Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, since Yahweh, the God of Israel, declares: The curse of destruction has now fallen on you, Israel; you will not be able to stand up to your enemies, until you have rid yourselves of that object which has been put under the curse of destruction…Amen.
Second Reading/ Rom 8: 12- 19
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.
So then, my brothers, we have no obligation to human nature to be dominated by it. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the habits originating in the body, you will have life. All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God; for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share his suffering, so as to share his glory. In my estimation, all that we suffer in the present time is nothing in comparison with the glory which is destined to be disclosed for us, for the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed.
The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.
Third Reading/ Gospel Mt 21: 23 – 46
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew:
When he had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So, they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things. “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.
“Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again, he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. The one who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.]” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
P: Glory be to God forever…All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord.