Reading 1, 1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10
1 Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonica which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace.
2 We always thank God for you all, mentioning you in our prayers continually.
3 We remember before our God and Father how active is the faith, how unsparing the love, how persevering the hope which you have from our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 We know, brothers loved by God, that you have been chosen,
5 because our gospel came to you not only in words, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with great effect. And you observed the sort of life we lived when we were with you, which was for your sake.
8 since it was from you that the word of the Lord rang out -- and not only throughout Macedonia and Achaia, for your faith in God has spread everywhere. We do not need to tell other people about it:
9 other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with the worship of false gods when you were converted to God and became servants of the living and true God;
10 and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven. It is he who saves us from the Retribution which is coming.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in the assembly of the faithful!
2 Israel shall rejoice in its Maker, the children of Zion delight in their king;
3 they shall dance in praise of his name, play to him on tambourines and harp!
4 For Yahweh loves his people, he will crown the humble with salvation.
5 The faithful exult in glory, shout for joy as they worship him,
6 praising God to the heights with their voices, a two-edged sword in their hands,
9 to execute on them the judgement passed -- to the honour of all his faithful.
Gospel, Mt 23:13-22
13 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of Heaven in people's faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go who want to.
15 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and anyone who becomes one you make twice as fit for hell as you are.
16 'Alas for you, blind guides! You say, "If anyone swears by the Temple, it has no force; but anyone who swears by the gold of the Temple is bound."
17 Fools and blind! For which is of greater value, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?
18 Again, "If anyone swears by the altar it has no force; but anyone who swears by the offering on the altar, is bound."
19 You blind men! For which is of greater worth, the offering or the altar that makes the offering sacred?
20 Therefore, someone who swears by the altar is swearing by that and by everything on it.
21 And someone who swears by the Temple is swearing by that and by the One who dwells in it.
22 And someone who swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is seated there.