Daily Bible Reading - February 17, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - February 17, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

Psalter: Week 4 / (Violet)

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 86: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6: Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

1st Reading: Isaiah 58: 9b-14

Then you will call and Yahweh will answer, you will cry and he will say, I am here. If you remove from your midst the yoke, the clenched fist and the wicked word.

If you share your food with the hungry and give relief to the oppressed, then your light will rise in the dark, your night will be like noon.

Yahweh will guide you always and give you relief in desert places. He will strengthen your bones; he will make you as a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; the age-old foundations will be raised. You will be called the Breach-mender, and the Restorer of ruined houses.

If you stop profaning the Sabbath and doing as you please on the holy day, if you call the Sabbath a day of delight and keep sacred Yahweh’s holy day, if you honor it by not going your own way, not doing as you please and not speaking with malice, then you will find happiness in Yahweh, over the heights you will ride triumphantly, and feast joyfully on the inheritance of your father Jacob.

The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

Gospel: Luke 5: 27-32

After this, Jesus went out, and noticing a tax collector named Levi, sitting in the tax-office, he said to him, “Follow me!” So Levi, leaving everything, got up and followed Jesus.

Levi gave a great feast for Jesus, and many tax collectors came to his house, and took their places at the table with the other people. Then the Pharisees and their followers complained to Jesus’ disciples,

“How is it, that you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” But Jesus spoke up, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. have not come to call the just, but sinners, to a change of heart.”

REFLECTION:

“Springtime of the soul.”

There is an Italian saying that says, “La quaresima è la primavera dell’anima,” which can be translated as “Lent is the springtime of the soul.” We are grateful to the Lord that we have Lent each year to remind us of our need for repentance. Today’s Gospel makes it very clear – Jesus came to call sinners to a change of heart.

Levi, also identified as Matthew (cf. Mt. 9:9-13), was called by Jesus while sitting in the tax-office. Tax collectors in Jesus’ time were considered to be public sinners not only because they were Roman collaborators but also because they normally took more than what they had to collect from the people. In short, the people hated the tax collectors.

Nevertheless, Jesus called a tax collector named Levi. Jesus even dined with other tax collectors and public sinners. The self-righteous ones, like the Pharisees, complained about Jesus’ association with them. May we, like Levi, also acknowledge our sickness while allowing Jesus to heal us.

Hence, may this Lent be truly the springtime of our souls.

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