Daily Bible Reading - March 1, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

March 1 (Friday)

2ND WEEK OF LENT

Psalter: Week 2 / (Violet)

Day of abstinence from meat (age 14 and up).

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 105: 16-17, 18-19, 20-21: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

1st Reading: Genesis 37: 3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other children, for he was the son of his old age and he had a coat with long sleeves made for him. His brothers who saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, hated him and could no longer speak to him in a friendly way. His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the flock at Shechem; come along, I’ll send you to them.”

So Joseph went off after his brothers and found them at Dothan. They saw him in the distance and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes the specialist in dreams! Now’s the time! Let’s kill him and throw him into a well. We’ll say a wild animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what his dreams were all about!” But Reuben heard this and tried to save him from their hands saying, “Let us not kill him; shed no blood! Throw him in this well in the wilderness, but do him no violence.” This he said to save him from them and take him back to his father.

So as soon as Joseph arrived, they stripped him of his long-sleeved coat that he wore and then took him and threw him in the well. Now the well was empty, without water.

They were sitting for a meal when they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with spices, balm and myrrh, which they were taking down to Egypt. Judah then said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and hiding his blood? Come! We’ll sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother and our own flesh!”

His brothers agreed to this.

So when the Midianite merchants came along they pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the well. For twenty pieces of silver they sold Joseph to the Midianites, who took him with them to Egypt.

Gospel: Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Listen to another example: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press, built a watchtower, leased the vineyard to tenants, and then, went to a distant country.

When harvest time came, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants seized his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.

“Again, the owner sent more servants; but they were treated in the same way.

“Finally, he sent his son, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they thought, ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do with the tenants when he comes?” They said to him, “He will bring those evil men to an evil end, and lease the vineyard to others, who will pay him in due time.” And Jesus replied, “Have you never read what the Scriptures say?

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and we marvel at it. Therefore, I say to you: the kingdom of heaven will be taken from you, and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these parables, they realized that Jesus was referring to them. They would have had him arrested, but they were afraid of the crowd, who regarded him as a prophet.

REFLECTION:

“Everything belongs to God.”

Mindful of the danger of too much self-focus and of the challenge to be more considerate of others, we continue our Lenten journey in this month of March.

The Gospel today reminds us of the fact that everything belongs to God. We are merely stewards of the temporal goods we are enjoying today. God is the true Landowner while we are his tenants. Everything we have in this present life is only borrowed.

One day, we shall surrender everything back to God. Now then, we are called to cultivate in us an attitude of non-appropriation. God’s invitation to surrender everything to him is tantamount to challenging us to be ready to let go of the things that hinder us to grow in freedom as God’s children. When we become overly attached to things, we become unfree.

In the first reading, Joseph was sold by his brothers because they wanted to appropriate for themselves what Jacob has given to the former.

In the end, it was Joseph who was truly free because of not appropriating anything for himself.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

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