March 22, 2020
First Reading: Hosea 14:2-10
2 Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept that which is good and we will render the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses; and we will say no more, `Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In thee the orphan finds mercy.” 4 I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. 5 I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, he shall strike root as the poplar; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom as the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. 8 O E’phraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress, from me comes your fruit. 9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
Psalm: 81:6-11, 14, 17
5 He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known: 6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. 7 In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Mer’ibah. [Selah] 8 Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me! 9 There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god. 10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. 13 O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! 16 I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.
Reflection for the day: “My beloved Jesus, I will not refuse the cross as Simon did: I accept and embrace it. I accept in particular the death that is destined for me…I unite it to your death and I offer it to You.” — St. Alphonsus Liguori, Stations of the Cross