December 13, 2021
First Reading: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel encamping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, 3 and he took up his discourse, and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Be’or, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, 4 the oracle of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, but having his eyes uncovered: 5 how fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! 6 Like valleys that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the LORD has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters. 7 Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. 15 And he took up his discourse, and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Be’or, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, 16 the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, but having his eyes uncovered: 17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.
4 Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long. 6 Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD! 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27
23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you a question; and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven or from men?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, `From heaven,’ he will say to us, `Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, `From men,’ we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Reflection for the day: “Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit.” — St. Lucy