December 14, 2021
First Reading: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13
1 Woe to her that is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! 2 She listens to no voice, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God. 9 “Yea, at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering. 11 On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. 12 For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, 13 those who are left in Israel; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall pasture and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”
Psalm: 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and be glad. 5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 16 The face of the LORD is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. 22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, `I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. 30 And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.”
Reflection for the day: “A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God . When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.” — St. John of the Cross