FIRST READING: Numbers 24: 2 - 7, 15 - 17
2 When he raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe, the spirit of God came upon him,
3 and he gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
4 The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled:
5 How goodly are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!
6 They are like gardens beside a stream, like the cedars planted by the LORD.
7 His wells shall yield free-flowing waters, he shall have the sea within reach; His king shall rise higher than. . . . and his royalty shall be exalted.
15 Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
16 The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured and with eyes unveiled.
17 I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.
PSALM: Psalms 25: 4 – 9
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.
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