FIRST READING: Ezekiel 18: 21 - 28
21 "But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
24 But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die.
25 "Yet you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die.
27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life.
28 Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
PSALM: Psalms 130: 1 - 8
1 Out of the depths I cry to thee, O LORD!
2 Lord, hear my voice! Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
3 If thou, O LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
GOSPEL: Matthew 5: 20 - 26
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'
22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.