|"Suffer the Little Children to Come unto Me " -- by James Tissot|
FIRST READING: Joshua 24: 14 - 29
14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him with a perfect and most sincere heart: and put away the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15 But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
16 And the people answered, and said: God forbid we should leave the Lord, and serve strange gods.
17 The Lord our God he brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: and did very great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way by which we journeyed, and among all the people through whom we passed.
18 And he hath cast out all the nations, the Amorrhite the inhabitant of the land into which we are come. Therefore we will serve the Lord, for he is our God.
19 And Joshua said to the people: You will not be able to serve the Lord: for he is a holy God, and mighty and jealous, and will not forgive your wickedness and sins.
20 If you leave the Lord, and serve strange gods, he will turn, and will afflict you, and will destroy you after all the good he hath done you.
21 And the people said to Joshua: No, it shall not be so as thou sayest, but we will serve the Lord.
22 And Joshua said to the people: You are witnesses, that you yourselves have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they answered: We are witnesses.
23 Now therefore, said he, put away strange gods from among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel.
24 And the people said to Joshua: We will serve the Lord our God, and we will be obedient to his commandments.
25 Joshua therefore on that day made a covenant, and set before the people commandments and judgments in Sichem.
26 And he wrote all these things in the volume of the law of the Lord: and he took a great stone, and set it under the oak that was in the sanctuary of the Lord.
27 And he said to all the people: Behold this stone shall be a testimony unto you, that it hath heard all the words of the Lord, which he hath spoken to you: lest perhaps hereafter you will deny it, and lie to the Lord your God.
28 And he sent the people away every one to their own possession.
29 And after these things Joshua the son of Null the servant of the Lord died, being a hundred and ten years old
PSALM: Psalms 16: 1 - 2, 5, 7 - 8, 11
1 Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put trust in thee.
2 I have said to the Lord, thou art my God, for thou hast no need of my goods.
5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me.
7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me understanding: moreover my reins also have corrected me even till night.
8 I set the Lord always in my sight: for he is at my right hand, that I be not moved.
11 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shalt fill me with joy with thy countenance: at thy right hand are delights even to the end.
GOSPEL: Matthew 19: 13 - 15
13 Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.
15 And when he had imposed hands upon them, he departed from thence.