FIRST READING: Sirach 48: 1 - 14
1 Then came the prophet Elijah like a fire, his words a burning torch.
2 He brought a famine on the people and in his zealous love had them reduced in number.
3 Speaking in the name of the Lord he closed the heavens, and on three occasions called down fire.
4 How marvelous you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Who could ever boast of being your equal?
5 By the word of the Most High you brought a dead man back to life;
6 you brought kings to destruction and thrust famous men from their beds.
7 You heard a rebuke at Sinai and sentences of punishment at Horeb;
8 you anointed kings to be avengers and prophets to succeed you.
9 You were taken up by a whirlwind of flames in a chariot drawn by fiery horses.
10 It was written that you should be the one to calm God's anger in the future before it broke out in fury, to turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
11 Happy are those who will see you and those who die in love, for we too shall live.
12 Such was Elijah, taken up in a whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit.
During his life no leader could shake him, no one dominated him.
13 Nothing was too difficult for him and even in death his body prophesied.
14 In life he worked wonders, in death his deeds were amazing.
PSALM: Psalms 97: 1 - 7
1 The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad.
2 Clouds and darkness surround him; justice and right are his throne.
3 Fire goes before him, burning his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world; the earth watches and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his justice, all peoples see his glory.
7 Shame on worshipers of idols, on those proud of their worthless images. Let all spirits bow before him..
GOSPEL: Matthew 6: 7 - 15
7 When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do, for they hold that the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard.
8 Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask him.
9 This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, holy be your name,
10 your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
11 Give us today the kind of bread we need.
12 Forgive us our debts just as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
13 Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from the evil one.
14 If you forgive others their wrongs, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours.
15 If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either.