|"Suffer the Little Children to Come unto Me" -- by James Tissot|
FIRST READING: Ezekiel 18: 1 - 10, 13, 30 - 32
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: What is the meaning?
2 That you use among you this parable as a proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge.
3 As I live, saith the Lord God, this parable shall be no more to you a proverb in Israel.
4 Behold all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, the same shall die.
5 And if a man be just, and do judgment and justice,
6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel: and hath not defiled his neighbour's wife, nor come near to a menstruous woman:
7 And hath not wronged any man: but hath restored the pledge to the debtor, hath taken nothing away by violence: hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment:
8 Hath not lent upon usury, nor taken any increase: hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, and hath executed true judgment between man and man:
9 Hath walked in my commandments, and kept my judgments, to do truth: he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.
10 And if he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that hath done some one of these things:
13 That giveth upon usury, and that taketh an increase: shall such a one live? he shall not live. Seeing he hath done all these detestable things, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him.
30 Therefore will I judge every man according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart, and a new spirit: and why will you die, O house of Israel?
32 For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, return ye and live.
PSALM: Psalms 51: 12 - 15, 18 - 19
12 Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
13 Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
14 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.
15 I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
18 For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted.
19 A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
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.