Readings for Wednesday 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Year 1

First Reading
Nm 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35

They despised the desireable land (Psalm 1076:24).

A reading from the Book of Numbers

The LORD said to Moses [in the desert of Paran,]
   “Send men to reconnoiter the land of Canaan,
   which I am giving the children of Israel.
You shall send one man from each ancestral tribe,
   all of them princes.”

After reconnoitering the land for forty days they returned,
   met Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the children of Israel
   in the desert of Paran at Kadesh,
   made a report to them all,
   and showed the fruit of the country
   to the whole congregation.
They told Moses: “We went into the land to which you sent us.
It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit.
However, the people who are living in the land are fierce,
   and the towns are fortified and very strong.
Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there.
Amalekites live in the region of the Negeb;
   Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites dwell in the highlands,
   and Canaanites along the seacoast and the banks of the Jordan.”

Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said,
   “We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so.”
But the men who had gone up with him said,
   “We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for us.”
So they spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel
   about the land they had scouted, saying,
   “The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants.
And all the people we saw there are huge, veritable giants
   (the Anakim were a race of giants);
   we felt like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them.”

At this, the whole community broke out with loud cries,
   and even in the night the people wailed.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:
   “How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me?
I have heard the grumblings of the children of Israel against me.
Tell them: By my life, says the LORD,
   I will do to you just what I have heard you say.
Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall.
Forty days you spent in scouting the land;
   forty years shall you suffer for your crimes:
   one year for each day.
Thus you will realize what it means to oppose me.
I, the LORD, have sworn to do this
   to all this wicked assembly that conspired against me:
   here in the desert they shall die to the last man.”

Responsorial Psalm
106:6-7ab, 13-14, 21-22, 23

R. :

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

We have sinned, we and our fathers;
   we have committed crimes; we have done wrong.
Our fathers in Egypt
   considered not your wonders.

R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

But soon they forgot his works;
   they waited not for his counsel.
They gave way to craving in the desert
   and tempted God in the wilderness.

R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

They forgot the God who had saved them,
   who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
   terrible things at the Red Sea.

R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Then he spoke of exterminating them,
   but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
   to turn back his destructive wrath.

R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Year 2

First Reading
Jer 31:1-7

With age-old love I have loved you.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

At that time, says the LORD,
   I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel,
   and they shall be my people.
      Thus says the LORD:
The people that escaped the sword
   have found favor in the desert.
As Israel comes forward to be given his rest,
   the LORD appears to him from afar:
With age-old love I have loved you;
   so I have kept my mercy toward you.
Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt,
   O virgin Israel;
Carrying your festive tambourines,
   you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards
   on the mountains of Samaria;
   those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits.
Yes, a day will come when the watchmen
   will call out on Mount Ephraim:
“Rise up, let us go to Zion,
   to the LORD, our God.”

   For thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
   exult at the head of the nations;
   proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
   the remnant of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12ab, 13

R. :

R. (see 10cd) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
   proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
   he guards them as a shepherd his flock.

R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
   he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
   they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings.

R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
   and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
   I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.

R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Gospel Acclamation
Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Mt 15: 21-28

O woman, great is your faith!

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
   “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
   “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
   “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
   “It is not right to take the food of the children
   and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
   that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
   “O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Then he kisses the book, saying quietly:

Through the words of the Gospel
may our sins be wiped away.

Homilies / Gospel Reflections

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