Jane Frances de Chantal
1st Reading: Ezk 18:1–10, 13b, 30–32
The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, “Why are you applying this proverb to the land of Israel: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge?’ As I live, word of Yahweh, this proverb will no longer be quoted in Israel. All life is in my hands, the life of the parent and the life of the child are mine. The lives of both are in my hands, so the one who sins will die.
Imagine a man who is righteous and practices what is just and right. He does not eat in the mountain shrines, or look towards the filthy idols of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, or have intercourse with a woman during her period; he molests no one, pays what he owes, does not steal, gives food to the hungry and clothes to the naked, demands no interest on a loan and doesn’t lend for interest, refrains from injustice, practices true justice, man to man, follows my decrees and obeys my laws in acting loyally. Because such a man is truly righteous, he will live, word of Yahweh.
But perhaps this man has a son who steals and sheds blood, committing crimes which his father never did.
Will such a man live? No, he will not! Because he has committed all these abominations he will die: his guilt will fall upon him.
That is why I will judge you, Israel, each one according to his ways, word of Yahweh. Come back, turn away from your offenses, that you may not deserve punishment.
Free yourselves from all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, Israel? I do not want the death of anyone, word of Yahweh, but that you be converted and live!”
Gospel: Matthew 19:13-15
Little children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them with a prayer. But the disciples scolded those who brought them. Jesus then said, “Let them be! Do not stop the children from coming to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to people such as these.” So Jesus laid his hands on them and went his way.
“The children of today are just too soft, they have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for their elders, they talk too much and work too little. Rather than help out around the house, they give everybody orders. They have not even the courtesy to stand up when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, monopolize the conversation in front of guests, have miserable table manners, a slouchy posture and they tyrannize their teachers.” This text is a proof that human nature does not change all that much down the ages: neither in children nor in parents. It was written by Plato about 500 years before Christ!
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