Daily Readings Audio | Daily Meditation | August 26, 2019 – September 1, 2019

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August 26, 2019

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In the first reading, Paul marvels at God’s work in the people of Thessalonica and their conversion to God from idols. In the Gospel, Jesus rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy and blindness

May other see Christ in our words and actions.

Jesus’ words calling out the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy are relevant to us today. It is not always easy to align our words with our actions. But as members of Christ’s Church on earth, we must strive to be his hands and feet in the world and continue the journey of living the Christian life. Let us pray:  Almighty Father, hear our prayers and in your tender mercy, grant them through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 425

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Reading 1 1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace.

We give thanks to God always for all of you,
remembering you in our prayers,
unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love
and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,
before our God and Father,
knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.
For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone,
but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.
You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake.
In every place your faith in God has gone forth,
so that we have no need to say anything.
For they themselves openly declare about us
what sort of reception we had among you,
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God and to await his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead, Jesus,
who delivers us from the coming wrath.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

  1. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    Sing to the LORD a new song
    of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
    Let Israel be glad in their maker,
    let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
    R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
    let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
    For the LORD loves his people,
    and he adorns the lowly with victory.
    R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    Let the faithful exult in glory;
    let them sing for joy upon their couches;
    Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
    This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
    R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
    I know them, and they follow me.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 23:13-22

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.
You do not enter yourselves,
nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You traverse sea and land to make one convert,
and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna
twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say,
‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’
Blind fools, which is greater, the gold,
or the temple that made the gold sacred?
And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’
You blind ones, which is greater, the gift,
or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;
one who swears by the temple swears by it
and by him who dwells in it;
one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God
and by him who is seated on it.”

 

August 27, 2019

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St. Monica

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Saint Paul recounts his ministry to the Thessalonians, during which time he says he and fellow missionaries preached the Gospel with such affection. Jesus speaks harshly against the Pharisees, accusing them of following rules and tithing but without also living holy, merciful lives.

Live and preach the truth of the Gospel.

We are called to not only preach the Gospel, but also to live in a way that demonstrates our faith. Like Paul, we should take care to preach the Gospel out of love for God and others. Conversely, we should not behave like the Pharisees, placing greater importance on outward signs of piety while neglecting the state of our souls. Let us pray: father, we ask you to hear the prayers of your children in the name of Jesus, your Son. Amen.

Memorial of Saint Monica
Lectionary: 426

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Reading 1 1 Thes 2:1-8

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters,
that our reception among you was not without effect.
Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated,
as you know, in Philippi,
we drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed–God is witness–
nor did we seek praise from men,
either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:1-3, 4-6

R.(1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know the whole of it.
Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
too lofty for me to attain.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Alleluia Heb 4:12

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The word of God is living and effective,
    able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 23:23-26

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Monica, please go here.

 

August 28, 2019

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Saint Augustine

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Obligation memorial Augustine, Bishop and doctor of the Church

Saint Paul gives thanks that the people heard the word of God that he preached and that it is active within them. In the Gospel, Jesus once again goes after the Pharisees for being hypocrites, calling them whitewashed tombs.

The word dwells within us and gives us strength.

Our faith is not just a matter of words that we hear, but is built on the living word of God, made flesh, who dwelt among us and now dwells within us. He is what gives us strength in our lives and guides us in walking in a manner worthy of God. Let us pray: Loving God, ever present to us, guide the steps we take. May we be intentional in serving you as we serve others this day. Amen.

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 427

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Reading 1 1 Thes 2:9-13

You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
how devoutly and justly and blamelessly
we behaved toward you believers.
As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and insisting
that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12ab

R.(1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light”–
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.
R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
    the love of God is truly perfected in him.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Augustine, please go here.

 

August 29, 2019

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Obligation memorial The Passion of Saint John the Baptist.

In the first reading, Paul expresses thanksgiving for the faith of the Thessalonians, which has reassured him in his distress; he hopes to visit them soon. In the Gospel, Herodias finds a way to have the imprisoned John the Baptist beheaded by order of her husband, Herod, during his birthday banquet.

Let us encourage and build up the faith of one another.

Like John the Baptist and Paul, who suffered at the hands of God’s enemies, many of us know what it is like to experience evil and affliction. Paul found reassurance through the faith of his brothers and sisters Christ. We, too, can encourage and build up the faith of one another, to endure together during times of darkness and distress. Let us pray: Living God, you conquered evil once and for all through the resurrection of Jesus, your only Son. In your eternal goodness, hear and answer these and all our prayers. Amen.

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lectionary: 428/634

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Reading 1 1 Thes 3:7-13

We have been reassured about you, brothers and sisters,
in our every distress and affliction, through your faith.
For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you,
for all the joy we feel on your account before our God?
Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person
and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.
Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus
direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase
and abound in love for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 90:3-5a, 12-13, 14 and 17

  1. (14) Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
    You turn man back to dust,
    saying, “Return, O children of men.”
    For a thousand years in your sight
    are as yesterday, now that it is past,
    or as a watch of the night.
    R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
    Teach us to number our days aright,
    that we may gain wisdom of heart.
    Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
    R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
    Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
    that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
    And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
    prosper the work of our hands for us!
    Prosper the work of our hands!
    R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Alleluia Mt 5:10

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
    for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

For the readings of the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist, please go here.

 

August 30, 2019

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In today’s first reading, Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to cast off impurity and conduct themselves in holiness, especially in marriage and in choosing of spouses. Jesus’ parable in today’s Gospel tells the story of the ten virgins, half of whom are found ready for the coming bridegroom and half of whom are unprepared. The latter are locked out from the wedding feast, for the bridegroom does not know them.

Let us cast off impurity and conduct ourselves in holiness.

No one likes to wait. But our role as disciples in waiting for Jesus’ second coming is not a passive one. We are to prepare. Just as we would prepare for any other important event in our lives, we are to prepare for the unknown arrival of our bridegroom. And because our preparation has eternal consequences, we should be diligent, cast off impurity and act with holiness. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we await your Son’s arrival with eager expectation. Prepare us to love you and one another with sincerity hearts. Amen.

Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 429

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Reading 1 1 Thes 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God–
and as you are conducting yourselves–
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

This is the will of God, your holiness:
that you refrain from immorality,
that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself
in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion
as do the Gentiles who do not know God;
not to take advantage of or exploit a brother or sister in this matter,
for the Lord is an avenger in all these things,
as we told you before and solemnly affirmed.
For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.
Therefore, whoever disregards this,
disregards not a human being but God,
who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 97:1 and 2b, 5-6, 10, 11-12

R.(12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD loves those who hate evil;
he guards the lives of his faithful ones;
from the hand of the wicked he delivers them.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Alleluia Lk 21:36

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Be vigilant at all times and pray,
    that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

 

August 31, 2019

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Saturday in honor of BVM.

In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul notes the love they have for one another, and urges them to progress even more. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the parables of the talents.

Let us use our gifts for the kingdom.

God has given us all good gifts. We cannot let the fruits and gifts of the Spirit stagnate in our lives but rather, we need to build them up as the two worthy servants built up their silver pieces. Let us pray: Father in heaven, we present these prayers to you, confident you will answer them according to your will. Amen.

Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 430

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Reading 1 1 Thes 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
On the subject of fraternal charity
you have no need for anyone to write you,
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more,
and to aspire to live a tranquil life,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands,
as we instructed you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 7-8, 9

R.(9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Alleluia Jn 13:34

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    I give you a new commandment:
    love one another as I have loved you.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then!  Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

 

September 1, 2019

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 126

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Reading 1 Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs,
and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
Water quenches a flaming fire,
and alms atone for sins.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11

  1. (cf. 11b)  God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
    The just rejoice and exult before God;
    they are glad and rejoice.
    Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
    whose name is the LORD.
    R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
    The father of orphans and the defender of widows
    is God in his holy dwelling.
    God gives a home to the forsaken;
    he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
    R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
    A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
    you restored the land when it languished;
    your flock settled in it;
    in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
    R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

Reading 2 Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Alleluia Mt 11:29ab

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord,
    and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 14:1, 7-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”