Today's mass reading from the Bible March/18/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Daniel 13: 41 - 62

41 but she refused to tell us. We testify to this." The assembly believed them, since they were elders and judges of the people, and they condemned her to death.
42 But Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be:
43 you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me."
44 The Lord heard her prayer.
45 As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
46 and he cried aloud: "I will have no part in the death of this woman."
47 All the people turned and asked him, "What is this you are saying?"
48 He stood in their midst and continued, "Are you such fools, O Israelites! To condemn a woman of Israel without examination and without clear evidence?
49 Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her."
50 Then all the people returned in haste. To Daniel the elders said, "Come, sit with us and inform us, since God has given you the prestige of old age."
51 But he replied, "Separate these two far from one another that I may examine them."
52 After they were separated one from the other, he called one of them and said: "How you have grown evil with age! Now have your past sins come to term:
53 passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says, "The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.'
54 Now, then, if you were a witness, tell me under what tree you saw them together."
55 "Under a mastic tree," he answered. "Your fine lie has cost you your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him and split you in two."
56 Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought. "Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah," Daniel said to him, "beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.
57 This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel, and in their fear they yielded to you; but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
58 Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together."
59 "Under an oak," he said. "Your fine lie has cost you also your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two so as to make an end of you both."
60 The whole assembly cried aloud, blessing God who saves those that hope in him.
61 They rose up against the two elders, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury. According to the law of Moses, they inflicted on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
62 they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

Psalms 23: 1 - 6

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Gospel Reading: John 8: 12 - 20

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
13 The Pharisees then said to him, "You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true."
14 Jesus answered, "Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I have come and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I come or whither I am going.
15 You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.
16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.
17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true;
18 I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me."
19 They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also."
20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.


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