Vol: 43, No.12 3RD SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( C) January 24 2016  
O Sing a new song to the Lord! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. In his presence are majesty and splendour, strength and honour in his holy place. (Ps 95:1, 6)

Prejudice and narrow-mindedness are the opposites of fairness and equality. Human beings have always dealt with fellow human beings unfairly in its long history. Prejudices and narrow-mindedness held sway at all times in one way or another. The following traits can be noticed almost universally: one religious group against another, one ethnic group against another, one cultural and language group against another, rich and powerful nations against the poor and the less powerful nations, and the list can go on and on. Jesus stood against such mentality because his mission was to establish a society based on love, justice and peace. The Jews of his time thought that God would favour them no matter what they did. This led them to despise others. Do we also have the same mentality as the Jewish people? Are we also prejudiced against our brothers and sisters? (Pause)

I confess to almighty God/....
Glory to God in the highest...
Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Ezra, the priest reads and explains the Law of God in an open square where everyone can hear and understand).
A reading from the Book of Nehemiah

Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could under-stand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden pulpit which they had made for the purpose. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy
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