Reading 1, First Samuel 15:16-23
16 Samuel then said to Saul, ‘Stop! Let me tell you what Yahweh said to me last night.’ He said, ‘Go on.’
17 Samuel said, ‘Small as you may be in your own eyes, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh has anointed you as king of Israel.
18 When Yahweh sent you on a mission he said to you, “Go and put those sinners, the Amalekites, under the curse of destruction and make war on them until they are exterminated.”
19 Why then did you not obey Yahweh’s voice? Why did you fall on the booty and do what is wrong in Yahweh’s eyes?’
20 Saul replied to Samuel, ‘But I did obey Yahweh’s voice. I went on the mission which Yahweh gave me; I brought back Agag king of the Amalekites; I put Amalek under the curse of destruction;
21 and from the booty the people have taken the best sheep and cattle of what was under the curse of destruction only to sacrifice them to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.’
22 To which, Samuel said: Is Yahweh pleased by burnt offerings and sacrifices or by obedience to Yahweh’s voice? Truly, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness than the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is a sin of sorcery, presumption a crime of idolatry! ‘Since you have rejected Yahweh’s word, he has rejected you as king.’
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 ‘It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, those burnt offerings constantly before me;
9 I will not accept any bull from your homes, nor a single goat from your folds.
16 But to the wicked, God says: ‘What right have you to recite my statutes, to take my covenant on your lips,
17 when you detest my teaching, and thrust my words behind you?
21 You do this, and am I to say nothing? Do you think that I am really like you? I charge you, indict you to your face.
23 Honour to me is a sacrifice of thanksgiving; to the upright I will show God’s salvation.’
Gospel, Mark 2:18-22
18 John’s disciples and the Pharisees were keeping a fast, when some people came to him and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’
19 Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants cannot fast while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast.
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
22 And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine into fresh skins!’
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