First Reading: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
2 When he raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe, the spirit of God came upon him,
3 and he gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
4 The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled:
5 How goodly are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!
6 They are like gardens beside a stream, like the cedars planted by the LORD.
7 His wells shall yield free-flowing waters, he shall have the sea within reach; His king shall rise higher than. . . . and his royalty shall be exalted.
15 Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
16 The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured and with eyes unveiled.
17 I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel, That shall smite the brows of Moab, and the skulls of all the Shuthites.
Psalm: Psalm 25:4-9
4 Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, LORD.
6 Remember your compassion and love, O LORD; for they are ages old.
7 Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me only in light of your love.
8 Good and upright is the LORD, who shows sinners the way,
9 Guides the humble rightly, and teaches the humble the way.
Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27
23 When he had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.
25 Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’
26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.”
27 So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.