Reading 1, Second Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-35, 36

9 on hearing that Tirhakah king of Cush was on his way to attack him.

10 Sennacherib again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 'Tell Hezekiah king of Judah this, "Do not let your God on whom you are relying deceive you with the promise: Jerusalem will not fall into the king of Assyria's clutches.

11 You have learnt by now what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries, devoting them to destruction. Are you likely to be saved?

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers' hands and read it; he then went up to the Temple of Yahweh and spread it out before Yahweh.

15 Hezekiah said this prayer in the presence of Yahweh, 'Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, enthroned on the winged creatures, you alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world, you made heaven and earth.

16 Give ear, Yahweh, and listen; open your eyes, Yahweh, and see! Hear the words of Sennacherib, who has sent to insult the living God.

17 It is true, Yahweh, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations,

18 they have thrown their gods on the fire, for these were not gods but human artefacts -- wood and stone -- and hence they have destroyed them.

19 But now, Yahweh our God, save us from his clutches, I beg you, and let all the kingdoms of the world know that you alone are God, Yahweh.'

20 Isaiah son of Amoz then sent the following message to Hezekiah, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "I have heard the prayer which you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria."

21 Here is the pronouncement which Yahweh has made about him: "She despises you, she scorns you, the virgin daughter of Zion; she tosses her head at you, the daughter of Jerusalem!

31 for a remnant will issue from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. Yahweh Sabaoth's jealous love will accomplish this.

32 "This, then, is what Yahweh says about the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city, will shoot no arrow at it, confront it with no shield, throw up no earthwork against it.

33 By the road by which he came, by that he will return; he will not enter this city, declares Yahweh.

34 I shall protect this city and save it for my sake and my servant David's sake." '

35 That same night the angel of Yahweh went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. In the early morning when it was time to get up, there they lay, so many corpses.

36 Sennacherib struck camp and left; he returned home and stayed in Nineveh.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 48:2-3, 3-4, 10-11

2 towering in beauty, the joy of the whole world: Mount Zion in the heart of the north, the settlement of the great king;

3 God himself among its palaces has proved himself its bulwark.

4 For look, kings made alliance, together they advanced;

10 Both your name and your praise, God, are over the whole wide world. Your right hand is full of saving justice,

11 Mount Zion rejoices, the daughters of Judah delight because of your saving justice.

Gospel, Matthew 7:6, 12-14

6 'Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.

12 'So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.

13 'Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it;

14 but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.