The Word This Week

It’s probably a nightmare we all share to some degree or other – being locked out of the house, the sales, the big match, or missing the train, the boat or plane. Contemplating watching the crowds that have got inside, while we can do nothing, can be unnerving. Complacency can leave us in this situation: today the Lord warns all who listen to him to be careful, taking nothing for granted, but making sure that we are (spiritually at least) like the people waiting with their sleeping bags and thermos flasks by the front door of the ticket office.

Today’s Scripture

Isaiah 66: 18 – 21
Response: Psalm 116
O praise the Lord, all you nations,
acclaim him all you peoples!
Strong is his love for us;
he is faithful for ever
(Sung Antiphon: Alleluia, alleluia!)

Hebrews 12: 5 – 7. 11 – 13

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord;
no one can come to the Father except through me.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 13: 22 – 30.
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Faithful Lord, hear us.

The Word This Week

When we consider the Christian life, we often think in positive terms: peace, light, joy, goodness, life. And yet, as the Scriptures remind us today, that Christian life must be lived in the midst of a world which is filled with more negative terms: division, distress, cruelty and death. The words of the Gospel may appear shocking to us: Jesus says that he comes to bring “division, not peace”, and this seems totally contrary to the message of the Gospel! And yet, Jesus is not announcing his desire – of course he wants peace, not division – but showing his understanding of the world in which we live. He is inviting us to weigh up the cost of the Kingdom, a cost he was willing to embrace: as the second reading tells us: “… Jesus, for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, endured the cross…” Whatever weighs us down, let us endure and persevere, so that the fire of God’s love may blaze over the whole earth!

Today’s Scripture
Jeremiah 38: 4 – 6, 8 – 10
Response: Psalm 39.
I waited, I waited for the Lord
and he stooped down to me;
he heard my cry.

He drew me from the deadly pit,
from the miry clay.
He set my feet upon a rock
and made my footsteps firm.

He put a new song into my mouth,
praise of our God.
Many shall see and fear
and shall trust in the Lord.

As for me, wretched and poor,
the Lord thinks of me.
You are my rescuer, my help.
O God, do not delay.
(sung antiphon: Lord, come to my aid.)

Hebrews 12: 1 – 4
Acclamation to the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Open our heart, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 12: 49 – 53
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, hear our cry.

The Word This Week

Vigilance: we wait for glory or ruin, salvation or disaster. This is the choice that faces the Christian each and every day, as we wait for the Lord to return, as he promised he would. We often live our lives leaving such things to a distant, shadowy future – like the person who is going to fix that faulty lock or window-frame, but in the end doesn’t get round to it before the burglar comes. The lamps of our lives should be lit and shining, filled to the brim with the oil of prayer and charity, singing the hymns of the fathers as we wait for the Master to return.

Today’s Scripture
Wisdom 18: 6 – 9
Response: Psalm 32
Ring out your joy to the Lord. O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his own.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love.
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
The Lord is our help and our shield.
May your love be upon us, O Lord.
as we place all our hope in you.

Hebrews 11: 1–2, 8–12
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Stay awake and stand ready,
because you do not know the hour
when the Son of Man is coming.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 12: 35 – 40
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. May your love be upon us, O Lord

The Word This Week

Rembrandt - Parable of the Rich Man
Rembrandt – Parable of the Rich Man

Today’s Scripture

Ecclesiastes 1: 2; 2: 21 – 23
Response: Psalm 91
You turn men back into dust and say: “Go back, sons of men.”
To your eyes a thousand years are like /
yesterday, come and gone, no more than a watch in the night.
You sweep men away like a dream,
like grass which springs up in the morning. In the morning it springs up and flowers; by evening it withers and fades.
Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? Show pity to your servants.
In the morning, fill us with your love; We shall exult and rejoice all our days. Let the favour of the Lord be upon us; Give success to the work of our hands.

Colossians 3: 1 – 5, 9 – 11
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! How happy are the poor in spirit; Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 12: 13 – 21
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, fill us with your love.