The Word This Week

Following on from last week (“You cannot be the slave of both God and money”) we see a practical illustration of what this means. The division between rich and poor was very striking at the time of Jesus: popular understanding, however, said that to be rich was a blessing from God. Jesus reminds people that riches carry their own responsibility – the duty to notice the poor man, especially when he lies at your own gate. In this parable, Jesus is subtly attacking the people’s lack of acceptance of the teaching of the prophets – “They have Moses and the prophets…”, but they obviously haven’t listened to them. The twist in the last line is powerful: “…they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.” Since our world still sees a division between rich and poor, how true those words have become!

Today’s Scripture
Amos 6: 1, 4–7
Response: Psalm 145.
It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down.
It is the Lord who loves the just,
the Lord, who protects the stranger.

He upholds the widow and orphan
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion’s God, from age to age.

(Sung Antiphon: My soul, give praise to the Lord.)

1 Timothy 6: 11 – 16
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Jesus Christ was rich,
but became poor for your sake,
to make you rich out of his poverty.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Luke: 16: 19 – 31.
Prayer of the Faithful:
R/. Lord, keep faith for ever.

The Word This Week

The message of God’s forgiveness is one that we are familiar with, but which the Lord still wishes to emphasise. Our human approach to forgiveness is so often flawed – we hold grudges, erect barriers, make demands and establish conditions. Jesus wants to remind his listeners – and us – that God’s forgiveness is overflowing and bountiful. Saint Paul was well aware of this: he had persecuted the Church, calling himself “the greatest of sinners”; and yet, thanks to the “inexhaustible patience” of God, he can count himself a believer. We must be open to the gift of forgiveness for ourselves, and also (as the Parable of the Elder Brother shows) open to that forgiveness offered to other whom we would condemn.

Today’s Scripture

Exodus 32: 7 – 11, 13 – 14
Response: Psalm 50.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness,
in your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
My sacrifice is a contrite spirit;
a humble, contrite heart you will not spurn.
(Sung Antiphon: I will leave this place and go to my father.)

1 Timothy 1: 12 – 17
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,
and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 15: 1 – 32
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, have mercy.