The Word This Week

“Repent, and believe the good news!”

clyde1-e1461609161706Where does Jesus begin his ministry? Where John the Baptist left off – preaching a message of repentance, of change, to welcome the new Kingdom of God. There is a simplicity about this message, which is not compromised by anything – today’s Gospel has these simple words from Jesus, and then the story of his calling disciples to follow him and share in the work of spreading the Good News. Repentance has something of a bad press – we tend to think of it as an old-fashioned concept. But every age needs to hear this call: to look and look again at what we do and say and assume, and see again that there are such things as right and wrong, and that sometimes we need an about turn. To follow Jesus, and to accept the Kingship of God, demands that we make a radical choice, which may well change our lives.

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 3)

Jonah 3: 1–5, 10

The people of Nineveh renounce their evil behaviour.

Response: Psalm 24

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my saviour.

Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me,
because of your goodness, O Lord.

The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
he guides the humble in the right path;
he teaches his way to the poor.

1 Corinthians 7: 29 – 31

The world as we know it is passing away.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
The kingdom of God is close at hand; believe the Good News.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Mark 1: 14–20

Repent, and believe the Good News.
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, teach us your paths

Take a look at Today’s readings

The Word This Week

1503383_10151762820946650_236536935_nHere we enter a new stage of Advent: having spent so much time on the Second Coming, now we look back, to remember the details of the Lord’s First Coming. We turn our focus to Mary, and hear of the angel Gabriel inviting her to take her part in the mystery of the Incarnation, the revelation of the mystery kept secret for endless ages. This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing in the first reading how David is to establish that house: He wishes to build a ‘house for the Lord’; through the prophet he is told it is not a bricks-and-mortar house that he will build, but the House which is his line. Eventually, in Mary (betrothed to Joseph) the House of David does itself become the house of the Lord, the womb wherein he has a dwelling place.

The Word This Week

The Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost. 

There is a subversive humour in today’s Gospel which turns upside down the conventions of everyday life: we see a senior tax official climbing up a tree for a glimpse of Jesus, and the faintly ridiculous scene where Jesus stops, looks into the branches of the sycamore and says, “Zacchaeus, come down!” Did Zacchaeus worry about what people thought? The rest of the story shows that he did not. It would be easy to laugh at little Zacchaeus – and people in the town probably did, in between muttering about his extortionate taxes. And yet he has understood the message of God more clearly than others: he reveals the meaning of the first reading, since he understands that God is gentle, merciful and loving. Jesus corrects him, “little by little…so that he may abstain from evil and trust in the Lord.”

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 3)

Wisdom 11: 22 – 12: 2
You are merciful to all because you love all that exists.
Response: Psalm 144.

I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat your blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God

The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

2 Thessalonians 1: 11 – 2: 2
The name of Christ will be glorified in you and you in him.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
Blessings on he King who comes,
In the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven
And glory in the highest heavens!
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Luke 19: 1 – 10

Today, salvation has come to this house.

Prayer of the Faithful:
R/. Lord, raise up all who are bowed down.

The Word This Week

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: (Psalter: Week 3)

Habakkuk 1: 2–3; 2: 2–4.
The upright man will live by his faithfulness..
Response:   Psalm 94
Come, ring out our joy to the Lord,
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the lord.
Come in; let us kneel and bend low;

let us kneel before the God who made us
for he is our God and we //
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert //
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.’

2 Timothy 1: 6 – 8, 13 – 14.
Never be ashamed of witnessing the Lord.
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
Speak Lord, your servant is listening: you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Luke 17:5–19
If only you had faith!

Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Hear our prayer

The Word this Week

This week’s Gospel passage is chosen because it tells what happened today, eight days after Easter: Jesus comes again to his disciples. The story of Thomas’ doubt and faith leads us to think about our doubts and faith but always in the context of being part of the family of the Church. Remember last week and the renewal of our own baptismal promises: this is the faith of the Church, the faith in which we are baptised.

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 2)

Acts 5: 12 – 16
The numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily.
Response: Psalm 117
Let the sons of Israel say:/
‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:/
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’

The stone which the builders rejected/
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord/
a marvel in our eye.
This day was made by the Lord:
We rejoice and are glad.

O Lord grant us salvation;
O Lord grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord/
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;/
the Lord God is our light.

Apocalypse 1: 9 – 13, 17 – 19
I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!.
Jesus said, ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe’.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

John 20: 19 – 31
Eight days later, Jesus came.
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Risen Lord, pour out your Spirit.

The Word This Week

“Like Elijah and Elisha,
Jesus is not sent only to the People of God.”

Last week, when Jesus spoke in the synagogue, his words pleased the crowd – as we hear at the beginning of today’s Gospel. How quickly the mood changes! This story shows very clearly that Jesus was not a “crowdpleaser” – he wasn’t interested in saying the right things to be popular or accepted. He was interested in the truth – which is the basic definition of a prophet – whatever the personal cost. So today, when Jesus points out that salvation is not just for the Chosen People, or even just the people of Nazareth, they reject the message and the messenger. Just like Jeremiah, when he was called to be a prophet (first reading), Jesus has to confront the land: they will fight with him, but not overcome him.

Today’s Scripture (Psalter: Week 4)
Jeremiah 1: 4 – 5. 17 – 19
I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.
Response: Psalm 70.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still.

1 Corinthians 12: 31 – 13:13
There are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The Lord sent me to bring Good News to the poor,
and freedom to prisoners
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Luke 4: 21 – 30
Like Elijah and Elisha, Jesus is not sent to only the People of God
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, pay heed and save us.

The Word This Week

“Listen! You are to conceive and bear a Son”

Visitación_de_Rafael
The Visitation (c. 1517) by Raphael, Museo del Prado

Its only in this last week before Christmas that we begin to hear about the Christmas story itself. For the past weeks we have been preparing ourselves to greet the Lord, when he comes. Now we prepare to remember how he first came, by listening to the prophecies of his coming, and by hearing of the events before his birth. We meet the woman, Mary, who herself had been prepared for the coming of the Messiah. She has received the angels greeting, and his strange news, and has accepted her role in Gods plan. Now she hurries to her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who herself bears John the Baptist in her womb. John, just as we heard last week, alerts us to the presence of the Lord, as he leaps for joy in his mothers womb. His joy is that God has kept his promise, and is with his people

Today’s Scripture (Psalter: Week 4)

Micah 5: 1–4
Out of you will be born the one who is to rule over Israel.

Response: Psalm 79
O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might,
O Lord, come to our help.

God of hosts, turn again, we implore,
look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
the vine your right hand has planted.

May your hand be on the man you have chosen,
the man you have given your strength.
And we shall never forsake you again:
give us life that we may call upon your name.

Hebrews 10: 5 – 10
Here I am! I am coming to obey your will.
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
I am the handmaid of the Lord:
Let what you have said be done to me. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Luke 1: 39 – 44

Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord!

Prayer of the Fathful

R/. Oh Lord, come to our help