Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Sunday October 25

THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

1. God in People
2. You Will Be Known by Your Love

Greeting (See Second Reading)

We have become imitators of the Lord
and it was with the joy of the Spirit
that we accepted the Gospel;
we have become servants of the real, living God.
May Jesus, the Lord we expect, be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction
1. God in People
Do we love God? Of course, we say; what a queer question! Is it really so self-evident that we love God with our whole heart and soul and mind? There is a good test of our love of God: How patient are you with your cranky husband or wife? Can you forgive the former friend who cheated you in an important deal? Can you still love the neighbor who unjustly brought you to court about the boundary of your property? Your neighbor is the visible shape of the invisible God. Ask Jesus in this Eucharist to recognize him in your neighbor.

2. You Will Be Known by Your Love
Do people say of our Christian communities today what they said about the first Christians, “See how the love one another”? How different our world would be if we had put into practice a love like that of God and the first Christians! Christian love, the one with which we love God and people and ourselves is a love that has God as its source and force. It is this love which Jesus teaches us and asks of us here in this Eucharist.

Penitential Act

It is difficult to love God in people.
Let us ask the Lord and people
to forgive us where we have failed.
(pause)
The child in the slums was you, Lord,
and we did not love you:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
The shy alien living among us is you, Lord,
and we have not learned to love you:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
The family around the corner
that has failed to repay its debts is you, Lord,
and it is difficult to love them:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
In your great mercy, forgive us, Lord,
and help us to love you in people.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer

Let us pray that our love of God
may become real and tangible
in our love of our neighbor
(pause)
God, you display your almighty power
in loving us without regret.
In the human heart of Jesus your Son
you have shown us how far love can go.
Give us a love that is forgiving,
generous and gentle like his,
that we may recognize and welcome him
in our brothers and sisters.
And may our hearts reach out first
to the poorest and the least lovable,
with the gratuitous love you have given us
in Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

First Reading: Love the Poor in the Name of the Covenant

In the name of the covenant, God’s people are asked to do the same for the poor as God has done for his people: show love to strangers, widows and orphans, to people with debts.

Reading 1 Ex 22:20-26

Thus says the LORD:
"You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry.
My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword;
then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.
"If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people,
you shall not act like an extortion toward him
by demanding interest from him.
If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge,
you shall return it to him before sunset;
for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body.
What else has he to sleep in?
If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

R. (2) I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD lives and blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

Second Reading: Faith Is Contagious

The faith of the Christians of Saloniki is a model to all who believe and inspires other communities. For genuine faith is contagious.

Reading 2 1 Thes 1:5c-10

Brothers and sisters:
You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake.
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord,
receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit,
so that you became a model for all the believers
in Macedonia and in Achaia.
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth
not only in Macedonia and in Achaia,
but in every place your faith in God has gone forth,
so that we have no need to say anything.
For they themselves openly declare about us
what sort of reception we had among you,
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God
and to await his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead,
Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.

Alleluia Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Above All: Love

Jesus makes love of neighbor the sign of the love of God. What matters above all is love of God and of people.

Gospel Mt 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Commentary

Love Is a Decision
I was "sixteen going on seventeen" when I first "fell in love." Maura was my seatmate on the three-hour bus ride to Lough Derg in the northern part of Ireland. It is one of the few ancient places of penance remaining in the world today. People go there to spend three days fasting, without sleep and walking barefoot on the penitential paths of sharp stones.
The very moment Maura sat beside me I felt, as I had never felt before, a tingling excitement in my body and person. The bus trip seemed to take only a few short minutes. During the next few days we did everything we possibly could together. While others complained later about the sharpness of the stones, the lack of sleep and food, we giggled and did not seem to know what they were talking about because we were having such a good time. Falling in love is a wonderful thing. It is wonderful to be drawn out of self-consciousness to desire and to feel desired and valued and wanted by another human being. But "falling in love" is not "being in love." "Falling in love" is a feeling that has a biological basis; it is part of the normal attraction of the sexes. The feeling of love is a temporary thing and it will die there if there is not a decision to love, a will to love.
One of the great insights that have come to us from the Marriage Encounter is that love is a decision not a feeling. Husbands and wives vow to love one another in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, until death parts them. This is a decision, not a feeling. True love means to love even during a time when there are no more feelings, or even negative feelings.
Dr. Scott Peck defines love as, "the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth" (A Road Less Traveled, p. 85). I like this definition because it shows that love is a decision in the will to extend oneself. It is therefore going to cost something; it is going to make one have to go beyond one's natural lazy self. Then this definition includes self-love with love for another. Since I am human and you are human, to love means to love myself as well as you. We are incapable of loving another unless we love ourselves. If my stretching to love you is destructive, not just painful to me, then it is not true love.
When Jesus was asked in today's Gospel which was the greatest - of the more than 600 laws that the Pharisees had - he answered, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbor as yourself." In this he was not talking about feelings but about a decision to be totally for God and then totally for the good of one's neighbor as one should be for one's own good.
When we pray our mantra or prayer word in Christian meditation or in centering prayer, we are observing this first commandment and also the first commandment of the Mosaic Law, "I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before me." Often when we come to prayer we are asking God to give us our false gods of Success, Power, Prestige and Possessions. We often desire warm feeling and feelings of spiritual success or power or prestige. In wordless silence we ask nothing. We will to be with God who is truth. As we do this, God's light will show up the selfishness and falseness that is in us and in our relationships to ourselves and to others. It will call on us to see reality as it really is and to decide to be for ourselves and for others in the most up building possible way.
Often people, who make a seminar or retreat, fall in love with God. This is a wonderful feeling as was my feeling for Maura, my first love. This thrill and intoxication can lead people to promise to do extraordinary things for the Lord. But it is not true love, tested love. Tested love is a love that does not dry up when the well runs dry. It is a decision to be for the Lord in good times and in bad. It needs to be supported by a prayer form that is a decision to be for and with the one we love now and forever.

Intercessions

Let us pray to our kind and merciful God that his love for us may animate all we do and that our love may become contagious. Let us say:
R/ Lord, make us instruments of your love.

– That the Church, the People of God, may never cease to proclaim by its teaching, life and liturgy that love of God and neighbor is the heart of the Gospel and that people are God’s gift to us, let us pray:
R/ Lord, make us instruments of your love.
– That people may not lose their hearts in today’s economic systems of profit, efficiency, production and competition, but that they may keep giving first place to human relationships of friendship and respect, let us pray:
R/ Lord, make us instruments of your love.
– That we may have room in our hearts and homes for refugees and strangers, that we may learn to share our goods and ourselves with the little people loved by God – the poor and the lonely and those who suffer, let us pray:
R/ Lord, make us instruments of your love.
– That those who don’t know how to forgive, those who have not experienced much happiness in life or whose longings have not been fulfilled may encounter a bit of God’s goodness in our attention and care, let us pray:
R/ Lord, make us instruments of your love.
– That in our Christian communities we may uplift one another rather than tear down, accept each other with trust and affection, forgive one another from the heart and go forward together in hope and love, let us pray:
R/ Lord, make us instruments of your love.

Our gentle God, help us to love you and one another with your measure, that is, without measure, in Christ Jesus our Lord. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father,
in this Eucharist we remember
how Jesus your Son gave himself
with a love without measure,
going all the way through suffering and death.
Make our love creative, like his,
that we too may not break the crushed reed
nor put out the smoldering wick
but lift up the weak
and sustain one another in hope.
Let this be our answer to your love,
by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

In this Eucharist we remember how Jesus sacrificed himself for us because he loved us without limits. Let us thank the Father for this love and offer him our willingness to live for him and for people.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

We know that the Father loves us
and so we pray to him
Jesus’ prayer of trust. R/ Our Father...

Deliver Us

Deliver us Lord, from the coldness of sin
which refuses to warm up
to you and our neighbor.
Keep us free from pride
which looks down on others.
Banish all envy and hatred from among us,
and bind us together in your love,
that we may prepare in hope and joy
for the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

Invitation to Communion

This is Jesus the Lord, who said:
Love the Lord your God
with your whole heart and soul;
love one another as I have loved you.
By this love people will know
that you are my disciples. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion

God our Father,
you have satisfied our hunger for love
by giving us your Son Jesus Christ.
Following his example, let us send no one away empty,
exclude no one, classify no one,
build no walls around ourselves or others.
Let our happiness not be complete
as long as our brothers and sisters suffer.
Help us to take all the risks of love,
for it is not so much our love we want to give
but yours, which became visible
in Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Blessing

In this Eucharist we have experienced
God’s love for us.
Now that he has warmed us with his love,
may we let its glow shine
on those around us,
with the blessing of almighty God:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Go, and love one another as the Lord has loved you. R/ Thanks be to God.

Follow The Way of Love

Monday October 26

Monday of 30th Week of Ordinary Time

FOLLOW THE WAY OF LOVE

Introduction

Ephesians speaks of the qualities of love, as a response to the love shown us in Christ. By living in love we also imitate God. As Christians we are light and should live as children of light.
The stooped woman whom Jesus cured is just one sample of his love. Again, the legalists protest because Jesus cured a sick person on the Sabbath. Jesus appeals to their common sense. The Sabbath is a day of God, a day on which we remember the goodness of God and thank him for his love. Isn’t the day of the Lord the best day on which we can pass on the love of the Lord to one another and create one another anew?

Opening Prayer

God our Father,
we come to you in all humility
as we acknowledge to you that we have failed
and now seek your forgiveness.
Straighten us, Lord, lift us up,
recreate us anew,
and fill us with your love
Make us lift up one another
and give thanks to you,
our merciful and living God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reading 1 EPH 4:32–5:8

Brothers and sisters:
Be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among holy ones,
no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place,
but instead, thanksgiving.
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person,
that is, an idolater,
has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with empty arguments,
for because of these things
the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
So do not be associated with them.
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.

Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (see Eph. 5:1) Behave like God as his very dear children.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Behave like God as his very dear children.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Behave like God as his very dear children.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Behave like God as his very dear children.

Alleluia JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
"Woman, you are set free of your infirmity."
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
"There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day."
The Lord said to him in reply, "Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?"
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

Commentary

Borderline conduct! Paul today is not speaking to unbelievers but to the community of faith. He is clearly advising them against compromising their commitment by dabbling in the type of conduct that they should abhor. It is charity, compassion, and forgiveness that are to be the mainstays of their daily lives. Immorality, impurity, and greed should not even be part of their conversation. Since they are a people of thanksgiving to God for benefits received, this posture should dominate their comportment. They are to live as children of light.
There is real wisdom here. Even though we would not want to betray our inheritance in Christ, there are moments in all our lives, especially in conversations with others, when we treat virtue lightly and indulge in conversations that are in no way helpful. It is not always easy to maintain our sense of values in what we say. The more we engage in talk of immoral conduct, the greater is the danger. In this regard we should be especially mindful of the good name of other people and not damage it by our remarks, which, even though truthful, may still be hurtful.
In today’s Gospel Jesus acts on behalf of the deformed woman before being asked. It is that type of response we would all like to have in the face of difficult situations. We may pray with the psalmist today to be like the trees planted near running water, which yield abundant fruit in due season.

Points to Ponder

Avoiding hurtful conversation
Respecting the good name of others
Taking the initiative for good

Intercessions

– That Christians everywhere may not be men and women of legalisms and outward observances, but people with a heart who do what they can for one another because they are God’s children, we pray:
– That we may be reliable friends to those marked by suffering in any form; that we may lighten their burdens and help them trust in God and in people, we pray:
– That the Eucharistic celebration on Sundays may be to all our Christian communities a source of great joy as we deeply encounter the Lord as a spring of strength to follow, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father,
in these signs of bread and wine
we offer you our grateful and admiring love
as a gift of pleasing fragrance.
Free us from our infirmities,
help us to stand up in your presence
as your sons and daughters,
who know that you love us
and who communicate that love
to all whom we meet.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Prayer after Communion

God our Father,
through the presence of your Son
you have doubled our happiness
and lessened our miseries.
Let him give us in this Eucharist
the joy of sharing with one another
your own joy and goodness.
May we be present to one another,
as you are present to us
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing

On the day of the Lord we intercede as mediators for the great needs of the Church, of the world, and of people in need. It is nice to pray for these Intercessions, but may the Lord inspire and empower us to do something effective to relieve these needs, whether on the Lord’s day or any day, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The listing of the twelve

Wednesday October 28

Simon and Jude, Apostles

THE LISTING OF THE TWELVE

Introduction

Little is known about these apostles. The nickname “Zealot” probably indicates the Simon had been among the anti-Roman activists before he became an apostle. Jude, brother of James and also called Thaddeus, asked Jesus after the Last Supper how Jesus could show himself to the world as Messiah without using force. Jesus answered him that the believers would accept him because of his love.

Opening Prayer

Lord our God,
as we celebrate your apostles Simon and Jude,
we remember how your Son could build his Church
on weak and fallible people
and make these its firm foundations.
We pray with your Son
that our faith may remain unshaken
in your Church and in those who lead it.
As they struggle and grope,
let your Spirit fill them
with his wisdom and his fire.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Reading 1 Eph 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:2-3, 4-5

(5a) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Alleluia – See Te Deum

Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 6:12-16

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Commentary

Jesus prays all through the night in the hills and then calls his own by name to him. Simon and Jude are chosen among the twelve. We know that Simon was called a zealot-one who was passionate about the coming of the messiah and the kingdom of God in justice for the people. Whether he belonged to the Zealot party (that was sometimes violent in attacking the Romans, engaged in subversive activities) or not, he is remembered for his strength in wanting God’s kingdom to come into the world. And then there is Jude, the son of James-really Judas, the same as the one who betrayed Jesus but this one remained faithful. Both died martyrs deaths after they came in the power of the Spirit to know the courage of the cross and allegiance to Jesus. Not much else is known about them except that they were from the beginning two of those who brought the good news to the poor. We too by our baptisms and confirmation have been called by name to walk with Jesus and to share the good news to the poor. Jesus has prayed for our faithfulness, our freedom and our obedience. Let us remember whose company we belong to and pray for one another.
– – – – – – – – – – –
These could be the patrons of all anonymous people. Both of them have difficulty even in getting their names remembered! Simon is chiefly know as not Simon Peter! The gospel writers themselves call him by different names: Luke calls him “Simon the Zealot,” Matthew and Mark call him “Simon the Canaanite.” Nothing more that that is recorded of him! It’s a slim CV! His companion Jude is likewise almost anonymous. There is difficulty about his name too: John calls him “Judas—not the Iscariot!” Luke calls him “Jude the brother of James,” Matthew calls him “Thaddeus.” Nothing is said of him in any of the gospels except that he asked a question, “Lord, what is all this about?” (Jn 14:22). The rest is silence. A New Testament letter bears his name, but scholars think it extremely unlikely that he wrote it.
Their egos left no trace— like the flight of birds in the sky. They are the patrons of the vast majority of all the Christians who have ever lived. There is a lot to be said for silence and anonymity: they can give depth. Without Simon and Jude the New Testament would be poorer; it would be all light and little shade. We might not so easily see ourselves in it.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Both of them, Simon and Jude, have difficulty even in getting their names remembered! Simon is chiefly known as not Simon Peter! The gospel writers themselves call him by different names: Luke calls him “Simon the Zealot,” Matthew and Mark call him “Simon the Canaanite.” Nothing more that that is recorded of him! It is a slim CV! His companion Jude is likewise almost anonymous. There is difficulty about his name too: John calls him “Judas – not the Iscariot!” Luke calls him “Jude the brother of James,” Matthew calls him “Thaddeus.” Nothing is said of him in any of the gospels except that he asked a question, “Lord, what is all this about?” (Jn 14:22). The rest is silence. A New Testament letter bears his name, but scholars think it extremely unlikely that he wrote it. Beautiful! Their egos left no trace – like the flight of birds in the sky. They are the patrons of the vast majority of all the Christians who have ever lived. They are your personal patrons every time someone asks, “What’s your name again?”

Intercessions

– For the pope, that he may lead the Church in faith, wisdom and mercy, we pray:
– For our bishops, that united with the pope they may see and attend to the great needs of the Church in our day, we pray:
– For those who are afraid to answer the call of God to follow Christ to serve the people of God, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord our God,
in the name of Jesus, your Son,
your ministers and people offer to you
the memorial of his death and resurrection.
Let us, sinful as we are, be your holy people,
that we may bear witness to your name
and be a believable sign to all
that your Son lives
and that you are our mighty God and Father,
now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion

Holy God and Father,
to us, your people on the way,
you have let your Son speak to us
his uplifting, inspiring word
and give us his food of strength.
Renew your Church in its leaders and members,
that we may live as we believe
and raise in our world a prophetic voice
that speaks with credibility
of justice, truth and unity.
May thus the world believe in your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing

Jesus entrusts his own mission to weak and fallible human hand. “Entrusts,” for he trusts them enough. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can do God’s work. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Christian Marriage

Tuesday October 27

Tuesday of 30th Week of Ordinary Time

CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

Introduction

Each sacrament is a sharing in the paschal mystery of Christ, a dying and rising in the new life of Christ. So is marriage. Genuine love in marriage is a reflection of Christ’s love – with each partner living the life of Christ, dying to selfishness, rising to deeper, creative and serving love. Ephesians says that the marriage covenant reflects the love of God for his people and at the same time the love of Christ for his Church. Then, under the influence of the socio-cultural thinking and structures of his time, he continues to draw a parallel between Christ as head of his Church and the husband as the head of his wife and the family, a parallel which is hard to accept in contemporary thought.
The kingdom of God must grow among us, like a seed growing into a tree, like flour transformed into bread by the yeast. But growth means change and going ahead, marching forward, and this cannot happen without change and saying goodbye to the past and even to the present, to walk forward in hope toward the future. This brings the pain of separation, of giving up something familiar, but also the joy of knowing that we are on the way with the Lord.

Opening Prayer

Lord God,
source and model of all love,
you cause the paths of life
of men and women to cross
and to discover one another
as partners in life.
May their love be genuine and creative
and strong enough to survive
the differences and trials
that are part of life.
Let it be patient, understanding,
forgiving and lasting,
as is the love that you have shown us
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reading 1 EPH 5:21-33

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.

Responsorial Psalm PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
You have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 13:18-21

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and 'the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'"
Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened."

Commentary

Today’s passage from Ephesians is often seen as disregarding the equal dignity of the woman in marriage. But that fails to take account of the passage as a whole. There is indeed a subordination present, but it is mutual, equally binding on both parties. Humility and lowliness are part of the Christian ethic as a whole and are therefore applicable to both man and woman in marriage. If the wife is told to be submissive to the husband as the church is to Christ, by the same token the husband is told to love the wife as does Christ the church. And on Christ’s part, that love carried him even to death for the sake of his beloved. In Paul’s teaching there is no sparing the husband. Mutual love is always humble on both sides.
From small beginnings come great things. The kingdom of God in full growth will indeed be impressive. In our present state, we await the full expression of God’s reign. Our interim efforts on behalf of the church should look toward unity and docility. There is no issue faced by our sister churches today that is not in some way present in our Catholic ranks as well. Prayer and dialogue are necessary as we serenely ask for God’s guidance.
Many marriages fail because of a lack of mutual submission. Husband and wife must listen to each other and together seek solutions to common problems. There is an inestimable witness given by the marriage that lasts for many years. It shows a willingness to find common solutions and to be patient in the face of human weakness. This is the way in which Christ deals with his church.

Points to Ponder

Mutual submission in marriage
The Christ-church image
The growth of the kingdom

Intercessions

– For the Church, the bride of Christ, that she may always be faithful to the message of the gospel and the liberating love of Christ, we pray:
– For homes built on unselfish love, that through them we may understand better all the depth of God’s love, we pray:
– For the young preparing for marriage, that they may learn from life that the depth and beauty of love rest on generosity and sharing, we pray;

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord our God,
bread tastes good
and wine rejoices
when they are shared
as signs of friendship and love.
Break for us the bread of life
and pour for us the wine of happiness
of Jesus, your Son,
that your people may bear together
the burdens of life
and share its joys
by the strength of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Our God and Father,
you have renewed in this Eucharist
your covenant of love with your people.
In the name of this covenant we ask of you:
let all love among us
and the union of marriage
between husbands and wives
reflect a bit the tender warmth,
the respect and the inventive ways
of your love for us.
Keep loving us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing

Marriage is a great mystery of love. Love is not mere sentiment, not just feeling, but the giving of oneself. It is patterned after the love of Christ, who gave himself and did not measure his love. He simply gave himself to us. May our married couples also give themselves to one another and to their children, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I must be on my way

Thursday October 29

Thursday of 30th Week of Ordinary Time

I MUST BE ON MY WAY

Introduction

Ephesians tells us in the words of Paul how he was boldly and confidently facing the powers of evil. Paul is in prison for the gospel. He asks his Christians to pray that he may have the courage to speak out for the gospel and he himself prompts the faithful to stand strong in the face of evil.
Jesus is warned by apparently sympathetic Pharisees that Herod may kill him. Jesus replies that he has already faced evil spirits and will continue on his way to Jerusalem, – “I must continue on my way” where death awaits him “today, tomorrow, and the next day,” that is, soon. Are we people marked by courage? Let us pray to the Lord for strength.

Opening Prayer

Lord God,
to have an aim, a purpose,
a sure destiny to go to,
even at the cost of sacrifice and pain,
is very reassuring in all its uncertainty.
Keep us going on our way in faith and trust,
without fear or hesitation,
for we are sure that nothing can harm us
and that no prison made by human hands or minds
can deprive us from the inner freedom
which you have given us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reading 1 Eph 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the Devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood
but with the principalities, with the powers,
with the world rulers of this present darkness,
with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day
and, having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
With all prayer and supplication,
pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.
To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication
for all the holy ones and also for me,
that speech may be given me to open my mouth,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel
for which I am an ambassador in chains,
so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10

(1b) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia See Lk 19:38; 2:14

Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Commentary

The author of Ephesians uses military imagery to describe the Christian state of preparedness to deal with the present conflict. The struggle is not with human powers but the full array of evil. This includes supernatural powers and the evil rulers of the present time.
Only with the armor of God are we able to cope. Our loins must be girded in the truth; righteousness as our breastplate. Our feet, well shod in footwear suitable for preachers of the gospel of peace. We bear the helmet of our salvation; our sword, the word of God. In addition, our prayers must go up for the whole community and for Paul to have a boldness of speech to proclaim the gospel, for which he is currently an ambassador in chains.
With the apostle, we too pray for the courage to speak. The ministry of Jesus was characterized by the compassion and understanding of today’s Gospel. But he also spoke unhesitatingly the gospel of conversion in the presence of hardness of heart. Conviction does not back off in the face of hostility. We must always speak the truth in love. Religious leaders in Jerusalem refused his call to conversion. They were then left to reap the results of their hostility.
Compassion and understanding are not to be confused with a laissez-faire attitude. We show the greatest love for another when we speak the truth in love. Our words may sometimes hurt as they prod the conscience. But they are only spoken because we care. If the wayward person sees our genuine concern, our words may prove fruitful indeed.

Points to Ponder

Our need for moral strength
Boldness is speaking the “gospel of peace”
Jesus’ concern for Jerusalem

Intentions

– For all who are persecuted for their faith, that Jesus may give them the strength to remain faithful, we pray:
– For couples whose roads in marriage passes through difficult moments, that their love may not fail, we pray:
– For all of us, that through questions, doubts and difficulties God may help our faith grow, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord our God,
your Son Jesus accepted
to go all the way to his destiny
of suffering and death
because he believed in your love.
By this bread and this wine
keep us believing in your victory
over evil and death
and let them become for us
the source of strength and courage
in our struggle for all that is good.
We ask you this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Lord our God,
we overcome evil with your Son
when we opt for integrity and truth,
for patience and forgiveness.
Keep us going on our way
And strengthen in us the conviction
that the reality of evil and sin
within us and in the world
can never be victorious,
for all that is good cannot die
since your Son rose from the dead,
and he is our Lord for ever.

Blessing

We must be on our way with the Lord, consistently, even in the difficulties of life. We know our goal: love of God and of people, and nothing should stop us. We know we are in the hands of God. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.