Liturgy Alive

The liturgical calendar 2020

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Description

Sunday September 19

 

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

  1. Who Is the Greatest?
  2. And A Child Shall Lead Them

 

Greeting (see Responsorial Psalm)

We have God for our help.
The Lord upholds our life.
May the Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.

 

Introduction by the Celebrant

  1. Who Is the Greatest?

“We are the greatest, the mightiest, the strongest nation on earth,” say the politicians. “I am the greatest of all time,” says the boxer. “I am the boss, and you do what I say,” says the manager. “I am stronger than you,” says the schoolboy. “Anyone who wants to be first must make himself or herself the last and the servant of all,” says Jesus. Jesus asks us, “What do you say?”

 

  1. And A Child Shall Lead Them

We, parents particularly, all know how defenseless and fragile children are. That is why God loves children very much, as Jesus showed us in his whole life. Jesus tells us even how we have to become like children, not that we have to become childish but that like children we must be spontaneous, open and simple. Children do not ask for their due; they expect things from others and they accept everything as a gift. In the same way we must be open to the gifts of God and of people. People are God's gift to us too. Children symbolize the beginning of life; so everything should be ahead for us, too, and we go forward with Jesus as our guide.

 

Penitential Act

  1. Who Is the Greatest?

Too often the urge to dominate others is strong
and we are not ready to serve people.
We ask the Lord and people to forgive us.
                        (pause)
Lord Jesus, you humbled yourself
and became like the least of us:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you were born a little child
and became obedient to your parents:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you took our sins upon yourself
and served the Father and us to the end.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord,
and forgive us when we are pretentious.
Make us servants with you
and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

 

  1. And a Child Shall Lead Them

Let us ask forgiveness from the Lord
that too often we are self-satisfied
and expect very little from him.
                        (pause)
Lord Jesus, you loved little children
and you blessed them:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you tell us
that unless we become open and receptive like children
we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, in little children
and in all that who are weak and fragile
we welcome you and your Father:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord,
forgive us our pretensions, pride and self-assurance
and lead us forward in hope to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

 

Opening Prayer

  1. Who Is the Greatest?

Let us ask the Lord
for the gift of knowing how to serve
                        (pause)

God, giver of all good gifts,
give us the ambition to belong
among the last and the least
as people who know how to serve,
generously and without condescension,
the people around us,
especially all who are little and brittle.
We ask this through him
who made himself the servant of all,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen

 

  1. And a Child Shall Lead Them

Let us pray to God our Father
that he may welcome us into his kingdom
                        (pause)
God our Father,
you tenderly stoop down to us,
fallible and limited people,
and your preference goes to children,
to the weak and the humble.
Help us to accept your good news
with the receptive attitude of children.
And give us also eyes of admiration
to see the mystery of your greatness and love,
that the kingdom of heaven may be ours.
Grant us this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

First Reading: The Upright Person Is Contested

The faith of the just is a silent accusation against those of little or no faith. This is why they are ridiculed or persecuted.

Reading 1: WIS 2:12, 17-20

The wicked say:
Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.

 

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 54:3-4, 5, 6 AND 8

(6b) The Lord upholds my life.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.
R. The Lord upholds my life.

 

Second Reading: The True Christian Is a Peacemaker

How much peace there would be if Christians did not give in to the evil in their hearts.

Reading 2: JAS 3:16—4:3

Beloved:
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice. 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity. 
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from? 
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members? 
You covet but do not possess. 
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war. 
You do not possess because you do not ask. 
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

 

Alleluia: 2 THES 2:14

Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel: The Child as Model

Who is the greatest? In God’s kingdom it is the little ones!

Gospel: MK 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” 
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?” 
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest. 
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

 

Intercessions

Like Jesus, by loving them and praying for them, let us place in our midst the poor, the humble and all who serve, and let us say:

R/ Lord, in you we trust.

–   For those who are the greatest in the Church, that they may serve with great dedication and without looking down on them the weakest, the poorest, those wounded in life, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, in you we trust.

–   For the mighty of this earth, that they may care about the rights, the dignity and well-being of especially the lowliest people under their charge, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, in you we trust.

–   For people working in social welfare institutions, that they may provide shelter and much love for orphans and rejected or abandoned children, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, in you we trust.

–   For those who work in lowly jobs shunned by others, for those who have unhealthy and dangerous tasks, for those who care for the old and the handicapped, that we may appreciate them and that the Lord may help them, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, in you we trust.

–   For the leaders in our Christian communities, that they may serve the unity of all and make our parishes and neighborhoods places of welcome and acceptance for all, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, in you we trust.

Father, make us servants with Jesus that you may welcome us into your kingdom. Accept us in Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Prayer over the Gifts

With these gifts of bread and wine
we open ourselves, God our Father,
to your own gifts of life and growth
which you offer us in Jesus Christ.
May the bread of life he gives us
help us to grow up to his full maturity,
and may we give ourselves without calculation
to you and to one another
with the fresh simplicity of a child.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

All we have, all we are is a free gift from God. We are dependent on him. Let us thank the Father through the offering of this Eucharist.

 

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

As God’s children,
we pray with the fullest trust
the prayer taught us by Jesus: R/ Our Father...

 

Deliver Us

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
for we know that we live in your hands.
Make us aware of our littleness
and of how much we are dependent
upon you and one another.
Keep us from all anxiety
and help us to grow in freedom
and responsibility for our lives
and for one another,
as we prepare in hope and joy
the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

 

Invitation to Communion

This is Jesus our Lord,
who wanted the poor and the little ones
to come to him with trusting faith.
Happy are we to receive him. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

 

Prayer after Communion

Loving Father,
no one is greater than you,
yet you have made yourself small
and near to us in our weakness
in your Son Jesus Christ
here in this Eucharist
and in every day life.
Give us the attitude of Jesus Christ,
self-effacing and respectful
before you and one another
in trust, hope and joy.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Blessing

Those among us who are parents or teachers
love their children and try their best
to teach them all what is right and good.
But let us also learn from our children
to be spontaneous and trusting
towards God and one another,
admiring and grateful,
and expecting all that is good.
May God keep you in his love and bless you:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

 

Let us go with one another

the simple way of God’s love. R/ Thanks be to God.

 

Commentary

 

The greatest is the one who most resembles Christ

"The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men.” What a beautiful image of love – God the lover throws himself into the hands of his beloved, even if it would involve rejection, torture and killing. The lover has no other way to express all his love than to throw himself into the arms of a loved one. This is what God has done: he turned himself into the hands of people, knowing fully well that they would do to him what they wanted.

The disciples are not able to understand this love of the Lord. How to comprehend the defeat and even the death of the Messiah? They are unable to accept the scandal of the passion of the Messiah. Still, they continue to follow him to Jerusalem, but of course with dreams as opposed to those of Jesus. Centuries later, although with greater understandings of the Mission and the words of Jesus, unfortunately we continue to maintain similar aspirations of the disciples of Jesus and fight with one another for recognition, acceptance and power, positions and prestige.

Our Christian vocation calls us to be at the service of others. But we are tempted today by a “service” which is in reality, “self-serving”. Jesus asks us to care for one another out of love. It is a personal invitation: “Whoever would be first among you must be the last, and the servant of all”. This criterion is for personal evaluation and not to judge someone else. Jesus did not say : “If your neighbour wants to be first, let him be the servant!” We have to be careful to avoid judgmental looks.

Pope Francis during his apostolic visit to Cuba in September 2015, had said: “This caring for others out of love means, putting the question of our brothers and sisters at the centre. Service always looks to their faces, touches their flesh, senses their closeness and even, in some cases, “suffers” that closeness and tries to help them. Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people.”

Jesus had asked his disciples, "What were you discussing on the way?" (v. 33). The church is not a stepping-stone to get to positions of prestige, to emerge, to gain control over others. It is the place where everyone complies with the gifts he/she has received from God, celebrates their greatness in humble service to others. In God's eyes, the greatest is the one who most resembles Christ, who is the servant of all (Lk22:27).

Do I have resentments, jealousies, conflicts, kept in my heart? What consequences do they bring to my personal life, to my family, to my community?

 

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Liturgical Calendar 2020
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