Liturgy Alive

The liturgical calendar 2020

Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

  1. Let Prophets Speak; Listen to Them
  2. Someone from Down Our Street

 

Greeting (see Second Reading)

It is when we are weak
that we are strong in the Lord.
May the strength of God's grace
be always with you. R/ And also with you.

 

Introduction by the Celebrant

  1. Let Prophets Speak; Listen to Them

What do you think when you see around you people being trodden down and exploited? Most people do nothing. They think: “Who am I to speak up? What can I do to correct such situations? No one is going to listen to me. After all, no one is a prophet in his or her own town or country.” Too many people leave too much good undone because of this self-doubt and lack of courage. Let us ask the Lord Jesus for the boldness to speak out with him and to go about doing good.

 

  1. Someone from Down Our Street

A man or woman like us from down the street, whose parents we know, how dare he or she speak God’s word to us – if it is God’s word? Jesus, the town carpenter, whose mother and relatives everyone knew, how could he work miracles and where did he get his strange message? The Church with all its faults and the priest who is no better than we are, how dare they speak to us in the name of God? God speaks to us through ordinary people. God’s word and message are stronger than the weak messengers he sends to speak his prophetic word. And each of us too has to stand up and speak out for what is right and good. Jesus will help us.

 

Penitential Act

Let us ask pardon from the Lord
that we have not always accepted him on his own terms
and lacked the courage to do what is right.
                        (pause)
Lord Jesus, your own people rejected you.
Never allow us to deny you.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you speak to us

your challenging words that ask us
to be just and loving servants:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, your grace is enough for us:
make us strong in our weakness:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Forgive us all our sins of cowardice, Lord,
and make us live and act
according to your Word.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

 

Opening Prayer

  1. Let Prophets Speak; Listen to Them

Let us pray that we may not reject
the Word of God coming among his own
                        (pause)
God, our Father without equal,
your Son, your Word, came among us
as one of our own, our own flesh and blood.
Dispose us to welcome him always
and to listen to what he tells us,
even when his word upsets and disturbs us,
for it is a Word of life and grace.
And give us the courage
to pass on his word to one another,
that it may liberate us all
and lead us to you as your one people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

  1. Someone from Down Our Street

Let us pray to our gentle God
that he may be our strength in our weakness
                        (pause)
Gentle God of power and strength,
you chose us, weak people,
to put the mighty to shame
and to stand up and speak up
with our words and our lives
for what is right and good.
Make us realize more deeply that without your help
our human efforts cannot but fail
and that our very weakness
entitles us to your strength.
Be our courage and joy
through him who was weak with the weak
but lives with you as the Lord of all,
Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.

 

First Reading: God Entrusts His Word to an Ordinary Person

Ezekiel, an ordinary priest, is called by God to be a prophet. He has to speak God’s word insistently to a people not disposed to listen.

Reading 1: EZ 2:2-5

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you. 
But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! 
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

 

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 123:1-2, 2, 3-4

(2cd) Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven —
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.
Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

 

Second Reading: The Strength of God Appears in Someone Weak

Paul defends the legitimacy of his ministry. In Paul’s human weakness God’s power stands out all the stronger.

Reading 2: 2 COR 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. 
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.” 
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. 
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Alleluia: CF. LK 4:18

Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel: Jesus, Just Someone from Down the Street?

The people of Nazareth reject Jesus and his teaching. They know him: a young carpenter from down the street. How can he bring any special message and do wonders?

Gospel: MK 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished. 
They said, “Where did this man get all this? 
What kind of wisdom has been given him? 
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! 
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? 
And are not his sisters here with us?” 
And they took offense at him. 
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.” 
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

 

Intercessions

Let us pray that God’s voice may be heard and understood and put into practice in our communities and in each of us. Let us say:

R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

–   That your Church may keep listening to the prophets among us through whom the Spirit speaks, let us pray:

      R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

–   That God’s people may keep listening to the word Jesus speaks in our assemblies as a word spoken today to each of us, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

–   That in the silence of the voiceless God’s people may hear the voice of the Lord crying out for justice and compassion, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

–   That the Word of God may resound and be accepted by those who hear it when God’s messengers proclaim it among the nations, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

–   That our Christian communities may always keep listening to our Lord’s Good News and take it as the guide of their lives, let us pray:

     R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

Father, give us your Holy Spirit that he may always move our hearts to accept and follow what you say to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord our God,
you ask of us to accept with faith
your word spoken by your messengers
and your living Word, Jesus Christ.
Make us truly recognize
the humble coming of your Son
in these simple signs of bread and wine.
May the strength of his Spirit
be stronger than our weakness.
Make us live together in peace
and let us be your sign to the world
of your justice and love.
May this be our offering to you,
our God for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

 

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

With joy we give thanks to the Father that he speaks among us his living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we offer the Father our willingness to accept his Word and to live by it.

 

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Weak as we are,
we dare call God our Father
and we pray to him for strength
in the words of Jesus himself: R/ Our Father...

 

Deliver Us

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy accept us in our weakness
and fill us with the strength of Christ.
Keep alive in us the hope
that goodness and right will prevail
and that lasting happiness will be ours
at the coming in glory
of our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

 

Invitation to Communion

This is Jesus, the Lamb of God,
who overcame the sin of the world
by his humble death on the cross.
Happy are we, weak as we are,
to be invited to share his table
and to be filled with his strength. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

 

Prayer after Communion

Lord God, loving Father,
you let us share in your strength
through Jesus, your Son in our midst.
Make us fully aware that he became one of us
and that he stays with us
not to impress us with his power
but to serve us in love.
Help us to serve one another,
that he may call us his friends
and accompany us on the way to you.
Make us messengers of his word
and give us the courage to proclaim it
without false shame or fear.
Grant this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Blessing

God comes to us through weak people.
He entrusts to them the message of his word
and even the body of his Son.
May God strengthen them,
that they may not obstruct our way to God
but speak God’s word with boldness.
May we welcome them
because they bring God nearer to us.
And in our own weakness
may God be our strength and bless you all,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

 

Go, take the word of God with you, live by it and speak it without fear. R/ Thanks be to God.

 

Commentary

Too familiar to appreciate

This Sunday’s Gospel presents to us the return of Jesus to Nazareth, his hometown where he is rejected by his own people. The crowds admire him, they flock to him. But his success begins to worry the religious authorities.

Mark the evangelist reports the incident with a question raised by the people who were listening to Jesus in the Synagogue. “They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?’

The Jews were a patriarchal community, where a son was always identified as son of the father, and never as the son of the mother. The name of the mother was seldom used to identify the children. Even where the father is deceased, it is always with the father. When they mention the mother, it is a way of saying that the paternity of the person is doubtful, uncertain; "The son of Mary," therefore, is an offense. Evangelist Matthew reported the incident by saying, “Is he not the carpenter’s son”, but doesn’t mention his name.

Why do they reject him? The simple answer was jealousy. The leaders of the people knew Jesus was right in his teachings and performing mighty deeds. They indeed admired him. But he was too familiar for them to appreciate. So, they looked for reasons to trap him. Thus they realised that Jesus often contradicted the traditions of the ancestors and violated the Sabbath when people were in need. And he frequents the houses of the tax collectors and sinners; he caresses the lepers, he announces a face of God who loves all, regards no one as unclean, rejects no one, forgives sinners without first questioning if they are repentant.

Jesus came to Nazareth with high hopes, and expectations. But he had a bitter conclusion to his journey. Quoting a proverb, he says: "A prophet is not without honour except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." There is also a similar reference at the beginning of the Gospel according to John: "He came to his own, and yet his own people did not receive him."

Today there is no lack of prophets, but we refuse to accept them as such. Simply because we know them. We use the same argument that Jesus' countrymen used. And we close ourselves off to the new possibilities, ways and hopes that God opens up to us through them. Certainly, they have their weaknesses as we all do, but through them the Spirit speaks. If we don't listen to them, too bad for us!

Who are the prophets for you today? To what extent do you listen to them? Do you feel that, if you listened to them, you could live differently?

 

 

Liturgical Calendar 2021

Liturgical Calendar 2020
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