12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“You are the Christ of God. The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously”

Out of a seemingly innocent question comes the dark shadow of the cross: Jesus must teach his disciples that to be the “Anointed One”, “the Christ”, means to follow the path of sacrifice to the very end. He is not a King who comes with armies, but a King who comes with truth and humility, prepared to die for that truth about God’s Kingdom. But the mourning is always to be seen in the light of Easter – “being raised on the third day”, when “a fountain will be opened”, the fountain of Baptism and eternal life in the death and resurrection of the Lord.

 PSALM

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.   For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy. For you have been my help; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

 

First Reading: Zechariah 12: 10-11, 13:1

Second Reading: Gal 3:26-29

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:18-24

 

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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Her many sins have been forgiven,
or she would not have shown such great love.”

The “theme” of the First Reading, Psalm and Gospel today is “forgiveness of sins”. We hear the touching Gospel story, of the “woman with a bad name in the town” coming to anoint Jesus’s feet. Living inspired by the love of Jesus is the key to our discipleship – his crucifixion is the sign of his love, which is in itself the forgiveness of sins.

PSALM

Happy the man whose offence is forgiven whose sin is remitted. O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile. But now I have acknowledged my sins: my guilt I did not hide. I said: “I will confess my offence to the Lord.” And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin. You are my hiding place, O Lord; you save me from distress. You surround me with cries of deliverance. Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you just! O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart.

 

First Reading: 2 Samuel 12: 7-10, 13

Second Reading: Gal 2:16, 19-21

Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 36-8:3

 

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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Young man, I tell you to get up!”

These Sundays of Ordinary Time will not appear every year, since the great solemnities of Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi will displace them. So it can be a bit of an abrupt jump back into the pattern of readings for this season – not readings chosen to celebrate a particular feast or mystery, but the Sunday by Sunday continuous reading of the Gospel and Apostolic Letters. So this Sunday we drop back into Saint Luke’s Gospel with the dramatic story of the raising of the widow’s son in the town of Nain. A ‘theme’ that can unite the scriptures today is found in the psalm: “For me you have changed my mourning into dancing.” Our faith is that the death and resurrection of Jesus has changed death forever – just as both Jesus and Elijah changed it in the stories read today. Christians will mourn the death of loved ones, just as Jesus himself wept over his friend Lazarus: but Christian mourning, while acknowledging grief, will also contain – in Jesus – the hope of dancing, the hope of life, the hope of resurrection, as revealed in the stories we hear today

PSALM

I will praise you, Lord you have rescued me and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead, restored me to life from those who sink into the grave. Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him, give thanks to his holy name. His anger lasts a moment; his favour through life. At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn. The Lord listened and had pity. The Lord came to my help. For me you have changed my mourning into dancing; O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever.

First Reading: 1Kings 17: 17-24

Second Reading: Gal 1: 11-19

Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 11-17

 

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The Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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This is another feast that is now celebrated on Sundays in England and Wales – which will hopefully allow more people to enter into the mystery of the Eucharist we celebrate!

The Eucharist is not an invention of the Church: it is a part of God’s plan of salvation from the very beginning: it is prefigured in the Old Testament, seen today in the food offerings of Melchizedek, priest king of Jerusalem associated with Abraham, choose bread and wine as the offerings. It is also revealed by the prophetic action of Jesus, in feeding the multitude, before he feeds the Church with the gift that is transmitted through the centuries. The Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, is our communication with the Father, in the Spirit: it is the real presence in the Church’s ‘here and now’ of the eternal God; it is Covenant, Memorial and Promise, Meal and Sacrifice, the heartbeat of the Family of Believers

PSALM

The Lord’s revelation to my Master: “Sit on my right: I will put your foes beneath your feet.” The Lord will send from Zion your spectre of power: rule in the midst of all your foes. A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains; from the womb before the dawn I begot you. The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change. “You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.”

First Reading: Gen 14:1-20

Second Reading: 1Cor 11:23-26

Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 11-17

 

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The Most Holy Trinity

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This Sunday is all about the “Divine Community” – in other words, the way in which our God is in himself a communion of love: Father, Son and Spirit, distinct yet perfectly united – three persons, one God. We hear of the perfect union between Father and Son, revealed in the mysterious poem of the First Reading, where the Son is “Wisdom” joining the Father in the act of creation. This union bear’s fruit in the Spirit, who pours this perfect love into our hearts, so that we may imitate the “Communion of Love” by living together and hoping for our place within the Divine Community

PSALM

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you should care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god; with glory and honour you crowned him, gave him power over the works of your hand, put all things under his feet. All of them, sheep and cattle, yes, even the savage beasts, birds of the air, and fish that make their way through the waters.

 

First Reading: Prov 8:22-31

Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5

Gospel Reading: John 16: 12-15

 

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PENTECOST SUNDAY

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We arrive at the fiftieth day ‑ the completion of the Easter Season, and the completion of the Paschal Mystery: the Lord has died, is risen, has ascended to heaven and now gives birth to his Church, by sending the Spirit upon the apostles. This feast of the gift of the Spirit is so significant for us, because it marks the handing on of Jesus’ ministry to the Church ‑ in the Church we are guaranteed the presence of the Lord, in his sacra­ments, in his ministers, in the Blessed Sacrament and in his Celebrated Word. It also marks the fulfilment of our thoughts about baptism throughout this season: the gift of the Spirit which we receive in Confirmation is the `seal’ of our baptism, guaranteeing and confirm­ing all that baptism achieves.

PSALM

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.   How many are your works, O Lord! The earth is full of your riches. You take back your spirit, they die, returning to the dust from which they came. You send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord last for ever! May the Lord rejoice in his works! May my thoughts be pleasing to him. I find my joy in the Lord.

 

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11

Second Reading: Romans 8:8-17

Gospel Reading: John 14:15-16, 23-26

 

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Ascension of the Lord

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As he blessed them he was carried up to heaven

Recently the bishops of England and Wales decided to move the celebration of Ascension to this Sunday. While this moves the feast away the fortieth day, it does open up this celebration as part of the journey of the Easter Season. Ascension is not just a feast that “happens to fall in Eastertide”: it is an integral part of the Easter mystery. Remember the Lord’s words at the Last Supper: I am going to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me. Jesus does not open the way to us just by rising from the dead: to complete the mystery presumes the Lord’s return to the Father. Ascension is therefore a feast of hope: our hope that the Lord will return, as he went. Our hope that he will take us with him, when our bodies are raised as his was. Our hope that we will take our place in heaven, where he sits at the Father’s right hand.

PSALM

All peoples, clap your hands, cry to God with shouts of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, we fear, great king over all the earth. God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Sing praise for God, sing praise, sing praise to our king, sing praise. God is king of all the earth. Sing praise with all your skill. God is king over all the nations; God reigns on his holy throne.

 

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11

Second Reading: Heb 9:24-28, 10:19-23

Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 46-53

 

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