Liturgy of the Sunday

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Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

Jeremiah 17,5-8

Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in human beings, who relies on human strength and whose heart turns from Yahweh. Such a person is like scrub in the wastelands: when good comes, it does not affect him since he lives in the parched places of the desert, uninhabited, salt land. 'Blessed is anyone who trusts in Yahweh, with Yahweh to rely on. Such a person is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it has nothing to fear, its foliage stays green; untroubled in a year of drought, it never stops bearing fruit.

Psalmody

Psalm 1

Antiphon

Blessed is the man who listens to the Word of the Lord.

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;

nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,

but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season

and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.

Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.

When the wicked are judged they shall not stand
nor find room among those who are just;

For the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 15,12.16-20

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? For, if the dead are not raised, neither is Christ; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless and you have not, after all, been released from your sins. In addition, those who have fallen asleep in Christ are utterly lost. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are of all people the most pitiable. In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the dead, as the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 6,17.20-26

He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples, with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh. 'Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets. But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now. Alas for you who have plenty to eat now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who are laughing now: you shall mourn and weep. 'Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

We could call this Sunday the "Sunday of the beatitudes" or the "Sunday of happiness." After spending the night in prayer, Jesus comes down from the mountain and finds himself faced with a very large crowd. They all wanted to listen to him, touch him, and feel him close by. With a note of astonishment, the evangelist reports that even people "troubled with unclean spirits" had come to be freed from their sickness. They were all waiting for a new and better life, and they hoped to find it through that young prophet from Nazareth, "power came out from him and healed all of them."
Seeing the crowd, Jesus decided to begin a new phase of his mission with one of his most important and shocking sermons, the sermon of the Beatitudes. It is not the manifesto of a new ideology and even less a call limited to a few heroes. These words are addressed to those poor people, those who were weeping, those who were insulted and rejected, those who were begging for a gesture, those who were trying to touch even the hem of that prophet's robe.
But the beatitude does not come from their state of misery or illness. The beatitude is made real because God chose to take care of them, before anyone else. This is the new time that Jesus is beginning: God gives bread to those who are hungry and transforms the cries of the afflicted into joy and the sadness of the desperate into happiness. The kingdom belongs to the poor, starting now, because God is with them. The Gospel does not give into any easy and superficial moralism about the "good poor," as if their difficult situation made them morally superior to others. No, the poor are like us all, good and bad. Their beatitude comes from having God close by, because they are poor. The same thing is true for the sick, the weak, and prisoners. In the midst of the drama of suffering, they are no longer left without hope: God has chosen them to be his first friends, and he abundantly pours out his mercy on them.
Consequently, the Gospel, in contrast, adds four "woe to you" statements to the four that say, "blessed are you." Woe to you rich, woe to you who are satisfied, woe to you who laugh now, woe to you when everyone speaks well of you. "Woe," because in those moments it is easier to feel self-sufficient and to deny our needs, even for God. The rich, who we all are, in part, risk becoming so turned in on themselves that they become prisoners. "Woe to us," when we allow the rich person in us to prevail. Jesus does not want to exalt poverty itself or condemn wealth itself. Salvation does not depend on our condition but on feeling like - or better, being - children of God. If we who are rich come close to God, the poor will be blessed, because together with the Lord they will have us near them as brothers and sisters.