Liturgy of the Sunday

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Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Memorial of Sant'Egidio (Saint Giles), an eastern monk who came to the West. He lived in France and became the father of many monks. The Community of Sant'Egidio took its name from the church dedicated to him in Rome. We remember the beginning of the Second World War and pray for the end to all wars. The Orthodox Church begins its liturgical year. World Day for the care of creation.


First Reading

Sirach 3,17-18.20.28-29

My child, be gentle in carrying out your business, and you will be better loved than a lavish giver. The greater you are, the more humbly you should behave, and then you will find favour with the Lord; for great though the power of the Lord is, he accepts the homage of the humble. For the disease of the proud there is no cure, since an evil growth has taken root there. The heart of the sensible will reflect on parables, an attentive ear is the sage's dream.

Psalmody

Psalm 67

Antiphon

Blessed is the Lord who frees his people.

Let God arise, let his foes be scattered.
Let those who hate him flee before him.

As smoke is blown away so will they be blown away;
like wax that melts before the fire,
so the wicked shall perish at the presence of God.

But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God,
they shall exult and dance for joy.

O sing to the Lord, make music to his name;
make a highway for him who rides on the clouds.
Rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence.

Father of the orphan, defender of the widow,
such is God in his holy place.

God gives the lonely a home to live in;
he leads the prisoners forth into freedom :
but rebels must dwell in a parched land.

When you went forth, O God, at the head of your people
when you marched across the desert, the earth trembled :

the heavens melted at the presence of God,
at the presence of God, Israel's God.

You poured down, O God, a generous rain :
when your people were starved you gave them new life.

It was there that your people found a home,
prepared in your goodness, O God for the poor.

The Lord gives the word to the bearers of good tidings :
'The Almighty has defeated a numberless army

and kings and armies are in flight, in flight
while you were at rest among the sheepfolds.'

At home the women already share the spoil.
They are covered with silver as the wings of a dove,

its feathers brilliant with shining gold
and jewels flashing like snow on Mount Zalmon.

The mountains of Bashan are mighty mountains;
high-ridged mountains are the mountains of Bashan.

Why look with envy, you high-ridged mountains,
at the mountain where God has chosen to dwell?
It is there that the Lord shall dwell for ever.

The chariots of God are thousands upon thousands.
The Lord has come from Sinai to the holy place.

You are gone up on high; you have taken captives,
receiving men in tribute, O God,
even those who rebel, into your dwelling, O Lord.

May the Lord be blessed day after day.
He bears our burdens, God our saviour.

This God of ours is a God who saves.
The Lord our God holds the keys of death.

And God will smite the head of his foes,
the crown of those who persist in their sins.

The Lord said : 'I will bring them back from Bashan;
I will bring them back from the depth of the sea.

Then your feet will tread in their blood
and the tongues of your dogs take their share of the foe.'

They see your solemn procession, O God,
the procession of my God, of my king, to the sanctuary;

the singers in the forefront, the musicians coming last,
between them, maidens sounding their timbrels.

'In festive gatherings, bless the Lord;
bless God, O you who are Israel's sons.'

There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head,
Judah's princes, a mighty throng,
Zebulun's princes, Naphtali's princes.

Show forth, O God, show forth your might,
your might O God, which you have shown for us

for the sake of your temple high in Jerusalem
may kings come to you bringing their tribute.

Threaten the wild beast that dwells in the reeds,
the bands of the mighty and lords of the peoples.

Let them bow down offering silver.
Scatter the peoples who delight in war.

Princes will make their way from Egypt:
Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.

Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord
who rides on the heavens, the ancient heavens.

He thunders his voice, his mighty voice.
Come, acknowledge the power of God.

His glory is on Israel; his might is in the skies.
God is to be feared in his holy place.

He is the Lord, Israel's God.
He gives strength and power to his people.
Blessed be God!

Second Reading

Hebrews 12,18-19.22-24

What you have come to is nothing known to the senses: not a blazing fire, or gloom or total darkness, or a storm; or trumpet-blast or the sound of a voice speaking which made everyone that heard it beg that no more should be said to them. But what you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival, with the whole Church of first-born sons, enrolled as citizens of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and to the spirits of the upright who have been made perfect; and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to purifying blood which pleads more insistently than Abel's.

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 14,1.7-14

Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, 'When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, "Give up your place to this man." And then, to your embarrassment, you will have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, "My friend, move up higher." Then, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.' Then he said to his host, 'When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.'

 

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

The Gospel tells us how Jesus was invited to dinner at the house of one of the leading Pharisees, where he observes the guests rushing for the best seats. Choosing the best seat means putting ourselves before everything; it means wanting to turn everything to our advantage, insisting on being served rather than serving, being honoured rather than available, and being loved before loving or sitting at the end not to be asked to love or serve. Choosing the best seat means putting ourselves before everything else. It is clearly not a question of chairs, but of lifestyle and the heart.
Jesus stigmatizes this behaviour. It does no good - in fact it is harmful - because it makes us into competitors and enemies and condemns us to a life of jealousy and abuse. It is not a question of etiquette or good manners. Jesus goes well beyond all that: he is aiming at the very way people see themselves. The lesson is clear: whoever believes he or she is just and thinks that he or she stands head and shoulders above everyone else and so deserves the best seat will be told, "Give this person your place" (v. 9) and will have to walk to the back in shame. It is better to be ashamed of our pride and our self-indulgence before we choose a set. It is better to stand before God ashamed of our sin - without becoming depressed - because "only God is good." The holy liturgy proposes this attitude to us when it has us say, "Lord have mercy" three times at the beginning of the service. And then the Lord comes to us and encourages us, "Friend, move up higher;" "Friend, come, listen to my word, taste my bread, and drink my cup." Yes! Whoever humbles him or herself and asks for forgiveness - whoever bows his or her head in front of the Lord - will be exalted. The Lord cannot endure the proud and he does not tolerate the selfish, but "He is the Father of the humble."
The humble person understands and knows how to love, how to be a brother or a sister, how to be human, and how to move the highest mountains and fill the deepest abysses. The memory of Saint Giles, the saint from whom the Community of Sant'Egidio takes its name, becomes a symbol. He is a little-known saint with a "humble" story, who is venerated by the poor and the weak. Today we recognize in him the features of our Christian vocation: to be a people made up of the poor and the lowly (Zeph 3:12). These humble people make real the other parable we hear in today's Gospel, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you" (Lk 14:12-13).