Liturgy of the Sunday

Deel Op

Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Remembrance of the historic Meeting in Assisi (1986), when John Paul II invited representatives of all Christian confessions and the great world religions to pray for peace. Memorial of Dominique Green, a young African American executed in 2004. Prayer for those who are condemned to death and for the abolition of the death penalty.

First Reading

Sirach 35,15-17.20-22

Do the widow's tears not run down her cheeks, as she accuses the man who is the cause of them? Whoever wholeheartedly serves God will be accepted, his petitions will carry to the clouds. The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds: and until it does, he is not to be consoled, until he has crushed the loins of the merciless and exacted vengeance on the nations, until he has eliminated the hordes of the arrogant and broken the sceptres of the wicked, until he has repaid all people as their deeds deserve and human actions as their intentions merit,


Psalm 33


Let us bless the Lord at all times.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;

in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad.

Glorify the Lord with me,
together let us praise his name.

I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free.

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.

This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress.

The angel of the Lord is encamped
around those who revere him, to rescue them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him,

Revere the Lord, you his saints.
They lack nothing, those who revere him.

Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.

Come, children, and hear me
that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.

Who is he who long for life
and many days to enjoy his prosperity?

Then keep your tongue from evil
and you lips from speaking deceit.

Turn aside the evil and do good;
seek and strive after peace.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.

The Lord turns his eyes to the just
and his ears to their appeal.

They call and the Lord hears
and rescues them all in their distress.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Many are the trials of the just man
but from them all the Lord will rescue him.

He will keep guard over all his bones,
not one of his bones shall be broken.

Evil brings death to the wicked;
those who hate the good and doomed.

The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.
Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

Second Reading

2 Timothy 4,6-8.16-18

As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to depart. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his appearing. The first time I had to present my defence, no one came into court to support me. Every one of them deserted me -- may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed for all the gentiles to hear; and so I was saved from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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 18,9-14

He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being upright and despised everyone else, 'Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, "I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like everyone else, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get." The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." This man, I tell you, went home again justified; the other did not. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.'


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


In the temple, Jesus shows us two people, a Pharisee who comes to the temple and prays sure of himself. Many times, we are like him, we are satisfied with who we are, with the lives we live, but prayer helps us understand that one cannot live patting ourselves on the back. That Pharisee, in the end, feels right and does not fear flaunting his own rights and merits even in front of God. It is the arrogant attitude that comes from pride that often makes us think that evil is found elsewhere, that it is not a real immediate concern. When we think that evil is outside of ourselves, maybe that it comes from others, we fall, again, in the logic of contempt. And it is always easier to see the faults and mistakes of others that to reflect on one's own. "God, I thank you that I am not like other people," said the Pharisee. He thought of himself as different from others, he thought of himself as better: he fasted twice a week and tithed all his wealth, that is, he filled the religious precepts. But fasting and charity were not to purify his heart nor to grow closer to the poor, in fact, they were done only to differentiate himself from others ("thieves, rogues, adulterers"). That Pharisee's religion separates him from others and therefore distances him from God. In the temple, he believed to be in front of God, but in reality, he was only in front of himself as an idol he adored and incensed, exalting himself. Whosoever exalts themselves and distinguishes themselves from others remains alone in the end and, in scorning and judging others, condemns themselves to solitude.
"But the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even look up to heaven," says the Gospel. The tax collector is one like everyone else, he is in the back of the temple, almost indistinguishable among the crowd that is outside on the street immersed in the confusion of the world. He is a sinner, as the tax collectors often stole money from the poor and made dirty deals. He is not a just man, he is not a good man, he not a poor man. He is a sinner and is far from God. But in front of God, that man is able to say who he is, and he says so in prayer. "Oh God have mercy on me, a sinner," is how the tax collector prays and in prayer we discover that we also are poor and sinners. Let this also be our daily prayer, that it might help us fight and conquer the evil that is born in the heart of everyone. Let this be our prayer, which asks for mercy, that love that is often missing from our hearts. Let us pray and thank the Lord so that in the humility of asking we discover the truth of our lives and we leave the temple justified not by our pride but by God's love.