Liturgy of the Sunday

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Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

Zechariah 9,9-10

Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will banish chariots from Ephraim and horses from Jerusalem; the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace to the nations, his empire will stretch from sea to sea, from the River to the limits of the earth.

Psalmody

Psalm 144

Antiphon

Let us praise your name, O Lord, for ever and ever.

I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.

I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.

the Lord is great, highly to be praised,
His greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall proclaim your works,
shall declare your mighty deeds,

shall speak to your splendour and glory,
tell the tale of your wonderful works.

They will speak of your terrible deeds,
recount your greatness and might.

They will recall your abundant goodness;
age to age shall ring out your justice.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.

They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,

to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.

Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.

The Lord is faithful in all in words
and loving in all his deeds.

The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.

You open wide your hand
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.

He is close to all who call him,
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.

The Lord protects all who love him;
but the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord,
let all mankind bless his holy name
for ever, for ages unending.

Second Reading

Romans 8,9.11-13

You, however, live not by your natural inclinations, but by the Spirit, since the Spirit of God has made a home in you. Indeed, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you. So then, my brothers, we have no obligation to human nature to be dominated by it. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the habits originating in the body, you will have life.

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

Matthew 11,25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'

 

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

This Sunday's Gospel reports one of the few prayers of Jesus found in the Gospels. Matthew puts it at the beginning of Jesus' mission. After having reported the long missionary speech to the Twelve - which takes up all of chapter ten- the evangelist writes that Jesus, "left from there to teach and preach in their cities." He did not do this alone; he did it with the disciples he had just chosen and who he had involved in his mission. This is why Jesus stops in prayer and thanks the Father: "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants." In Greek the term nepìois is used, which means small children, minors. We can imagine that after looking at those disciples, Jesus looks up to heaven and thanks the Father because he has chosen to reveal the mystery of salvation to that "little flock."
Like that day, even today Jesus thanks the Father because he revealed to us the Gospel of the kingdom and entrusted it to the hands of the Christian communities. The holy liturgy of the Sunday, in which the disciples gathered around Jesus, is a moment of praise to the Father because he has revealed to all disciples the responsibility of communicating the Gospel to the world. The difference between the Christian community and its mission to the world is certainly disproportionate. If Jesus calls us "little" it is because we really are. In the Gospel, "small" is the one who recognizes his or her own limits and fragility, who feels the need for God, seeks him and entrusts himself or herself to him. It is to people like these that Jesus says: "Come to me, all you who are tired and oppressed, and I will give you rest".
Like a good friend, the Lord calls to himself all those who are fatigued and burdened with life: from that publican to the small group of men and women who follow him, to the crowds without hope, oppressed by the overwhelming power of the rich, hit by the violence of war, hunger, injustice. With all these crowds the words of the Lord should resound today: "Come to me, I will give you rest." This rest is none other than Jesus himself: it is resting on his chest and being nourished by his Word. Jesus, and only he, can add: "Take my yoke upon you." He does not speak of the "yoke of the Law," the hard yoke imposed by the Pharisees. The yoke he speaks of is the Gospel, demanding and at the same time sweet, just like him. For this he adds: "Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." Learn from me: that is, become my disciples.