Liturgy of the Sunday

分享

Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

Exodus 22,20-26

'You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you yourselves were once aliens in Egypt. You will not ill-treat widows or orphans; if you ill-treat them in any way and they make an appeal to me for help, I shall certainly hear their appeal, my anger will be roused and I shall put you to the sword; then your own wives will be widows and your own children orphans. 'If you lend money to any of my people, to anyone poor among you, you will not play the usurer with him: you will not demand interest from him. 'If you take someone's cloak in pledge, you will return it to him at sunset. It is all the covering he has; it is the cloak he wraps his body in; what else will he sleep in? If he appeals to me, I shall listen. At least with me he will find compassion!

Psalmody

Psalm 17

Antiphon

I thank you Lord for you have freed me from evil.

I love you, Lord, my strength,
my rock, my fortress, my saviour.

My God is the rock where I take refuge;
My shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.

The Lord is worthy of all praise :
when I call I am saved from my foes.

The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;

The snares of the grave entangled me;
the traps of death confronted me.

In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the mountains were shaken to their base
they reeled at his terrible anger.

Smoke came forth from his nostrils
and scorching fire from his mouth :
coals were set ablaze by its heat.

He lowered the heavens and came down,
a black cloud under his feet.

He came enthrone on a cherubim,
he flew on the wings of the wind.

He made the darkness his covering,
the dark waters of the clouds, his tent.

A brightness shone out before him
with hailstones and flashes of fire.

The Lord thundered in the heavens;
the Most High
let his voice be heard.

He shot his arrows, scattered the foe,
flashed his lightnings, and put them to flight.

The bed of the ocean was revealed;
the foundations of the world were laid bare

At the thunder of your threat, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your anger.

From on high he reached down and seized me;
he drew me forth from the mighty waters.

He snatched me from my powerful foe,
from my enemies whose strength
I could not match.

They assailed me in the day of my misfortune,
but the Lord was my support.

He brought me forth into freedom,
he saved me because he loved me.

He rewarded me because I was just,
repaid me, for my hands were clean,

for I have kept the way of the Lord
and have not fallen away from my God.

For his judgements are all before me :
I have never neglected his commands.

I have always been upright before him;
I have kept myself from guilt.

He repaid me because I was just
and my hands were clean in his eyes.

You are loving with those who love you :
you show yourself perfect with the perfect.

With the sincere you show yourself sincere,
but the cunning you outdo in cunning.

For you save a humble people
but humble the eyes that are proud.

You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.

With you I can break through any barrier,
with my God I can scale any wall.

As for God, his ways are prefect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield of all who make him their refuge.

For who is God but the Lord?
Who is a rock but our God?

The God who girds me with strength
and makes the path safe before me.

My feet you made swift as the deer's;
you have made me stand firm on the heights.

You have trained my hands for battle
and my arms to bend the heavy bow.

You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me,
trained me with care.

You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.

I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.

I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

You girded me with strength for battle
you made my enemies fall beneath me,

You made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.

I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.

You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.

People unknown to me served me :
when they heard of me they obeyed me.

Foreign nations came to me cringing:
foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds.

Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,

The God who gives me redress
and subdues people under me.
You saved me from my furious foes.

You set me above my assailants.
You saved me from violent men,

So I will praise you, Lord among the nations :
I will sing a Psalm to your name.

He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever.

Second Reading

1 Thessalonians 1,5-10

because our gospel came to you not only in words, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with great effect. And you observed the sort of life we lived when we were with you, which was for your sake. You took us and the Lord as your model, welcoming the word with the joy of the Holy Spirit in spite of great hardship. And so you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia since it was from you that the word of the Lord rang out -- and not only throughout Macedonia and Achaia, for your faith in God has spread everywhere. We do not need to tell other people about it: other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with the worship of false gods when you were converted to God and became servants of the living and true God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven. It is he who saves us from the Retribution which is coming.

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 22,34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question, 'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?' Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.'

 

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 lawyer only questions Jesus to put him to the test. This often happens to those who think they are always right. They even argue with Jesus, looking for some contradiction to prove that he is mistaken. We do this habitually with other people. We just need a "test" to condemn, to stop being friends, to become indifferent, which is the opposite of loving.
The question asked by the lawyer is fundamental: "which commandment in the law is the greatest?" In the midst of the confusion of our lives, it is easy to relativize everything, to live without a clear commandment, with one priority and not a series of them. A commandment cannot be reduced to my psychology. It obliges me to adapt myself to it. But it is easy for our feelings and our wellbeing to rise up as commandments and become the law that we obey. For the Lord there is only one law: the law of love. It is a commandment that saves those who love and improves the lives of those who are loved. Love transforms our lives much more than we think when we reason with our calculations, our doubts, our certainties, and our many resignations. The Gospel calls us to the essence of faith and life. The Gospel tells us that the essence of faith is the unity of the two commandments: love of neighbour is identified with the total love of God.
This identification obviously does not diminish either of the two ends of the pair. And the primacy of God cannot be disputed. But we cannot love God without loving our neighbour. The means that the road that leads to God must cross the road that leads to men and women, especially the one that leads to those who are weakest. By helping them we help God; by defending them we defend God. And that is not all. God does not even seem to be competing with our love for men and women. God does not insist on reciprocity, as we do. Jesus does not say "Love me as I have loved you" rather "Love one another as I have loved you." The instructions from the Book of Exodus proposed to us again clarify this way of seeing. We are asked to welcome the foreigner (a clear commandment that contrasts with the small-mindedness and selfishness which give rise to closed doors and inhospitality), the orphan, and the widow. God himself has taken their side. God listens to their cries and will do justice. Not only do the whole Law and the prophets depend on these two commandments, but so does life on earth itself, if we want life to be truly dignified for all.