THE WORDFirst Reading
Ezek 18:25-28The sinner who decides to turn against sinfulness deserves to live.
Ps 24: 4-9 R v 6R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Phil 2:1-11In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus.
Jn 10:27Alleluia, alleluia!
My sheep listen to my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
Matthew 21:28-32 He went out moved by regret. The tax collectors and prostitutes will precede you into the kingdom of God.
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’ IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Two sons
- The father’s will
- Addressed to me
- Be united
“A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the sacred Liturgy; it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude”
(General Instruction of the Roman Missal,
42). As we gather and celebrate our Sunday Mass we are gifted as the Body of Christ – that gift does not exist in a vacuum but in real relationships with other people. How truthfully do we express this sacred gift of God among ourselves? The Church reminds us that even the simple gestures and postures of each member of the assembly must express our unity and that the experience of such unity fosters this attitude. We are invited through singing, gestures and responses to reflect the mind of Christ by our willingness to be with others and not to do things “my way”. Sacred Liturgy constantly enables us to be what we receive and so give glory to God. “May the power of love be in our hearts to bring your pardon and your kingdom to all we meet”.
Is 5: 1-7The vineyard of the Lord God of hosts is the House of Israel.
Ps 79-9. 12-16. 19-20. R Is 5:7R. The vineyard of the Lord is the House of Israel.Second Reading
Phil 4: 6-9Do these things and the God of peace will be with you.
Cf. Jn 15:15Alleluia, alleluia!
I call you friends, says the Lord,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
Matthew 21:33-43 He leased his vineyard to other farmers.
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son,” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:
It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?
‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- His produce
- The heir
- Chosen plant
“In the readings, the table of God’s Word is prepared for the faithful, and the riches of the Bible are opened to them” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 57). It had been the wish of the Second Vatican Council that the People of God would hear a more representative portion of Holy Scripture. Over our three year cycle for the Lectionary we are given more lavishly the treasures of the Bible. However, this treasure is only of value if the proclaimed Word of God falls upon fertile soil in our hearts. The Sunday assembly is called to full, active participation at the liturgical celebration. During the Liturgy of the Word all in the assembly must attentively listen to the proclaimed word so that their hearts may be drawn to living the word that they have heard. If we are not attentive nor obedient to what is heard, then God’s Word is not alive and active. “Lead us to seek beyond our reach, and give us the courage to stand before your truth”.
Is 25: 6-10The Lord will prepare a feast and will wipe away the tears from every cheek.
Ps 22 R v6R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Phil 4:12-14I am able to do all things in him who strengthens me.
Cf. Eph 1:17.18Alleluia, alleluia!
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our heart,
that we might see how great is the hope
to which we are called.
Matthew 22:1-14 Whomsoever you find invite to the wedding.
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He dispatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out onto the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’ IMAGES FROM THE WORD
LITURGICAL NOTES“Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord”.
- Those invited
- Proved unworthy
- Wedding garment
- Hand of the Lord
- My initiation
This is one of the new texts we will be using in the Concluding Rite of the Mass. It captures the essential link between what has been celebrated and how we are to live. Throughout the celebration of the Mass we are being formed by the initiative of God. As we gather to celebrate, we join the holy people of God in responding to God’s invitation. Building upon this act of faith made of each who have come to Church, we are open to God’s Word. Strengthened by the power of God’s Word we then give to God the sacrifice of our life to receive again the very Body and Blood of Christ. We give ourselves, and God gives of himself. This interchange between God and ourselves forms us for the coming week to be God’s ambassadors in the world. Through our faithful living God’s goodness takes root in our world. “Make your love the foundation of our lives”.
Is 45:1, 4-6I have taken the hand of Cyrus to subdue nations before his countenance.
Ps 95:1. 3-5. 7-10. R v 7R. Give the Lord glory and honour.
1 Thess 1:1-5We are mindful of your faith, hope, and love.
Phil 2:15-16Alleluia, alleluia!
Shine on the world like bright starts;
you are offering it the word of life.
Matthew 22:15-21 Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and to God the things that are God’s.
The Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you. Tell us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why do you set this trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.’ They handed him a denarius, and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they replied. He then said to them, ‘Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Trap Jesus
- Their malice
- What belongs
- His anointed
- Utter conviction
“This people is the People of God, purchased by Christ’s Blood, gathered together by his word. It is a people called to bring to God the prayers of the entire human family” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 5). As we gather for Sunday worship we do not come separated from the world in which we live. In fact we bring that very world to God. We hold our world dear in our heart and bring its “joys and hopes, its gifts and anxieties” before our God as faithful followers of Christ. This prayer takes on concrete form during the celebration in the Prayer of the Faithful where they “exercise the office of their baptismal priesthood by offering prayers to God for the salvation of all”. The community gathered on Sunday recognises that they are truly and intimately linked with all humanity. “Give us strength and joy in serving you as followers of Christ”.
Ex 22:20-26If you are harsh with the widow or the orphan, my anger will rage against you.
Ps 17: 2-4, 47. 51 R v 2R. I love you, Lord, my strength
1 Thess 1:5-10You turned away from idols to serve God and await his Son.
Jn 14:23Alleluia, alleluia!
All who love me will keep my words,
and my Father will love them and we will come to them.
You shall love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the law?’ Jesus said, ‘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 also.’ IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Disconcert him
- Two commandments
- Great example
“During the celebration of the Eucharist, their sacrifices are most lovingly offered to the Father, along with the Lord’s Body. Thus, as worshippers whose every deed is holy, the laity consecrate the world itself to God” (Lumen Gentium 34). The Second Vatican Council affirmed the missionary work of every baptised Christian. It recognised that all their life can be a spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, if carried out in the Spirit. By such faith-filled living, the laity do the work of God and consecrate the world to God. They must be attentive to the Spirit who is working in their heart, inviting them to see the world from the perspective of God and to respond appropriately – by generosity of heart, by prayer of thanksgiving, by respectful use of creation. Each of these moments of holiness is the gift we bring to the altar next Sunday. “May we do with loving hearts what you ask of us and come to share the life you promise”.
THE WORDFirst Reading
Malachi 1:14 – 2:2, 8-10You have strayed from the way, you have caused many to stumble by your teaching.
Ps 130R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
1 Thess 2:7-9We were eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our lives as well.
Mt 23-9. 10Alleluia, alleluia!
You have one Father, your Father in heaven;
you have one teacher: the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 23:1-12 They do not practise what they preach.
Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’ IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Chair of Moses
- Attract attention
- Like a mother
LITURGICAL NOTES“Even in minor matters, every effort should be made to respect appropriately the canons of art and always to combine a noble simplicity and elegance”
(General Instruction of the Roman Missal
351). With this simple reminder the Church draws our attention to hold all things in the Liturgy in their full perspective. Some things we use in Liturgy enjoy special veneration – like the Book of the Gospel or the Lectionary, and the sacred vessels of the altar. Other elements may not directly serve as signs and symbols during the Liturgy; these still need to reflect noble simplicity and elegance. We are invited to use them all with respect and attention so that we are mindful that we are engaged in the awesome task of doing God’s work. “May the changing moods of the human heart and the limits which our failings impose on hope never blind us to you, the source of every good”.
THE WORDFirst Reading
Wis 6: 12-16Wisdom is found by those who look for it.
Ps 62:2-8. R v 2R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
1 Thess 4:13-18Those who died as Christians, God will bring to life with Jesus.
Mt 24:42.44Alleluia, alleluia!
Be watchful and ready:
you know not when the Son of Man is coming.
Matthew 25:1-13 Look, the bridegroom comes. Go out to meet him.
Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five of them were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’ IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Flasks of oil
- Fell asleep
- Buy some
- Wisdom is bright
- Comfort one another
LITURGICAL NOTES“In the readings, the table of God’s Word is prepared for the faithful, and the riches of the Bible are opened to them”
(General Instruction of the Roman Missal
57). It had been the wish of the Second Vatican Council that the People of God would hear a more representative portion of Holy Scripture. Over our three year cycle for the Lectionary we are given more lavishly the treasures of the Bible. However, this treasure is only of value if the proclaimed Word of God falls upon fertile soil in our hearts. The Sunday assembly is called to full, active participation at the liturgical celebration. During the Liturgy of the Word all in the assembly must attentively listen to the proclaimed word so that their hearts may be drawn to living the word that they have heard. If we are not attentive nor obedient to what is heard, then God’s Word is not alive and active. “Lead us to seek beyond our reach, and give us the courage to stand before your truth”.
THE WORDFirst Reading
Prov 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31Give her a share in what she has worked for.
Ps 127:1-5. R v 1R. Happy are those who fear the Lord.
1 Thess 5:1-6The day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night.
Jn 15:4. 5Alleluia, alleluia!
Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord;
my branches bear much fruit.
Matthew 25:14-30 Because you have been faithful over a few things, enter into the joy of the Lord.
Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out. The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir”, he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.” Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.” Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.”
But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Well done
- Always busy
- Times and seasons
“Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father”. We prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer with this clear reminder that we do not come empty-handed – each must bring the sacrifice of their life to be given to God so that in Christ it may be acceptable worship to the Father. Previously we spoke of “our sacrifice” to emphasise the unity of our action in the Eucharistic Prayer where we confess the great deeds of God and we are offering the sacrifice. Now we acknowledge that this gift is “my sacrifice and yours”: we do not stand separate from the presiding priest in making sacrifice, nor does the presiding priest stand separate from our sacrifice. The new text alerts us to the rich tradition that the Mass is the action of Christ and of the Church (minister and assembly). “Keep us faithful in serving you for to serve you is our lasting joy”.
THE WORDFirst Reading
Ezek 34:11-12, 15-17You, my flock, I judge between sheep and sheep.
Ps 22:1-3. 5-6 R v 1R. The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
1 Cor 15:20-26, 28He will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, so that God may be all in all.Gospel Acclamation
Mk 11-9.10Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessings on him who comes in the name of Lord!
Blessing on the coming kingdom of our father David!
Matthew 25:31-46 He will take his seat on his throne of glory, and he will separate men one from another.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’IMAGES FROM THE WORD
- Throne of glory
- Go away
- Mist and darkness
- Proper order
Drawing upon today’s gospel Saint John Paul II wrote: “We cannot delude ourselves: by our mutual love and, in particular, by our concern for those in need we will be recognised as true followers of Christ. This will be the criterion by which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebration is judged”
(Mane Nobiscum Domine
28). As we celebrate today the kingship of Christ in our world, we are reminded that our Sunday Mass commissions us to be ambassadors for Christ in our daily life. Our service of others, particularly those in need, is the touchstone of our being followers of Christ. As we recognise Christ in the gold vessels of the altar during our liturgical celebrations, so too must we recognise the same Christ clothed in the rags of the poor at the door of our life. “Open our hearts, free all the world to rejoice in his peace, to glory in his justice, to live his love”.