Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time- Year -A

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

I Confess:

I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

 

Gloria:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, Heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us; You take away the sin of the world, receive our prayer; You are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One; you alone are the Lord. You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God, the Father. Amen

 

Opening Prayer:

God of holiness, increase within us your gifts of faith, hope and love, and enable us to cherish whatever you command, that we may come to possess all that you promise. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

 

First Reading: Exodus 22:20-26

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the children of Israel this: You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans. If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbour’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbour’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbour cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.”

 

Responsorial: Psalm 17:2-4, 47, 51
R.        I love you, Lord, my strength
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.
 
R.        I love you, Lord, my strength
Long life to the Lord, my rock! Praised be the God who saves me.
He has given great victories to his king and shown his love for his anointed.
 
R.        I love you, Lord, my strength

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel: 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

 

Homily:

I can confidently say that we all of us are confronted in more than one way, by the first reading we heard taken from the book of Exodus. The ways of our world are in complete contrast to what the reading asks of us with regard to the voiceless and majority of humans. As the people came out of slavery from Egypt, moving into a new settlement they were busy organising their lives. A guiding rule is given to them directly “do not forget-but remember.” Do not forget how cruelly you were dealt with in slavery and now that you are free do not treat those weaker sections of people the same way rather with care and protection. Do not wrong the fatherless, the refugees the powerless and the voiceless of the busy society. You treat them as if they are your own because you understand what it means to be aliens in a foreign land. In other words, ‘do not do the atrocities which you yourself went through.’ I ask you to follow this because when you were in trouble in Egypt and cried out to me I came down struck your oppressors and released you and if you do the same cruelty and they cry to me you will face the same fate: for “I will surely hear their cry.”

This is one of the thigs which challenges us in our present time. We often end up doing the same wrong we were dealt with. To give an example when people were going and are going from continent to continent for shelter and honest life many countries pushed them back and still pushes them back. In that context Pope Francis in his address to the US Congress on 24 Sep 2015 said “In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners.” “I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.” In other words, do not forget your roots.

Secondly, the reading tells us, do not exploit the needy. "If you lend money to one of your poor neighbours…do not charge interest from him.” Do we not find this rule rather impractical? Who does not calculate interest on a loan? This is where God’s law challenges us. Here in tis context lending refers to some one who asks for some money so that he and his family can eat something to keep themselves alive (not for luxury). Do not levy interest on that else it would just make the poor man poorer. This is the noblest rule with regard to lending. In ancient times pledging one’s coat was the security when a poor man asked for a loan for survival.

The cloak was the best, and perhaps only thing, that the poor man had. This cloak was a multi-purpose garment, serving as wardrobe by day and night clothes and blanket by night. By asking the creditors to return the cloak before sunset, the poor person was at least somewhat protected from the freezing cold. It demanded and demands to give up insensitive business practices. There is nothing called abstract justice- but justice is always concrete rooted in a situation. We do not do justice in the air, but it is concrete in our business, in our dealing with the defenceless, the sojourners. “what you hate, do not do to anyone.” Tobit 4:15. “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31.

 

Nicene Creed:

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

Prayers of Faithful:

 

For leaders of the church, that they may be imitators of the Lord, receiving the word faithfully even amid affliction, and experiencing the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit.
 
Lord Hear Us
 
We pray for the leaders of nations, that they will have the wisdom and courage they need to guide their people safely through the coronavirus pandemic and that they act collectively to address the needs of refugees.
Lord Hear Us
That the greatest commandment in the law may be the priority of our lives, as we strive to love the Lord our God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
 
Lord Hear Us
 
For the grace to understand the importance of the second commandment, treating our neighbours as we would want to be treated, with justice and compassion.
 
Lord Hear Us
 
For all the candidates who are to be confirmed in our parish this weekend that they will continue to grow in love, faith, knowledge of God and care for the whole society.
 
That the sick in our homes be healed and that who have died may share the banquet of eternal life.
Lord Hear Us

Let Us pray in silence (Pause)

 

Lord Hear Us

 

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if you were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

(St. Alphonsus)

 

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

Concluding Prayer:

Lord may your mysteries accomplish within us the salvation they embody, that we may come to possess in truth what we celebrate now under sacramental signs. Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord. Amen.

 

Where to find us!

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P.O. BOX 659 HOWARD PLACE 7450