SUNDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2019

SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: Psalter II

THE SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS OF THE SERVITE ORDER

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Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 30: 3-4

Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name.

 

Collect

O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

First reading: Jeremiah 17:5-8

The Lord says this: ‘A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, who relies on things of flesh, whose heart turns from the Lord. He is like dry scrub in the wastelands: if good comes, he has no eyes for it, he settles in the parched places of the wilderness, a salt land, uninhabited. ‘A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope. He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.’

 

Psalm 1:1-4,6

R) Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

 

1)Happy indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked; nor lingers in the way of sinners nor sits in the company of scorners, but whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders his law day and night.

 

 

2)         He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves shall never fade; and all that he does shall prosper.

 

3)         Not so are the wicked, not so! For they like winnowed chaff shall be driven away by the wind. For the Lord guards the way of the just but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

 

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20

If Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people. But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

 

Gospel Acclamation: Mt 11:25

Alleluia, alleluia!Blessed are you, Father,  Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children. Alleluia!

 

Gospel: Luke 6:17, 20-26

Jesus came down with the Twelve and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon. Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: ‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God. Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied. Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh. Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets. ‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now. Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep. ‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

 

Prayer over the Offerings

May this oblation, O Lord, we pray, cleanse and renew us and may it become for those who do your will the source of eternal reward. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 77: 29-30

They ate and had their fill, and what they craved the Lord gave them; they were not disappointed in what they craved.

 

Prayer after Communion

Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, so that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.

 

 

Meditation

Crosses that draw us closer to God.In our Gospel today, Jesus did not say that poverty, or hunger, or sadness, or hatred is a blessing. Instead, he said that people are blessed when they are poor, hungry, weeping and hated if and only if these conditions of need and dependence make them rely on God. When we rely on God, we are who we are meant to be, humans in relationship with God our creator. So the poverty, hunger, weeping, hatred, or whatever our cross is can be an instrument to draw us closer to God. Whatever cross we have in our lives is there for a purpose, to keep us close to God. In that sense our cross is also our blessing. Of course Jesus does not mean that in itself it is good to be poor, hungry, weeping or hated. Poverty, hunger, sadness, and hatred are social problems we should strive to conquer. Jesus told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to remind those with a surplus to help the needy (Luke 16:19-31). When we are rich, filled now, laughing now and are well spoken of now, we may be tempted to forget about God. We may be tempted to treat the gifts of God as gods. So what looks like a blessing in the eyes of the world can, from the spiritual point of view, turn out to be a curse and vice versa.

 

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