sunday 28 June 2020
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN
St Irenaeus (130 – 202)
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 46: 2
All peoples, clap your hands. Cry to God with shouts of joy!
O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth. 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: 2 Kings 4:8-11,13-16
One day as Elisha was on his way to Shunem, a woman of rank who lived there pressed him to stay and eat there. After this he always broke his journey for a meal when he passed that way. She said to her husband, ‘Look, I am sure the man who is constantly passing our way must be a holy man of God. Let us build him a small room on the roof, and put him a bed in it, and a table and chair and lamp; whenever he comes to us he can rest there.’ One day when he came, he retired to the upper room and lay down. He said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Call our Shunammitess. Tell her this: “Look, you have gone to all this trouble for us, what can we do for you? Is there anything you would like said for you to the king or to the commander of the army?”’ But she replied, ‘I live with my own people about me.’ ‘What can be done for her then?’ he asked. Gehazi answered, ‘Well, she has no son and her husband is old.’ Elisha said, ‘Call her.’ The servant called her and she stood at the door. This time next year,’ he said ‘you will hold a son in your arms.’
Psalm 88(89):2-3, 16-19
R/ I will sing forever of your love, O Lord.
- I will sing forever of your love, O Lord; through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth. Of this I am sure, that your love lasts forever, that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
- Happy the people who acclaim such a king, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who find their joy every day in your name, who make your justice the source of their bliss.
- For it is you, O Lord, who are the glory of their strength; by your favour it is that our might is exalted; for our ruler is in the keeping of the Lord; our king in the keeping of the Holy One of Israel.
Second reading: Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life. But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him anymore. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
Gospel Acclamation : Ac 16:14
Alleluia, alleluia! Open our heart, O Lord, to accept the words of your Son. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 10: 37-42
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. ‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me. ‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward. ‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who graciously accomplish the effects of your mysteries, grant, we pray, that the deeds by which we serve you may be worthy of these sacred gifts. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 102: 1
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all within me, his holy name.
Prayer after Communion
May this divine sacrifice we have offered and received fill us with life, O Lord, we pray, so that, bound to you in lasting charity, we may bear fruit that lasts forever. Through Christ our Lord.
The readings today bring out one clear theme: hospitality. In the first reading, the Shunammite woman does not only welcome the prophet Elisha but goes ahead to make a room for him in her home. She has no special interests and does not intend to gain praises from the public. Her kind gesture and hospitality are due to the fact that Elisha is a prophet, a holy man of God. She received the Lord’s blessing when the prophet promised this childless couple the gift of a child. The gesture of this woman is re-echoed in the Gospel when Jesus says, “Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.” Jesus also speaks of the need to put the Lord first in our lives, even before our own families. Our condition as disciples is not therefore a marginal or a secondary aspect of our lives, it is the central aspect of our being. We are therefore called upon to open our hearts to the Lord just as this woman did when she received Elisha. When we love God first and above everything, then all other relationships will become meaningful. Without God any relationship will have no foundation and no basis. Saint Paul confirms this in our second reading, taken from the Letter to the Romans when he says, “…so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.” We can only reach the newness of life if we trust in God and allow him to live in our hearts and to become instruments of his divine will.