Sunday 04th September 2022
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Entrance Antiphon : Ps 118: 137, 124
You are just, O Lord, and your judgement is right; treat your servant in accord with your merciful love.
O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption, look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters, that those who believe in Christ may receive true freedom and an everlasting inheritance. 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 : Wisdom 9:13-18
What man indeed can know the intentions of God? Who can divine the will of the Lord? The reasonings of mortals are unsure and our intentions unstable; for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weighs down the teeming mind. It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth, laborious to know what lies within our reach; who, then, can discover what is in the heavens? As for your intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted Wisdom and sent your holy spirit from above? Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and men been taught what pleases you, and saved, by Wisdom.
R/ O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.
- You turn men back to dust and say: ‘Go back, sons of men.’ To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, no more than a watch in the night.
- You sweep men away like a dream, like the grass which springs up in the morning. In the morning it springs up and flowers: by evening it withers and fades.
- Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? Show pity to your servants.
- In the morning, fill us with your love; we shall exult and rejoice all our days. Let the favour of the Lord be upon us: give success to the work of our hands.
Second reading : Philemon 9-10,12-17
This is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn15:15
Alleluia, alleluia! I call you friends, says the Lord, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 14:25-33
Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. ‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who gives us the gift of true prayer and of peace, graciously grant that through this offering, we may do fitting homage to your divine majesty and, by partaking of the sacred mystery, we may be faithfully united in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 41: 2-3
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God.
Prayer after Communion
Grant that your faithful, O Lord, whom you nourish and endow with life through the food of your Word and heavenly Sacrament, may so benefit from your beloved Son’s great gifts that we may merit an eternal share in his life. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Three elements that can constitute a barrier in following Jesus closely as His disciples are: relationships (in the sense that close persons hinder us from doing and saying the things we ought to do and say), lack of perseverance (in terms of lack of patience in doing things, acting from pressure so that we leave out essential steps and leave out Jesus whom we should invite in trying times) and possession (by turning to things that make us lose focus, the wealth we gather which get our attention more than Christ Himself), as Jesus shows us in the Gospel. What are those things that hinder us from being close to Christ? Are we so busy with running businesses and errands that we have no time for family, let alone God? Is it because of sports that we don’t care about the welfare of others around us? Whatever those walls may be, we must pull them down.