16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalter week IV
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 53: 6, 8 See, I have God for my help. The Lord sustains my soul. I will sacrifice to you with willing heart, and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
Show favour, O Lord, to your servants and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands. 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 12:13,16-19
There is no god, other than you, who cares for everything, to whom you might have to prove that you never judged unjustly; Your justice has its source in strength, your sovereignty over all makes you lenient to all. You show your strength when your sovereign power is questioned and you expose the insolence of those who know it; but, disposing of such strength, you are mild in judgement, you govern us with great lenience, for you have only to will, and your power is there. By acting thus you have taught a lesson to your people how the virtuous man must be kindly to his fellow men, and you have given your sons the good hope that after sin you will grant repentance.
R/ O Lord, you are good and forgiving.
O Lord, you are good and forgiving, full of love to all who call. Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my voice.
All the nations shall come to adore you and glorify your name, O Lord: for you are great and do marvellous deeds, you who alone are God.
But you, God of mercy and compassion, slow to anger, O Lord, abounding in love and truth, turn and take pity on me.
Second reading: Romans 8:26-27
The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.
Gospel Acclamation: cf.Ep1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia! May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Jesus put another parable before the crowds: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.” He put another parable before them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.” He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.” In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy: I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world. Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, “Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.” He said in reply, “The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!”
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who in the one perfect sacrifice brought to completion varied offerings of the law, accept, we pray, this sacrifice from your faithful servants and make it holy, as you blessed the gifts of Abel, so that what each has offered to the honour of your majesty may benefit the salvation of all. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 110: 4-5
The Lord, the gracious, the merciful, has made a memorial of his wonders; he gives food to those who fear him.
Prayer after Communion
Graciously be present to your people, we pray, O Lord, and lead those you have imbued with heavenly mysteries to pass from former ways to newness of life. Through Christ our Lord.
The Lord gives us a strong invitation to conversion today. Indeed, the Lord shows his power and his universal paternity over creation, by doing everything possible for our salvation. He uses forgiveness and patience, despite the presence of the ‘weed’. He gives us his Spirit so that he may ask for us what is necessary for us to grow like the little mustard seed that was sown, because at the end of the world it will be too late. Lord, may your Spirit help us to shine as worthy sons of the kingdom in the night of this world.