17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME,
Psalter week I
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 67: 6-7
God is in his holy place, God who unites those who dwell in his house; he himself gives might and strength to his people.
O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. 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: 1 Kings 3:5,7-12
The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what you would like me to give you.” Solomon replied, “O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this. “Since you have asked for this” the Lord said “and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you.”
R/ Lord, how I love your law!
My part, I have resolved, O Lord, is to obey your word. The law from your mouth means more to me than silver and gold.
Let your love be ready to console me by your promise to your servant. Let your love come and I shall live for your law is my delight.
That is why I love your commands more than finest gold, why I rule my life by your precepts, and hate false ways.
Your will is wonderful indeed; therefore I obey it. The unfolding of your word gives light and teaches the simple.
Second reading: Romans 8:28-30
We know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially, long ago, and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called, he justified, and with those he justified, he shared his glory.
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: Matthew 13:44-52
Jesus said to the crowds, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Have you understood all this?” They said, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, we pray, the offerings which we bring from the abundance of your gifts, that through the powerful working of your grace these most sacred mysteries may sanctify our present way of life and lead us to eternal gladness. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 102: 2
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all his benefits.
Prayer after Communion
We have consumed, O Lord, this divine Sacrament, the perpetual memorial of the Passion of your Son; grant, we pray, that this gift, which he himself gave us with love beyond all telling, may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus brings to our knowledge the beauty of the kingdom of heaven. He compares it first with a treasure, then fine pearls and finally a dragnet that separates the good from the bad. The beauty of the kingdom of heaven gives one the desire to belong to it. These parables teach us that we should use any opportunity to inherit the kingdom of heaven. The one who sees what can lead him/her to heaven should hold it with greatness and sacrifice everything in other to have it. Let us be able to sell our pride, pleasures, wickedness and worldly possessions that block us from inheriting the kingdom of heaven.