30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalter week II
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 104: 3-4
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.
Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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: Exodus 22:20-26
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the sons of Israel this: ‘You must not molest the stranger or oppress him, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt. You must not be harsh with the widow, or with the orphan; if you are harsh with them, they will surely cry out to me, and be sure I shall hear their cry; my anger will flare and I shall kill you with the sword, your own wives will be widows, your own children orphans. If you lend money to any of my people, to any poor man among you, you must not play the usurer with him: you must not demand interest from him. If you take another’s cloak as a pledge, you must give it back to him before sunset. It is all the covering he has; it is the cloak he wraps his body in; what else would he sleep in? If he cries to me, I will listen, for I am full of pity.’”
Psalm 17 (18): 2-4, 47, 51
R/ I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my saviour. My God is the rock where I take refuge; my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold. The Lord is worthy of all praise, when I call I am saved from my foes.
Long life to the Lord, my rock! Praised be the God who saves me, He has given great victories to his king and shown his love for his anointed.
Second reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
You observed the sort of life we lived when we were with you, which was for your instruction, and you were led to become imitators of us, and of the Lord; and it was with the joy of the Holy Spirit that you took to the gospel, in spite of the great opposition all round you. This has made you the great example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia since it was from you that the word of the Lord started to spread – and not only throughout Macedonia and Achaia, for the news of your faith in God has spread everywhere. We do not need to tell other people about it: other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with idolatry when you were converted to God and became servants of the real, living God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven to save us from the retribution which is coming.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Ac16:14
Alleluia, alleluia! Open our heart, O Lord, to accept the words of your Son. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, “Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?” Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 19: 6
We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.
Prayer after Communion
May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.
What is love? How are we to love? We feel that these questions hold the key to the true life to which we aspire. It is because Christ has the words of eternal life; because he came so that people might have life in abundance by giving his life for us, that he alone can reveal to us the whole truth about Love. We learn of this truth through his Word which Paul invites us to accept, that is, to meditate on and above all to believe, with the joy of the Holy Spirit; and through his living example, which the same Paul exhorts us to imitate. It is only by contemplating him, through prayer and encounter in the sacraments, that we will understand, step by step, what it means to love God above all else and our neighbour as ourselves, and that we will be able to live this twofold and unique commandment of love. It is a commandment that opens up eternal life to us, even while we are still here on earth.