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Showing posts with label Romans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romans. Show all posts

Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Homily - The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 88(89):2-5, 27, 29 ©

Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27 ©

Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:38

The Gospel According to Luke 1:26 – 38 ©


(NJB)



The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)



All people of good faith should be mindful of this:


God, the creator of the universe; God does not appoint kings.


God dwells in all places at all times, and there is no place where God is not. There is no heart that God does not speak to, no people that God does not love.


God was never confined to a tent, nor ever to a temple. God does not favor kings or their sons. God is not a royalist.


God does not speak to God’s servants in words, like the words that I write here.


Strike these ideas and the myths that perpetuate them from the sacred text, they represent the vanity of human beings and nothing more.


The sacred texts are not a good place for nationalism and jingoism.


We must reject this language wherever we find it!


God, the creator of the universe, God does not favor one person over another, one family, one tribe, one nation.


God is a God of love and mercy, not a God of palace intrigues, not a God of battles.



God, the creator of the universe, God is wise. We are each created in the divine image, and God’s wisdom resides there, like a seed, the whole is in the part. 


Jesus exemplified this. He did not exemplify how faith (which means trust in the divine plan), made him obedient, but how faith (his trust in God) freed him to do what he knew in his heart was right.


God does not wish us to be servants and slaves, but partners in in the a ministry of justice and mercy.


Consider the Gospel reading for today.


Whatever the truth is regarding the birth of Jesus, known by his family Joshua son of Joseph, we may say this the way, which he preached is not served by false narratives.


The stories of Jesus’ birth, the annunciation as we have it presented here, these are myths. If we read them literally we are perpetuating propaganda and lies.


God is truth, and the way of God is not served by such prevarications.



First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 ©


Your House and Your Sovereignty will Always Stand Secure Before Me


Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’


But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:


‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

 


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 88(89):2-5, 27, 29 ©


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;

  through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.

Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,

  that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

  I have sworn to David my servant:

I will establish your dynasty for ever

  and set up your throne through all ages.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


‘He will say to me: “You are my father,

  my God, the rock who saves me.”

I will keep my love for him always;

  with him my covenant shall last.’


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.



Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27 ©


The Mystery is Revealed that was Kept Secret for Endless Ages


Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.



Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:38


Alleluia, alleluia!


I am the handmaid of the Lord: let what you have said be done to me.


Alleluia!



The Gospel According to Luke 1:26 – 38 ©


'I Am the Handmaid of the Lord'


The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.



The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)




Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Homily - The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – Ecclesiasticus 27:33-28:9 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 102(103):1-4, 9-12 ©
Second Reading – Romans 14:7-9 ©
Gospel Acclamation – 1 Samuel 3:9, John 6:68
Alternative Acclamation – John 13:34
The Gospel According to Matthew 18:21 - 35 ©

(NJB)

The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)



Love your neighbor, including the stranger among you. Pray for those who persecute you, forgive and seek forgiveness, accept it when it is offered.

Walk with humility, be merciful and love justice all the days of your life, these are the teaching of Jesus.

Where the author of Ecclesiasticus errs is when he suggests that God keeps account of our sins; the creator of the universe is not a bookkeeper, or a banker. Our lives are not summarized by a double entry ledger, marking our merits and demerits.

The economy of salvation is not a marketplace where we exchange mercy for mercy.

Grace is a gift, and all of God’s children receive it freely.

No one is left out.

Consider the words of the psalmist:

Give thanks to God, for the peace of God’s blessing, for the blessing of life, of freedom, of self-determination and every other aspect of our being that contributes to our personhood.

Give thanks to those who are loving, to the peacemakers and bless them as you are able.

Bless all of God’s children, as God does, love them all, both the good and the bad, the helpful and the harmful, the just and the unjust.

And remember this, God is not a king, God is not a Lord. God does not favor one group over another. God does not intervene in the affairs of human beings.

God, the creator of the universe, God is the God of everything, of everyone, in all places and all times.

God always identifies with us, desires what is good for us and works in subtle ways to bring us toward that end. God is confident of God’s plan and the fulfillment of God’s will, even if we are not.

Listen!

When leaders arise among us we must acknowledge them; when that leadership is pure, and we see that their work is holy we must acknowledge that. Though in acknowledging these things it is important that we do not embellish.

Know this:

God speaks to all people. God speaks in the human heart. God is present to anyone who will listen, but God does not favor some over others, and God does not appear in visions.

In every way, but the way of the hear, God is silent.

This is the good news: God loves you and you are saved. You are not saved for anything that you have done, you did not earn your salvation, you are saved because God loves you.

The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.

God has already forgiven you. You are already saved.

God has prepared you as God has prepared everyone, for eternal life.

Believe it!

Let the goodness of the promise flow through you now, and start living this life as if it were true.

We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, the Holy One of God, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to one another.


Love one another.

To follow Jesus is to lead with love.

Love as Jesus loved. Be humble, be merciful, be just.

Be prepared to risk everything for the sake of love, even your life.

In this way you will be true to Jesus, there is no other way.

Faith (which is the trust we place in God); faith is not about words, it is about actions. Faith is not ideology, it is not partisan, it is not dogmatic, it is not doctrinaire. Faith is not a legally binding agreement or a contract. Faith is not concerned with creeds, or secrets, or magic words.

Faith is love.

Consider the gospel for today:

Forgive, be merciful.

Forget every word in this passage except these:

Do not settle on merely forgiving someone seven times, but forgive them seventy-seven times.

Do not place limits on your mercy.

If it is in your power to forgive someone, forgive them.

Forgive your sister and brother, your father and mother, your neighbor, the stranger, even the one who persecuted you.

Forgive them from your heart, and forgive yourself.

Do not be like the servant who receives mercy, and then refuses to be merciful.

Do not be like Peter who time and time again failed to understand the teaching of Jesus.

The writers of Matthew’s Gospel remembered to articulate the endless bounty of Jesus’ compassion. They remembered this and placed that at the beginning of this passage.

Forgive the wrongdoer, Jesus said, not once, not twice, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

They remembered this and then quickly drafted a parable in which the principle actor fails to follow suit, forgiving his servant once, but not a second time.

Follow Jesus, and correct the Church.


First Reading – Ecclesiasticus 27:33-28:9 ©

Forgive Your Neighbour the Hurt He Does You; and When You Pray, Your Sins Will Be Forgiven

Resentment and anger, these are foul things, and both are found with the sinner.

He who exacts vengeance will experience the vengeance of the Lord, who keeps strict account of sin.

Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven.

If a man nurses anger against another, can he then demand compassion from the Lord?

Showing no pity for a man like himself, can he then plead for his own sins?

Mere creature of flesh, he cherishes resentment; who will forgive him his sins?

Remember the last things, and stop hating, remember dissolution and death, and live by the commandments.

Remember the commandments, and do not bear your neighbour ill-will; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook the offence.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 102(103):1-4, 9-12 ©

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
  who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
  who crowns you with love and compassion.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

His wrath will come to an end;
  he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins
  nor repay us according to our faults.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

For as the heavens are high above the earth
  so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west
  so far does he remove our sins.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.


Second Reading – Romans 14:7-9 ©

Alive or Dead, We Belong to the Lord

The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life: it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.


Gospel Acclamation – 1 Samuel 3:9, John 6:68

Alleluia, alleluia!

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening: you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – John 13:34

Alleluia, alleluia!

I give you a new commandment: love one another just as I have loved you, says the Lord.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 18:21 - 35 ©

To Be forgiven, You Must forgive

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
 
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’


The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Homily - The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 84(85):9-14 ©
Second Reading – Romans 9:1-5 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Luke 19:38, 2:14
Alternative Acclamation – Psalm 129:5
The Gospel According to Matthew 14:22 - 33 ©

(NJB)

The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Listen!

God, the creator of the universe: God is not a maker of kings. God is not a general leading armies. God does not desire sacrifices of flesh and blood.

God, the creator of the universe is a god of love and mercy, of justice and compassion, of humility.

Consider the words of the psalmist and know that all things belong to God:, all lands, all seas, all planets, all stars, all galaxies; everything and everyone that is in them.

God did not end the captivity of Jacob, the tribe of Jacob did.

This is not hubris. What is hubris is thinking that God loves a special people above all others, and that God would do for them things that God would not do for others, not the understanding that the Israelites escaped their bondage in Egypt under their own power.

Know this:

God was never angry or indignant with the people, it is not due to God’s anger that people suffer. God does not rescue us from our plight or from the miseries of the world; that is for us to do, we must rescue ourselves and deliver the other.

Be mindful!

There are no individuals, there are no families, no tribes, no clans, there are no nations of whom it may be said that God loves them more than any other people.

Do not chase after vanities, trust in the judgement of God, trust in God’s plan for creation, trust that God loves everyone and desires their salvation.

Have faith that God will accomplish what God wills.

Remember this, God is not king, or a lord.

The creator of the universe does not wear a crown.

We do not seek glory as we struggle on the way toward salvation.

As we follow the way of Jesus we seek out the lowest of the low, not the highest heaven, we seek to serve those in the deepest dark and return them to the light of love.

God, creator of the universe, God is patient, loving and kind. God is merciful and just, God is humble and desires that we emulate the divine in these ways

Learn from God; become like God, loving, merciful, patient, humble, just and a blessing to all.

Consider the Gospel reading for today:

Bear in mind that the events it describes never happened.

This myth is a metaphor.

It is intended to communicate the idea that Jesus is not merely the Son of God, but the king of the gods. In it Jesus is depicted as master of the storm and lord of the deep, like other God-Kings, in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean region.

The image of Jesus walking on water, abating the winds, mastering the weather, and calming the storm, is analogous to the triumph of Zeus over the sea monster Typhon, or Marduk over the forces of Chaos represented in the dragon Tiamat.

In the reading for today Jesus is depicted as triumphant over the same forces, walking over the water just as Zeus and Marduk stood over the bodies of their vanquished foes in victory.
The myth is also intended to convey that the early church, represented by Simon Peter, was not entirely comfortable with this narrative, though it set aside its fears and embraced it nonetheless. In this metaphor Peter is the Church (Peter is always the church in Matthew’s Gospel), and the Church has been shaken by the death of Jesus.

Jesus had disappeared, returning only as an apparition. Peter moves toward the ghostly figure seeking to embrace it, but he is terrified and begins to lose heart. Peter does not know if they can transform the life and death of his friend and teacher into the grandiose and spectacular narrative that the people who had followed Jesus, who were now following him and the disciples into the narrative that they are hungry for.

In the end Peter embraces the mythology, the church sets aside the historical Jesus and embraces it too, in so doing the chaos that was shaking their movement in the wake of the crucifixion settles down. The mythological narrative is advanced and Jesus rises from the dead, he is no longer an ordinary man, the rabbi from Galilee; he is the Son of God, he is Christ the King.

Peter understood that in this way the church would survive, the storms would abate, if he and the others could convince people to believe this above all other things.



The Lord was Not in the Wind, or the Earthquake, or the Fire

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 84(85):9-14 ©

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
  a voice that speaks of peace.
His help is near for those who fear him
  and his glory will dwell in our land.

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.

Mercy and faithfulness have met;
  justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
  and justice look down from heaven.

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.

The Lord will make us prosper
  and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
  and peace shall follow his steps.

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.


Second Reading – Romans 9:1-5 ©

I Would Willingly be Condemned if it Could Help My Brothers

What I want to say now is no pretence; I say it in union with Christ – it is the truth – my conscience in union with the Holy Spirit assures me of it too. What I want to say is this: my sorrow is so great, my mental anguish so endless, I would willingly be condemned and be cut off from Christ if it could help my brothers of Israel, my own flesh and blood. They were adopted as sons, they were given the glory and the covenants; the Law and the ritual were drawn up for them, and the promises were made to them. They are descended from the patriarchs and from their flesh and blood came Christ who is above all, God for ever blessed! Amen.


Gospel Acclamation – Luke 19:38, 2:14

Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessings on the King who comes, in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!

Alleluia!



Alleluia, alleluia!

My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 14:22 - 33 ©

Jesus Walks on the Water

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’



Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Homily - The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 144(145):8-9, 15-18 ©
Second Reading – Romans 8:35, 37-39 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Luke 19:38, 2:14
Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 4:4
The Gospel According to Matthew 14:13-21 ©

(NJB)

The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)



The covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the covenant God made with Moses,  Joshua and David, the covenant God made the prophets and with Jesus and is meant to a blessing on all people, wherever they are, because God is with them as God is with you even when you feel lost and alone.

God promises to deliver everyone to a state of blessedness, even the stranger and the sinner.

God works God’s will through grace, this is the way Jesus instructed us, this is the way to the fruits of paradise.

Consider the words of the psalmist and know that he is mistaken, God is not a king.

God is the creator of the universe, God is present in all times and places; God is there in the deepest places of the human heart but does not intervene directly in human events.

God only issues an indirect influence in our lives. God’s power does not interfere with our freedom.

Contemplate the vast power of God and contemplate the ways of God’s love and mercy, take it for yourself and identify with it, passing through the narrow arch and into the way of goodness and justice and mercy.

Consider the words of the apostle, everything he says is true, but it is true for all people, not just for Christians and Jews.

It is true for everyone.

Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ; not one thing, either from within or from without.

Jesus loves us.

Remember this, God is not a lord. The creator of the universe does not wear a crown.

As Christians we are called on to set aside grandiose notions of glory as we struggle on the way toward salvation. We are called on to follow Jesus and seek out the lowest of the low, not the highest heaven, seeking to serve those in the deepest dark, returning them to the light of love.

If we live merely to eat we are no different than the beasts of the field and the forest, merely following our noses and the hunger in our bellies, ruled by thirst and subject to the vicissitudes of desire.

We can be more than that, we were made to be more than that, we are meant to look beyond ourselves and to be drawn out of ourselves to see in our neighbors another-self and the divine spark that unites us spiritually, that we may be transcendent in following the way.

Consider the Gospel for today and the feeding of the multitude.

The miracle of the loaves and fishes is a metaphor, read it carefully.

The feeding of the multitude may have happened, though it is just as likely that the narrative is pure myth. The truth of it does not matter, what matters is the way in which the metaphor supports and endorses a principle of communal living and sharing.

The disciples were concerned for Jesus, they wanted to separate him from the crowds, and separate the crowds from his ministry.

Jesus would not have it.

The disciples as is typical of them, argued for the wrong thing, they wanted to send everyone away, put them on their own, have them fend for themselves.

This is not the way.

Jesus did not rebuke them, as he often did when they erred like this. He simply showed them the way.

Jesus took all that they had and shared it with the multitude, the crowds saw his generosity and shared of what they had, everyone contributed according to the rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, love your neighbor as yourself, serve God by serving the other.

Together they generated a superabundance of food, more than enough to feed everyone, and the lesson ended there, with no magic and no miracles, with simple generosity and love.


First Reading – Isaiah 55:1-3 ©

Come and Eat

Thus says the Lord:

Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come!

Buy corn without money, and eat, and, at no cost, wine and milk.

Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy.

Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live.

With you I will make an everlasting covenant out of the favours promised to David.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 144(145):8-9, 15-18 ©

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
  slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
  compassionate to all his creatures.

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
  and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand,
  grant the desires of all who live.

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

The Lord is just in all his ways
  and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
  who call on him from their hearts.

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.



No Created Thing Can Ever Come Between Us and the Love of God Made Visible in Christ

Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessings on the King who comes, in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 4:4

Alleluia, alleluia!

Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 14:13-21 ©

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.

When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.


The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)