—– Saint Teresa of Jesus – Pray for Us!
BEFORE GOD—WE HAVE WORTH
Abraham was saved not by what he did but because, when he was a pagan and a sinner, he discovered a caring God in whom he believed. He knew that he stood before God with empty hands and consented to receive gratuitously from the hands of God.
Christ continues to denounce the Pharisees. In the contradictions of a life that wants to be faithful to the Gospel, Christians have to go God’s ways, not their own. They entrust themselves into the hands of God who cares and to whom we are very precious.
Lord our God,
we stand before you with empty hands.
Our good intentions, the things we do
are powerless to save us.
God, help us to accept this truth,
for it hurts our pride.
Teach us to receive gratuitously
your grace, your merciful love
and also the help and love of our neighbour.
Save us from ourselves and from sin
by the grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
1 Reading: ROMANS 4:1-8
Brothers and sisters: What can we say that Abraham found, our ancestor according to the flesh? Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works, he has reason to boast; but this was not so in the sight of God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due. But when one does not work, yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. So also David declares the blessedness of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.
Responsorial Psalm 32:1B-2, 5, 11
R. (cf. 7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile. R.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin. R.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart. R.
Alleluia: PSALM 33:22
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: LUKE 12:1-7
At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven – that is, the hypocrisy – of the Pharisees. “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
“Nothing is covered that will not be uncovered, or hidden that will not be made known.” Everything becomes visible eventually. People who thought they took secrets with them to the grave would be surprised if they could see how much we knew! And secrets have ways of creeping even out of graves. So why make an absolute division between the inside and the outside? They are partners!
The heart is a fertile place; anything hidden there will grow for sure. If you can’t keep grass from growing up through your paths, you should take that as fair warning about the heart! It would be wise to ensure that only the best things are planted in that secret place: love, goodness, truth…. But very often it’s the bad things we hide, while we display all the good things. Anything displayed is scattered to the wind and never takes root. The terrible result is that only badness grows in us! This is shocking for a person who is used to being seen as good. So the division starts: the inside will be hidden forever, we think; only the outside will be seen from now on…. This is the lonely birth of hypocrisy. It’s understandable, given that we’re all very weak.
If only we could do the reverse: hide the good things and broadcast the bad…. That’s the wisdom of the sacrament of Reconciliation.
– That our faith may be a personal encounter with a living God to whom we commit ourselves, we pray:
– That we may not boast about what we have done for God, but recognize with humility and gratitude what God has done for us, we pray:
– That with great trust, we may put ourselves into the hands of God, who loves us deeply in Christ, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, merciful Father,
in the face of contradiction and opposition
your Son Jesus, went his loyal way to you,
for he knew that he lived
in the palm of your hand.
In these signs of bread and wine,
we too entrust ourselves to you,
for we know that we are your friends
and that you care for us
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
Our God and Father,
you love us as we are,
even when you see our faults and failures.
You forget the evil we do
and we are good enough for you
to give us your Son Jesus Christ.
Accept our thanks
and let your Son fill us
with his Spirit of trust and love,
that we too may learn
to trust and love one another
and to be a community in which Jesus lives,
he who is our Lord for ever. Amen!
Jesus assures us that God cares for us and that we are precious to him. Ask him to keep us in his love. May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!