WORTH MORE THAN MANY SPARROWS
Ephesians continues to praise God. In Christ we have received the truth as found in the gospel and we were given the Spirit. We are God’s own people, whose task is to give praise and glory to 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 Intercessions,
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 Ephesians 1:11-14
Brothers and sisters: In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.
Responsorial Psalm PS 33:1 -2, 4 -5, 12 -13
R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises. R.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. R.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind. R.
Alleluia PS 33:22
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
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.”
Ephesians speaks today of the manner in which God’s plan is being realized among the believers. They first have heard the word of truth, “the gospel of your salvation.” In their baptism, they were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, “the first installment of our inheritance.” They are in progress toward final redemption “to the praise of his glory.” All of this is accomplished in Christ the Lord. One of the great moments of the Easter vigil is the baptism of the catechumens. One can see the joy of their newfound faith in their faces. For them this moment so often signifies a great step forward in life; they prize something we so often take for granted. They are spoken of in the liturgy as “the elect.” It is at times such as these that we understand the teaching of today’s Gospel. In our calling we know that we are of an inestimable worth. Baptism convinces us of that. Hypocrisy is rejected in the teaching of Christ. We cannot claim openness and live a secret. Our life is destined to become an open book. This calls for transparency in all that we do.
– 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!