LIKE CHRIST—SHOW YOUR LOVE INDEED
Ephesians speaks of the qualities of love, as a response to the love shown us in Christ. By living in love we also imitate God. As Christians we are light and should live as children of light.
The stooped woman whom Jesus cured is just one sample of his love. Again, the legalists protest because Jesus cured a sick person on the Sabbath. Jesus appeals to their common sense. The Sabbath is a day of God, a day on which we remember the goodness of God and thank him for his love. Isn’t the day of the Lord the best day on which we can pass on the love of the Lord to one another and create one another anew?
God our Father,
we come to you in all humility
as we acknowledge to you that we have failed
and now seek your forgiveness.
Straighten us, Lord, lift us up,
recreate us anew,
and fill us with your love
Make us lift up one another
and give thanks to you,
our merciful and living God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
Reading: Ephesians 4:32–5:8
Brothers and sisters: Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
R. (cf. Eph. 5:1) Behave like God as his very dear children.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night. R.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers. R.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes. R.
Alleluia John 17:17B, 17A
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
Borderline conduct! Paul today is not speaking to unbelievers but to the community of faith. He is clearly advising them against compromising their commitment by dabbling in the type of conduct that they should abhor. It is charity, compassion, and forgiveness that are to be the mainstays of their daily lives. Immorality, impurity, and greed should not even be part of their conversation. Since they are a people of thanksgiving to God for benefits received, this posture should dominate their comportment. They are to live as children of light.
There is real wisdom here. Even though we would not want to betray our inheritance in Christ, there are moments in all our lives, especially in conversations with others, when we treat virtue lightly and indulge in conversations that are in no way helpful. It is not always easy to maintain our sense of values in what we say. The more we engage in talk of immoral conduct, the greater is the danger. In this regard we should be especially mindful of the good name of other people and not damage it by our remarks, which, even though truthful, may still be hurtful.
In today’s Gospel Jesus acts on behalf of the deformed woman before being asked. It is that type of response we would all like to have in the face of difficult situations. We may pray with the psalmist today to be like the trees planted near running water, which yield abundant fruit in due season.
– That Christians everywhere may not be men and women of legalisms and outward observances, but people with a heart who do what they can for one another because they are God’s children, we pray:
– That we may be reliable friends to those marked by suffering in any form; that we may lighten their burdens and help them trust in God and in people, we pray:
– That the Eucharistic celebration on Sundays may be to all our Christian communities a source of great joy as we deeply encounter the Lord as a spring of strength to follow, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
in these signs of bread and wine
we offer you our grateful and admiring love
as a gift of pleasing fragrance.
Free us from our infirmities,
help us to stand up in your presence
as your sons and daughters,
who know that you love us
and who communicate that love
to all whom we meet.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
through the presence of your Son
you have doubled our happiness
and lessened our miseries.
Let him give us in this Eucharist
the joy of sharing with one another
your own joy and goodness.
May we be present to one another,
as you are present to us
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
On the day of the Lord we intercede as mediators for the great needs of the Church, of the world, and of people in need. It is nice to pray for these Intercessions, but may the Lord inspire and empower us to do something effective to relieve these needs, whether on the Lord’s day or any day, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!