Greeting (Cf. Hebrews 3:14)
The Lord Jesus is here with us.
We are all partners with him
if we hold on to the trust
we had in the beginning.
May he always be with you.
R/ And with your spirit.
Stand Ready in Faith
It is surprising how many people live in fear: fear of illness, fear of losing their beloved ones, fear of their own death, fear of today, fear of tomorrow. In Nigeria, it is fear everywhere. Jesus assures us: “Do not fear! Do not give up your hope! Have faith!” Even when we go through difficult days, we should never give up our faith and hope; we should always stay alert to the Lord and to his loving coming among us.
Yes, we know God is always with us. However, if we knew from the beginning the difficulties we would have to cope with before we could bring something to a good end, would we have had the courage to begin the work? And even then we fail at times. Yes, we would have done it and do it again if we had faith and hope and strength of character. That is what faith and hope are all about: to do what we have to do, to go on even if we are working in the dark, for if we have faith we know we are not alone. God is with us, there is a promise and a future, and the dawn will come. In this Eucharist we ask the Lord to sit with us at table, to give us strength and to keep us always attentive to his presence.
Penitential Act
Let us acknowledge before the Lord
that at times we have failed to believe fully
in his promises and in his future.
Lord Jesus, you tell us:
Do not be afraid. Trust in me.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you ask of us
to be always ready to open the door for you.
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you expect us
to serve you in people as your faithful servants.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Lord, let your kind forgiveness
strengthen our faith and hope.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Opening Prayer
Let us pray
for trust in God’s promises
Lord God, unseen and yet the ground
of all reality, of all that counts,
we seek security and certainty,
something we can see and hold on to.
It is fearful for us to walk in the dark
and confusing not to know where the road leads.
Be truly our God in whom we trust:
Help us to serve you faithfully in the present
and to be ready to follow you in the future.
Take us by the hand
and guide us through all obstacles
to the land of your promise.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
First Reading (Wisdom 18:6-9): Trust in God’s Promises
When God’s people had to pass through trials, they recalled the night of the first Passover, when God had saved them.
1 Reading: WISDOM 18:6-9
The night of the Passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage. Your people awaited the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes. For when you punished our adversaries, in this you glorified us whom you had summoned. For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.
Responsorial PSALM 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22
R. (12b) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. R.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine. R.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you. R.
Second Reading (HEBREWS 11:1-2,8-19 or 11:1-2,8-12): Abraham, Father of the Faith
Abraham became a pilgrim of faith because he trusted in God’s promises. He is our model, even if, like him, we don’t see where God will lead us.
2 Reading: HEBREWS 11:1-2, 8-19
Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the Promised Land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age—and Sarah herself was sterile—for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore. All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
Alleluia: MATTHEW 24;42a, 44
Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake and be ready!
For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel (LUKE 12:32-48 or 12:35-40): Prepared for the Lord’s Coming
Our faith should be so firm as to make us trust in the word of Jesus and to be ready to meet him any time.
Gospel: LUKE 12:32-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Treasure Hunt
The book of Wisdom speaks of the ancestors in faith trusting God’s promises. The letter to the Hebrews defines faith and discusses the patriarchs as its exemplars. Jesus invites us to treasure what matters and orient our lives towards it.
What we treasure will orient our entire being and guide our lives. Think of a mother who is deep asleep, totally oblivious to the noise of the traffic on the nearby road or the planes that fly above; yet the slightest whimper of her new-born baby will wake her up. For, she treasures her baby. Or, think of a businessman on bed. No noises around may disturb his sleep, but the ring of the telephone may wake him up, for it could be a business call and that’s what he treasures. We have scores of stories of people doing the seemingly impossible in sports, academics, and other various avenues of life. They do so precisely because they treasure such achievements and thereby have oriented their entire being and invested every resource towards realizing the same. What creates saints is their treasuring God and His will.
Pray for the grace to give primacy to God in every moment.
Reflect on this question today: “What do I treasure most in my life?”
Let us pray, with the fullest trust, to our kind and faithful God, and let us say:
R/ Lord, we place all our trust in you.
– That the Church may bring the light of faith where there is darkness and indifference, hope where there is fatalism and despair, and love where there is hatred and strife, let us pray:
R/ Lord, we place all our trust in you.
– That leaders, prophets, witnesses of faith, and all those whose task it is to keep hope alive toward a better world may be guided by the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord:
R/ Lord, we place all our trust in you.
– That those who are discouraged by trials, by their troubles and fears, may keep believing and hoping in a God who brings everything to a good end, let us pray:
R/ Lord, we place all our trust in you.
– That all of us may grow in the certainty that our commitment to justice and love, and our dedicated service in everyday life are needed to make God’s promises come true, let us pray:
R/ Lord, we place all our trust in you.
– That we may learn in our communities to share with one another what we have and to bear witness to our living hope, and thus prepare the return of the Lord, let us pray:
R/ Lord, we place all our trust in you.
Lord, we know that you love us and that you care for us. We trust in you, our living God for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
here are bread and wine,
the signs of faith and hope
in a world not sure of where it is going.
Accept out thanks for reassuring us
that we need not be afraid.
For you have set for us the table
of your Son Jesus Christ.
Let him give us a firm and living faith
that makes us trust in your future
as the fulfillment of all our hopes.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Each Eucharist is an act of faith and hope, for it is God present among us now as the pledge of our resurrection and the return of Christ in glory. Let us give thanks to the Father for it.
Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer
With Jesus our Lord
we entrust ourselves to our Father in heaven
and we expect all good things from him,
and so we pray: R/ Our Father…
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and from all fear
to entrust ourselves to you,
even when we are not sure
where you lead us.
Call us away from our certainties,
and lead us to the land of your promise,
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom…
Invitation to Communion
This is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.
Happy are those servants
whom the Lord finds awake when he comes.
He will give them a place at his table
and serve them. R/ Lord, I am not worthy…
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
you have kept your promise:
you have broken for us
the bread of your Son
and poured for us his wine of joy.
Jesus has waited on us at his table.
Help us to hold on to your dream
of happiness and justice for all.
Help us to live in faith
and to support one another,
as you lead us to the land of your promise,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
We have watched and prayed with the Lord.
Let us be people who wait
for the return of the Lord,
ready to open the door
as soon as he comes and knocks.
For the friend or the stranger who knocks
is the Lord himself.
May almighty God bless you all,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us go in peace,
trusting in the Lord and serving one another.
R/ Thanks be to God.

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