Tuesday of 25th Week of the Year, September 22, 2020

How do we deal with our neighbour? Justice is more important than sacrifice, and we should hear the cries of the poor.
After his parables on the sower of the word and of the lamp, Luke, using the incident of Mary and Jesus’ relatives seeking him out in the crowd, sums up by saying that Jesus’ new family is made up of those who hear the word of God and live accordingly. Accepting the gospel transcends family ties. This is no direct rebuke to Mary, as we know that she received and responded to the word of God and pondered it in her heart. Like her, do we put it into practice?

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
you have called all who listen
to the Word of your Son
and put it into practice
to be the new family you love.
Address each of us personally,
that we may understand your word,
receive it with ready hearts, like Mary,
and let it become flesh and blood
in all our actions.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!

1 Reading: Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD; wherever it pleases him, he directs it. All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD who proves hearts. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart– the tillage of the wicked is sin. The plans of the diligent are sure of profit, but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty. Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue is chasing a bubble over deadly snares. The soul of the wicked man desires evil; his neighbour finds no pity in his eyes. When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser; when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. The just man appraises the house of the wicked: there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin. He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.

Responsorial Psalm 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
R. (35) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD. R.

Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. R.

The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me. R.

Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart. R.

Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight. R.

And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever. R.

Alleluia Luke 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Luke 8:19-2
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

Proverbs highlights the choices of the wicked and those of the good. Proper conduct has more value than the execution of ritual. Pride and arrogance lead to ruin. Diligence and care reap benefits; haste leads to loss. The proud and haughty person proceeds with little care for his neighbour. He who shows no concern for the cry of the poor will one day be unheard himself.
Transposed to a slightly higher key, the conduct of the just person as found in the Wisdom literature is also that of the true family of Christ, highlighted in today’s Gospel. The brother and sister of Christ work for the good of their neighbour, avoid arrogance and pride, are sensitive to the needs of the poor. We can all profit by the Old Testament ethic and, as we read the books of Wisdom, make our own examination of conscience.
Today’s Gospel carries us back to another Lucan narrative (in chapter 2), the loss of Jesus for three days during the family visit to Jerusalem. Jesus remains respectful of Mary and Joseph but also emphasizes the priority to be given to his Father’s concerns. There are times in our own lives when the concerns of God take precedence over the best of human interests. He said it himself, if we don’t choose him over and above everything else, then, we’ll be unworthy of his kingdom.

– That we may be close to Jesus by seeking with him and his mother the will of the Father in everything, we pray:
– That priests and religious may keep trusting in the Lord who has called them notwithstanding their human weakness and that with Christ they may care for people to bring them close to God, we pray:
– That by keeping our baptismal promises we may be faithful to God who remains always faithful to us, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
we have heard your word
and now we bring before you
this bread and this wine.
Let this be the food and drink
that give us the strength
to act upon the word of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
your Word became flesh for us
in this Eucharistic celebration.
Let the word of your son unite us
to be fully the new family of your Church.
Let the Spirit of your Son fill our own words
with truth, integrity and love,
that we may brighten each other’s day.
And may our lives echo to the world
the word you have spoken to us,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

We should be people of the Word: people who belong to Christ, the living Word of God; people who keep their word; people who live according to the word they believe in; people, like Mary, who are completely open to the word of God. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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