BE READY AT EVERY TIME
We should pay special attention to today’s beautiful first reading. Paul speaks directly about the wall of separation between Jews and non-Jews, which Christ has destroyed. All are called to be one in him. In this mission month, we could ask ourselves how many are still outside God’s covenant, how many do not yet belong to the one single body of Christ.
In the gospel Jesus exhorts his disciples to vigilance. They are like servants who should always be ready for the master’s call.
Lord our God,
Jesus your Son has broken down
the barriers dividing peoples and nations,
but why are we still so far apart,
even within our own households?
He has brought us close by his blood,
but why does his one body remain a dream
far removed from reality?
God, let us not be aliens to one another,
bring us together, help us to demolish
the walls of hatred and exploitation,
of distrust and power that divide your people,
that we may be all one
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
Reading: Ephesians 2:12-22
Brothers and sisters: You were at that time without Christ, alienated from the community of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the Blood of Christ. For he is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9AB-10, 11-12, 13-14
R. (cf. 9) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land. R.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven. R.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps. R.
Alleluia Luke 21:36
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Luke 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “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.”
In a former age, Jew and Gentile were separated by a wall of hostility. But Ephesians today highlights the reconciling work of Christ. Before, the Gentiles were alienated from Israel, strangers to the promise, without hope and without God. But now in the blood of Christ, the wall of enmity has crumbled. He has abolished the law in which Jews placed their hope so that he might bring Jew and Gentile together in one body of which he is the head. His message was one of peace—both to the Gentiles who were far off and to the Jews who were near at hand.
The Gospel today encourages us to be vigilant, not in an atmosphere of anxiety and fear, but as family members who anxiously await the arrival of their brother, with whom they will dine as brothers and sisters at the Lord’s heavenly table.
– That Churches that follow Christ as their Lord may always stress more what unites us than what divides us, we pray:
– That all the peoples of the earth may hear where the Lord Jesus can be found and come to know his name and to pray to him, we pray:
– That among the People of God there may not be aliens and strangers, but only people who are different and yet who accept one another, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God, you bring us together
around a piece of bread
and a cup of wine.
Let this bread and wine come alive,
give us Jesus, your Son
that we may no longer be foreign visitors
of this place and to one another,
but members of your own household,
and citizens of the kingdom
of peace, truth and justice
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
however different we are,
whatever separates us here in your Church
and in the world at large,
you have given us the body and blood of your Son
to bring us all together.
Let Jesus be the cornerstone
on which we all build.
Let your Spirit make us the living stones
of the house in which you live
as our God for ever and ever. Amen!
We are “all members of the household of God,” says Ephesians, not only to Jewish and ex-pagan Christians, but to us all here, however different we may be in personality, origin, profession, whatever. We are all one in Christ. May we become more one with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!