Sunday, July 23, 2017

THE SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME


Antiphon
Ps 54 (53): 6, 8

See, I have God for my help.
The Lord sustains my soul.
I will sacrifice to you with willing heart,
and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.

Collect

Show favor, O Lord, to your servants
and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace,
that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity,
they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Amen.



Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
WIS 12:13, 16-19

There is no god besides you who have the care of all,
that you need show you have not unjustly condemned.
For your might is the source of justice;
your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.
For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved;
and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity.
But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency,
and with much lenience you govern us;
for power, whenever you will, attends you.
And you taught your people, by these deeds,
that those who are just must be kind;
and you gave your children good ground for hope
that you would permit repentance for their sins.


Responsorial Psalm
PS 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.

You, O LORD, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.

All the nations you have made shall come
and worship you, O LORD,
and glorify your name.
For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;
you alone are God.

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.

You, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.
Turn toward me, and have pity on me;
give your strength to your servant.

R. Lord, you are good and forgiving.


Reading 2
ROM 8:26-27

Brothers and sisters:

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God's will.


Alleluia
MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
MT 13:24-43

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:

"The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?'
He answered, 'An enemy has done this.'
His slaves said to him,
'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
"First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

He proposed another parable to them.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'"

He spoke to them another parable.

"The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened."

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
"Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."

He said in reply, 

"He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."



July 23

Saint Bridget of Sweden

Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland's Lagman, Birger Petersson and his wife, Ingeborg, who was a member of the same clan as the reigning family. Birgitta's family was pious; her father went to confession every Friday and made long and arduous pilgrimages as far away as the Holy Land. Birgitta's mother died, leaving Birgitta, ten years old, Katharine, nine and a newborn baby boy, Israel. 
The children were sent to their maternal aunt for further education and care.

She was to be in Rome during the Holy Year 1350. Birgitta left Sweden at the end of 1349 never to return. For the rest of her life she saw visions concerning the reform of the Church, messages to kings and popes and many other persons in high places, directing them to work for the Church. It may be noted that Birgitta never wrote in the first person. She always said the she carried a message from a very High Lord. Although she had longed to become a nun, she never even saw the monastery in Vadstena. In fact, nothing she set out to do was ever realised. She never had the pope return to Rome permanently, she never managed to make peace between France and England, she never saw any nun in the habit that Christ had shown her, and she never returned to Sweden but died, worn out old lady far from home in July 1373. She can be called the Patroness of Failures. In this she was like her Lord. He was also classed as failure as He hung on the Cross. Birgitta was a successful failure as she was canonized in 1391.Birgitta was the only women ever to found a religious Order, Ordo Sanctissimi Salvatoris. It was never a double order but an order primarily for women with permanent chaplains, ruled by an abbess. The brothers had as their head, not a prior but a Confessor General who was responsible for the spiritual business of both convents.

The order spread swiftly throughout Europe with monasteries from Scandinavia right through Europe down to Italy. In modern times is has expanded into five different, juridically independant branches; Spain 1629, Rome 1911, U.S.A. 1970, Mexico at the change of the century. None of these foundations have brothers (except U.S.A. which has one male convent). The last Birgittine father died in Altom√ľnster 1863. 
She is the patroness of Sweden.



O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

We are the people of the Lord, 
the flock that is led by his hand: 
come, let us adore him, alleluia.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

We are the people of the Lord, 
the flock that is led by his hand: 
come, let us adore him, alleluia.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

We are the people of the Lord, 
the flock that is led by his hand: 
come, let us adore him, alleluia.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

We are the people of the Lord, 
the flock that is led by his hand: 
come, let us adore him, alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

We are the people of the Lord, 
the flock that is led by his hand: 
come, let us adore him, alleluia.


Hymn

All creatures of our God and king,
Lift up your voice and with us sing:
Alleluia! alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam:
O praise him, O praise him!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice:
O praise him, O praise him!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou flowing water pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear:
Alleluia! alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light:
O praise him, O praise him!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part:
O sing ye, alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on him cast your care:
O praise him, O praise him!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads.
Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads.
Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?


Psalm 65 (66)
Hymn for a sacrifice of thanksgiving

All peoples,
bless our God,
who gave life to our souls, alleluia.

Cry out to God, all the earth,
sing psalms to the glory of his name,
give him all glory and praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous your works!
Faced with the greatness of your power
your enemies dwindle away.
Let all the earth worship you and sing your praises,
sing psalms to your name.”
Come and see the works of God,
be awed by what he has done for the children of men.
He turned the sea into dry land,
and they crossed the waters on foot:
therefore will we rejoice in him.
In his might he will rule for all time,
his eyes keep watch on the nations:
no rebellion will ever succeed.
Bless our God, you nations,
and let the sound of your praises be heard.
Praise him who brought us to life,
and saved us from stumbling.
For you have tested us, O Lord,
you have tried us by fire, as silver is tried.
You led us into the trap,
heaped tribulations upon us.
You set other men to rule over us –
but we passed through fire and water,
and you led us out to our rest.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

All peoples,
bless our God,
who gave life to our souls, alleluia.


Psalm 65 (66)

Come and hear,
all who fear God.
I will tell what he did for my soul, alleluia.

I shall enter your house with burnt-offerings.
I shall fulfil my vows to you,
the vows that I made with my lips,
the vows that I uttered in my troubles.
I shall offer you rich burnt-offerings,
the smoke of the flesh of rams;
I shall offer you cattle and goats.
Draw near and listen, you who fear the Lord,
and I will tell all that he has done for me.
I cried out aloud to him,
and his praise was on my tongue.
If I looked upon sin in the depths of my heart,
the Lord would not hear me –
but the Lord has listened,
he has heard the cry of my appeal.
Blessed be God, who has not spurned my prayer,
who has not kept his mercy from me.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Come and hear,
all who fear God.
I will tell what he did for my soul, alleluia.


The word of God is a living and active thing.
– It is sharper than a double-edged sword.


First Reading
2 Corinthians 1:1-14

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, one of the brothers, to the church of God at Corinth and to all the saints in the whole of Achaia. 
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a gentle Father and the God of all consolation, who comforts us in all our sorrows, so that we can offer others, in their sorrows, the consolation that we have received from God ourselves. Indeed, as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so, through Christ, does our consolation overflow. When we are made to suffer, it is for your consolation and salvation. When, instead, we are comforted, this should be a consolation to you, supporting you in patiently bearing the same sufferings as we bear. And our hope for you is confident, since we know that, sharing our sufferings, you will also share our consolations.

For we should like you to realise, brothers, that the things we had to undergo in Asia were more of a burden than we could carry, so that we despaired of coming through alive. Yes, we were carrying our own death warrant with us, and it has taught us not to rely on ourselves but only on God, who raises the dead to life. And he saved us from dying, as he will save us again; yes, that is our firm hope in him, that in the future he will save us again. You must all join in the prayers for us: the more people there are asking for help for us, 
the more will be giving thanks when it is granted to us.

There is one thing we are proud of, and our conscience tells us it is true: that we have always treated everybody, and especially you, with the reverence and sincerity which come from God, and by the grace of God we have done this without ulterior motives. There are no hidden meanings in our letters besides what you can read for yourselves and understand. And I hope that, although you do not know us very well yet, you will have come to recognize, when the day of our Lord Jesus comes, that you can be as proud of us as we are of you.


Responsory

℟. Your steadfast love, O Lord, sustains me.
* When the cares of my heart are many,
my soul finds comfort in your help.

℣. Just as we have a share in Christ’s many sufferings,
we share also, through Christ,
in his great consolation.
* When the cares of my heart are many,
my soul finds comfort in your help.


Second Reading
From the beginning of a letter to the Magnesians
by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr

We should be Christians in deed, 
as well as in name

Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the church at Magnesia on the Maeander, a church blessed with the grace of God the Father in Christ Jesus, our Saviour, in whom I salute you. 
I send you every good wish in God the Father and in Jesus Christ.

I was delighted to hear of your love of God, so well-ordered and devout, and so I decided to address you in the faith of Jesus Christ. Honoured as I am with a name of the greatest splendour, though I am still in chains I sing with the praises of the churches, and pray that they be united with the flesh and the spirit of Jesus Christ, who is our eternal life; a union in faith and love, to which nothing must be preferred; and above all a union with Jesus and the Father, for if in him we endure all the power of the prince of this world, 
and escape unharmed, we shall make our way to God.

I have had the honour of seeing you in the person of Damas your bishop, a man of God, and in the persons of your worthy presbyters, Bassus and Apollonius, and my fellow-servant, the deacon Zotion; may I continue to take delight in him for he is obedient to the bishop as to the grace of God, 
and to the presbyters as to the law of Jesus Christ.

Now it hardly becomes you to presume on your bishop’s youth, but rather, having regard to the power of God the Father, to show him every mark of respect. This, I understand, is what your holy presbyters do, not taking advantage of his youthful condition but deferring to him with the prudence which comes from God, or rather not to him but to the Father of Jesus Christ, to the bishop of all. So then, for the honor of him who loves us, it is proper to obey without hypocrisy; for a man does not so much deceive the bishop he can see as try to deceive the bishop he cannot see.  In such a case he has to reckon not with a man,  but with God who knows the secrets of the heart.

We should then really live as Christians and not merely have the name; for many invoke the bishop’s name but do everything apart from him. Such men, I think, do not have a good conscience, 
for they do not assemble lawfully as commanded.

All things have an end, and two things, life and death, are side by side set before us, and each man will go to his own place. Just as there are two coinages, one of God and the other of the world, each with its own image, so unbelievers bear the image of this world, and those who have faith with love bear the image of God the Father through Jesus Christ. Unless we are ready through his power to die in the likeness of his passion, his life is not in us.


Responsory

℟. Be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave,
and in your love, your faith and your purity.
* In this way you will save both yourselves and those who listen to you.

℣. Practise these duties; devote yourselves to them,
so that all may see your progress.
* In this way you will save both yourselves and those who listen to you.


Hymn
Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high forever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you forever and forever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Be gracious, Lord, to us who serve you,
and in your kindness increase your gifts of grace within us:
so that, fervent in faith, hope and love,
we may be ever on the watch
and persevere in doing what you command.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.