Daily Readings for Mass.
(Liturgical Calendar for Ireland, 2019)

04 October. Friday, Week 26

1st Reading: Baruch 1:15-22

From our time in Egypt until now, we have disregarded the voice of the Lord

Baruch said to the people,
"The Lord our God is in the right, but there is shame on us today, on the people of Judah, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on our kings, our rulers, our priests, our prophets, and our ancestors, because we have sinned before the Lord. We have disobeyed him, and have not heeded the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in the statutes of the Lord that he set before us. From the time when the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until today, we have been disobedient to the Lord our God, and we have been negligent, in not heeding his voice. So to this day there have clung to us the calamities and the curse that the Lord declared through his servant Moses at the time when he brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt to give to us a land flowing with milk and honey. We did not listen to the voice of the Lord our God in all the words of the prophets whom he sent to us, but all of us followed the intent of our own wicked hearts by serving other gods and doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God."

Responsorial:
Psalm 78:1-5, 8-9

R./: For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

O God, the nations have invaded your land,
 they have profaned your holy temple.
  They have made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
They have handed over the bodies of your servants
 as food to feed the birds of heaven
 and the flesh of your faithful
  to the beasts of the earth. (R./)

They have poured out blood like water in Jerusalem,
 leaving no one to bury the dead.
  We have become the taunt of our neighbours,
  the mockery and scorn of those who surround us.
How long, O Lord? Will you be angry for ever,
  how long will your anger burn like fire? (R./)

Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us.
  Let your compassion hasten to meet us
  for we are in the depths of distress. (R./)

O God our saviour, come to our help,
  come for the sake of the glory of your name.
 O Lord our God, forgive us our sins;
  rescue us for the sake of your name. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 10:13-16

Tyre and Sidon would have repented, had they seen the miracles done by Jesus

Jesus said to the people,

"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.

"Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

BIBLE

When we're weary, feeling down

The prophecy of Baruch dates from the Babylonian exile (587-539 B.C.), and its context was the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. A collection was being made, to send to Jerusalem for offering sacrifices and feed the poor in the holy city. The feast of Tabernacles (i.e. tents) was originally a thanksgiving festival for the harvest. But during the exile and in the post-exilic period, there was a glaring contrast between the joyful ritual and the harsh reality of their life. Then the people's joy was tinged with such sadness that they needed to be told, "Do not be saddened -- for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength" (Neh 8:9-10). Our plight is our own fault, says Baruch. We should blush with shame, for we have been disobedient. Yet the merciful God of the Exodus is still with us today. We just need to repent and reform our ways and, most of all, have hope.

Sometimes we too, like the Jews, tend to question God's ways in the unfolding of our lives. But like them, we too belong to God's family. Like them, we believe in the goodness of God. Jesus reminds us this and holds out to us the promise of new life, transformed by his presence.


Appreciating grace

The people of Chorazin and Bethsaida did not appreciate what Jesus had done among them. They were indifferent to his healing ministry, and were not inclined to turn back to God. We too can fail to see how the Lord is moving among us. His presence among us is expressed in very ordinary, unspectacular ways. It might take the form of an unexpected kindness that someone shows to us, an invitation that we had not expected, a word of appreciation or support at a time when it was needed, a positive, generous response to a request we make.

Jesus is present to us in and through each other. "Whoever listens to you listens to me." We don't always notice his presence. But the Lord is indeed gracing us in different ways. At evening, it can be good to look back over the day, to discern hints of our Lord's gracious presence, and to quietly give thanks for that.


CANDLE

Saint Francis of Assisi, friar

Giovanni di Bernardone (1181-1226), was nicknamed Francesco ("the Frenchman") by his father Pietro, as his mother was French. As a young man Francesco lived the life of a troubador and planned to fight for Assisi as a soldier. But in 1204 he had a vision that redirected his life; on a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined some poor people begging at Saint Peter's Basilica and resolved from then on to live in poverty and simplicity in the service of Christ and the Church. He began preaching in the streets, and soon gathered an Order, later called Franciscans, that followed this evangelical lifestyle. With Saint Clare of Assisi he also founded the Poor Clares, an enclosed religious order for women, as well as a confraternity, the Third Order, for laypeople. In 1219, he tried to convert the Sultan to put an end to the Crusades. Once his Order was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew from external affairs to a life of austerity and prayer. In 1224, he received the stigmata, and bore in his body the wounds of Christ's Passion. He is patron saint of animals, of peace and of the environment, and is one of the two patrons of Italy.


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