Online Mass/Sunday Missal

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (7 August 2022)

FIRST READING (Just as you punished our adversaries, you glorified us whom you had summoned.)

A reading from the Book of 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. —The Word of the Lord.

  1. Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM (33:1,12, 18-19, 20-22)

  1. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. (Ps 33:12b)

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)

 

(Long Form)

SECOND READING (Abraham looked forward to the city whose architect and maker is God.)

A reading from the Letter to the 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. —The Word of the Lord.

  1. Thanks be to God.

(Short Form)

SECOND READING (Abraham looked forward to the city whose architect and maker is God.)

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (11:1-2, 8-12)

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. —The Word of the Lord.

  1. Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (Mt 24:42a, 44)

  1. Alleluia, alleluia

Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day the Son of Man will come. (R)

 

(Long Form)

GOSPEL (You also must be prepared.)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.” —The Gospel of the Lord.

  1. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

(Short Form)

GOSPEL (You also must be prepared.)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (12:35-40)

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. 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.” —The Gospel of the Lord.

  1. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily

“Faith – the realization of what is hoped for..”

If you have traveled through the US and you are familiar with the design of the US dollar, you know that each banknote has the expression, “In God we trust!” This phrase was first placed on coins in the mid-19th century but eventually it was found on all banknotes since 1966. It has also led to funny commentaries, such as, “Yes, IN God We Trust! All others must pay in cash.”

Another phrase about trust is “seeing is believing.” These words suggest a certain skepticism, implying that we will not accept the truth of something unless we can somehow see it ourselves – something like the interpretation we have from St. Thomas about the truth of the Risen Lord.

While “seeing is believing” may validly express a concern for verification, it contradicts what is basic religious faith. To paraphrase the writer of Hebrews, “Not seeing is believing!” This phrase may seem difficult to grasp – but then, so is real faith!

The author of our 2nd reading turns to Abraham as a perfect example of such faith. Without knowing exactly what he would find as he followed the inspiration of God, Abraham left his home and journeyed to a foreign land. He did not see what lay ahead of him, yet he believed. Down through the centuries, migrants of every nation have experienced the uncertainty and fear that accompany such a step. For many of them faith alone spurred them on. Abraham tenaciously clung to God’s promise of descendants, though to him such a promise seemed to be an impossibility. He did not see or clearly understand how the promise could be fulfilled, yet he believed. Childless couples cling to a similar hope, despite the fact that no promise has been made to them. The greatest test of his faith came to Abraham when he was asked by God to sacrifice the very child who was to fulfill God’s promise of descendants. By being willing to sacrifice his son, Abraham showed that he was willing also to relinquish the future of his entire household. He is a perfect example of the saying, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

In the instructions in our Gospel today, Jesus requires of us the same kind of faith. The focus here is not the seeming incredibility of the object or goal of faith, but the need to tenaciously hold to that faith even when its fulfillment is long in coming. The followers of Jesus are told not to seek security in the realities of this world, but to look for security in the treasures that belong to the reign of God – a continuation of last week’s parable. Jesus then exhorts us to be steadfast in faith, and he provides a story to explain what he means in the parable of the faithful and watchful servants who remain ever vigilant awaiting the return of the householder – even when they do not know the exact time of his arrival. “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

If faith is not based on what is seen, then on what is it based? Our readings today suggest that the foundation of such faith is the trustworthiness of God, God who has generously blessed these same people in the past. The author of the Book of Wisdom encourages his listeners by reminding them of God’s faithfulness in protecting the Israelites and freeing them from Egypt. And in the Book of Hebrews, the author appeals to God’s faithfulness to Abraham and asks his listeners to imitate that faith. And in the Gospel Jesus reminds his disciples, “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is please to give you the Kingdom.” In many ways, the faith that has been handed down from the past is grounded in the goodness that God shows to His people in the same past.

Today we are challenged to cling to the hope of a future that may seem elusive or too good to be true. We live in a society and world of unimaginable insecurity. Millions of people have been forced from their homes with nowhere to go through wars and natural disasters. Unlike Abraham, they were not promised a new home. In what or in whom can their faith be based? Vast populations have been stamped out as a result of genocide or pandemics. For those who remain, there is little promise of descendants. How will these households be rebuilt? And what of countless people languishing under oppressive governments or caught in the jaws of war? How will they be led to freedom?

Our Gospel provides answers to these questions. The reign of God is entrusted to us. Today, we are the stewards in charge of the household, who “distribute the food allowance at the proper time.” We are the ones called to provide shelter for the homeless, new life for the desperate, freedom for the oppressed. WE must be the sign of faith in today’s world. Can we believe this? Will we pass the test of Faith? Can we truly affirm that “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

Prayers

Celebrant: In receiving the gift of faith, we are called to obedience, to hope, and to be ready to welcome Christ at any hour. Let us pray and intercede for others with a sense of that faith.

READER: For the Pope, bishops, priests and deacons who serve and lead the household of faith, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: For world and civic leaders, who one day must give an account for their work to God who is their judge, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: For respect and care for God’s creation in the environment, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: For faith that looks forward to an eternal city “founded, designed, and built by God,” (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: [SMC only: For the deceased members of the Edwards and Tsoi families, and]” For all the suffering sick in our parish, and for those who have passed away, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

CELEBRANT: Eternal Father, we do not know the day or hour when your Son will return as judge. Look upon our prayers as signs of faith in his coming. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. (all) AMEN.

Homily, Bible Commentaries & References

 

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Father Yip 香港電台節目香港電台節目《天降甘霖》之《耶穌的教導》葉慶華神父 葉慶華神父為我們分享「疫症中的信仰」!
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