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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading 1 Corinthians 15:35 - 49 ©
Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that, It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit.
If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man.
Psalm or canticle: Psalm 55
Gospel Luke 8:4 - 15 ©
With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:
‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that
they may see but not perceive,
listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.

8 posted on 09/23/2006 9:43:54 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Office of Readings -- Awakening Prayer

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help 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. Alleluia.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 49 (50)
True reverence for the Lord
The Lord, the God of gods has spoken;
 he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Sion in her great beauty.
 Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
 around him, a tempest rages.

He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice”.
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.

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.

Psalm 49 (50)
Listen, my people, and I will speak;
 Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
 for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
 nor goats from your flocks.

For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
 and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
 Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.

If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
 for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
 or drink the blood of goats?

Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
 to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
 I will rescue you, and you will honour 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.

Psalm 49 (50)
To the sinner, God has said this:

Why do you recite my statutes?
 Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
 and reject what I tell you.

The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
 you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
 and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
 you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.

All this you did, and I was silent;
 so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
 I will confront you with all you have done.

Understand this, you who forget God;
 lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
 whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.

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.

Reading Ezekiel 18:1 - 32 ©
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows:
Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge?”
As I live–it is the Lord who speaks–there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.
The upright man is law-abiding and honest; he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods. He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked. He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between man and man, keeps my laws and sincerely respects my observances–such a man is truly upright. It is the Lord who speaks.
But if anyone has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, who commits one of these misdeeds– even though the father never has–a son who dares to eat on the mountains and to seduce his neighbour’s wife, who oppresses the poor and needy, steals, fails to return pledges, raises his eyes to idols, engages in filthy practices, charges usury on loans and takes interest, then this son shall certainly not live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will have to die, and his blood be on his own head.
The man who has sinned is the one who must die; a son is not to suffer for the sins of his father, nor a father for the sins of his son. To the upright man his integrity will be credited, to the wicked his wickedness.
But if the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man–it is the Lord who speaks–and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust”. Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die. And yet the House of Israel objects, “What the Lord does is unjust”. Is what I do unjust, you House of Israel? Is it not what you do that is unjust? House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does–it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone–it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!

Reading A sermon of St Augustine
Offer the bandage of consolation
Scripture says: God chastises every son whom he acknowledges. But the bad shepherd says: “Perhaps I will be exempt”. If he is exempt from the suffering of his chastisements, then he is not numbered among God’s sons. You will say: “Does God indeed punish every son?” Yes, every one, just as he chastised his only Son. His only Son, born of the substance of the Father, equal to the Father in the form of God, the Word through whom all things were made, he could not be chastised. For this reason he was clothed with flesh so that he might know chastisement. God punishes his only Son who is without sin; does he then leave unpunished an adopted son who is with sin? The Apostle says that we have been called to adoption. We have been adopted as sons, that we might be co-heirs with the only Son, and also that we might be his inheritance: Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance. Christ gave us the example by his own sufferings.
But clearly one who is weak must neither be deceived with false hope nor broken by fear. Otherwise he may fail when temptations come. Say to him: Prepare your soul for temptation. Perhaps he is starting to falter, to tremble with fear, perhaps he is unwilling to approach. You have another passage of Scripture for him: God is faithful. He does not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Make that promise while preaching about the sufferings to come, and you will strengthen the man who is weak. When someone is held back because of excessive fear, promise him God’s mercy. It is not that temptations will be lacking, but that God will not permit anyone to be tempted beyond what he can bear. In this manner you will be binding up the broken one.
When they hear of the trials that are coming, some men arm themselves more and, so to speak, are eager to drain the cup. The ordinary medicine of the faithful seems to them but a small thing; for their part they seek the glorious death of the martyrs. Others hear of the temptations to come, and when they do arrive, as arrive they must, they become broken and lame. Yet it is right that such things befall the Christian, and no one esteems them except the one who desires to be a true Christian.
Offer the bandage of consolation, bind up what has been broken. Say this: “Do not be afraid. God in whom you have believed does not abandon you in temptations. God is faithful. He does not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. It is not I who say this, but the Apostle, and he says further: Are you willing to accept his trial, the trial of Christ who speaks in me? When you hear this you are hearing it from Christ himself, you are hearing it from the shepherd who gives pasture to Israel. For of him it was said: You will give us tears to drink in measure. The Apostle says: He does not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. This is also what the prophet intends by adding the words: in measure. God rebukes but also encourages, he brings fear and he brings consolation, he strikes and he heals. Do not reject him”.
A concluding prayer may follow here.

9 posted on 09/23/2006 9:45:23 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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