Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
"Do not worry about tomorrow."
The Word This Week
In these weeks, as we follow the Sermon on the Mount in Saint Matthews Gospel, it can feel as though we are dealing with some very obvious and familiar teachings. Last week we had Love your neighbour, and this week the extremely simple message that God loves and cares for us. This is because the Sermon on the Mount is a great summary of the most basic teachings of our faith, and we should take this opportunity to renew within ourselves our awareness of these teachings. After a simple, yet beautiful image in the first reading, Jesus elaborates on the idea of the constant care of God for us with some more beautiful images: he invites us to look at the birds and the flowers, which do not have money, mortgages, computers, cars or so many of the things we have and worry about, and yet manage to be beautiful and happy in what God provides. The message is simple, and is expressed right at the beginning of the Gospel: trust God; be the servant of God, relying on God for everything, not on money or the other things of this world.
Notes for Readers
First Reading: Isaiah 49:14-15
Your biggest problem with a six-line first reading is that it can be over and done with before the congregation has settled. You must wait! Wait until everyone is seated, wait until (if this happens in your parish) children have left the Church for Childrens Liturgy of the Word, wait until the usual settling and shuffling has happened. If this means standing at the lectern, facing the congregation (neither frowning nor grinning) until they are ready to listen, then so be it! If these beautiful words are lost, it is a great shame. So wait until all are ready, and then with a quiet confidence proclaim these words. Notice they are two parts question and response. Zion (which equals Jerusalem or the whole people of Israel) makes a questioning complaint that the Lord has forgotten her. God replies, very directly: I will never forget you. Allow these words to have their full weight in your congregations minds
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
At first glance these seems a rather confused passage from Saint Paul he seems to be jumping about a bit, wandering from the subject, not a clear and focussed as usual. But that is probably just a result of the personal elements that Paul puts into this passage. At various times Saint Paul was the victim of false accusations, so there is a real personal message here. The main point is that Paul (and all of us) are responsible to God for what we do with the mysteries entrusted to us. Paul says that neither other human beings or courts, nor even our own conscience can truly pass judgment on us only God can do this. Paul advises against passing any sort of judgement, but leaving it to the moment when God will light up all that is hidden. Spend a while with the reading before you proclaim it out loud, and think of how you would say what Saint Paul is saying.
Sunday Mass Sheet
This is a two-sided A4 Mass Sheet, which when folded lengthways will give you a thin booklet. Please feel free to download this pdf file and print it out for Parish use.
Click on the link to get this Sunday Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.