Aug 22: Queenship of Mary and 20th Week, Saturday

Saturday August 22

Saturday of 20th Week of Ordinary Time


Before the exile, Ezekiel had warned the people against the punishment awaiting them. When the exile had come, he consoles them and gives them the prospect that God will live again among his people with all his glory.

The Lord abhors duplicity and hypocrisy, particularly in religious leaders. The scribes had rendered a real service by becoming the teachers of Israel during the exile, when the priesthood was on the decline, but later they had gradually turned religious living into a complicated intellectualistic, legalistic and casuistic system of observances, which they themselves did not fully practice. It had become the pride and boast of the pious Pharisees to observe them all and in this way to work their own salvation. On account of this pride, they lacked the true spirit and humility of openness to God’s plans.

Opening Prayer
Lord God, you are pure grace.
You fill with your forgiveness and life
those who recognize their own emptiness
and the need for your mercy.
Grant us not to call attention
to ourselves and the good you allow us to do
but to serve you and people
in the unsophisticated simplicity of our hearts
and to give all glory and honor to you
for the life and grace you bring us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Authentic worship in Israel could not be imagined without the temple. From the time of Solomon it had been sacred as the unique dwelling place of the Lord. Accordingly, Ezekiel’s end- time vision contains the return of the Lord and his taking possession of the temple once again. The vision is reminiscent of Ezekiel’s inaugural vision at the river Chebar in its awesome power and majesty. With a people now committed to fidelity, Yahweh’s presence is seen as one that will last forever. Christianity has never had a central location of cult. As Christ himself indicates in John’s Gospel, this is a new relationship with God that is not tied to a particular place. It is a worship in spirit and truth. Baptism infuses us with the Spirit of God and establishes us as members of God’s household—sons and daughters. It is a question of God with us and in us.
This being the case, the Lord becomes our enlightenment and instructor. Today’s Gospel advises us against giving to humans titles and functions that belong properly to God. The evangelist speaks, of course, in the context of Christian community and not of the same titles that are used in family life or other social contexts. One is our rabbi, father, and teacher. It is the Lord who instructs and builds us up in the true Christian spirit. It is to this growth in Christ that we are dedicated and in which we mature as believers.

Points to Ponder
The temple as the center of Hebrew cult
Worship in spirit and in truth
Both in our understanding of the faith

– For the People of God, that with courage and honesty we may take to heart the task of renewal and reconciliation, so as to show to the world of today the true face of Christ, we pray:
– For all who seek God with a sincere heart, for all who search for truth and justice, that their hunger may be satisfied, we pray:
– For all Christian communities, that we may be reliable and truthful with one another and that our unity and friendship may be genuine, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, merciful Father,
in these simple signs of bread and wine
you give us the servant of all,
your Son Jesus Christ.
Fill us with his Spirit
of unpretentious service.
Help us to recognize him
as our only source of truth and life,
that you may be our only God and Father
now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God,
we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ.
He was straightforward
in all he said and did;
he practiced the message he brought to others
and it cost him his life.
Help us to believe his good news
with the whole of our being
and to live by it day after day
in simple sincerity, without any display.
May you thus recognize
the love of your Son present in us
and give us a share in your happiness for ever.

We believe in Jesus and in his gospel. Let our lives not contradict our faith, but let our lives tell the story of that faith, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.