Thứ Bảy, 4 tháng 2, 2017

FEBRUARY 05, 2017 : FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 73

Reading 1IS 58:7-10
Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (4a) The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
R. The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
R. The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
His justice shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 COR 2:1-5
When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

AlleluiaJN 8:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father."


5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Note: Where a Scripture text is underlined in the body of this discussion, it is recommended that the reader look up and read that passage. 

1st Reading - Isaiah 58:7-10

Until the 18th century it was presumed that Isaiah of Jerusalem wrote all 66 chapters of the book which bears his name. The tradition of single authorship was first questioned around the year 1167 but serious questions were not raised until the late 1770’s and early 1780’s. At that time scholars maintained that chapters 40 through 66 were written by a different author who lived some 150 years after Isaiah; during the Babylonian exile. They named this unknown author Deutero- or Second Isaiah. In 1892 a scholar argued for a separate author of the suffering servant songs and of chapters 56 through 66, whom he named Trito- or Third Isaiah. Protestant scholars were generally convinced by the soundness of the new arguments. Catholics, although with some hesitation, tended to agree. A negative response of the Pontifical Biblical Commission on June 29, 1908, precipitated by fears of the Modernist movement, made Catholic scholars revert to an ultraconservative viewpoint of single authorship. Once the theological problems were solved, so that the inspiration of major parts of the Bible was not being questioned but only the literary and historical questions of an author’s name and date, Catholics began to argue again for the split authorship of Isaiah. Most Catholic scholars now work with a Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah thesis. 

The reasons for separate authorship of chapters 40 through 55 are, first of all, historical. The addressees are no longer inhabitants of Jerusalem, but exiles in Babylon. Jerusalem has in fact been destroyed and now awaits reconstruction. Babylon is no longer an ally, for she has destroyed Jerusalem and deported the Israelites. The former prophecies about Jerusalem’s destruction have been carried out (Isaiah 1:23-31; Jeremiah 7:1-15; Ezekiel 22, 24) and Israel now awaits a new, more glorious future. In Trito-Isaiah (chapters 56 through 66), Israel is back again in her own land, and the problems are different than those pictured in Isaiah chapters 1 through 39. Our reading today comes from Trito-Isaiah. 

7 Sharing your bread with the hungry, 

Literally, “breaking your bread” (see Acts 2:46; Mark 6:41; Mark 14:22). Jesus, in Matthew 25:31-46 makes the final judgment depend upon the kindly acts of charity mentioned here. 

sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. 8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; 10 If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday. 

When lowliness unites all men, then God will fill the need of the world with his glorious presence. The final age will have to come.

2nd Reading - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

We continue this week with Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians as he addresses divisions within the Church. As you will recall, two weeks ago we heard Paul address those who claimed to belong to Apollos, those who claimed Cephas, others who claimed Paul, and even those who followed only Christ. At that time he reminded them all that the Church is the body of Christ and as such cannot be divided. Last week he reminded us that God has chosen what is weak by human reckoning to be His followers. If anyone can boast, they can boast only in that they have been chosen by God. This week he reminds us that we are to pay attention to what is important – we are to hear the clear message of the crucified Christ and pay attention to it and not the messenger.

1 When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God,

God’s testimony. The resurrection of Jesus is God’s testimony. Some early manuscripts have “mystery of God” instead of “testimony of God” but most scholars today agree that “testimony” is what best fits the context. 

I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Paul’s attention is focused on the crucified Christ; not the type of savior that either the Jews or the Gentiles expected. 

“It was the incarnate Word who accomplished the mystery of our salvation. It was He who freed us and redeemed us. We believe in Him who is our Savior through the cross and through His resurrection from the dead.” [Marius Victorinus (ca. A.D. 356), Against Arius 1A] 

3    I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,

Paul may be making an allusion here to the difficulties he experienced in Corinth (Acts 18:5-17). 

“Was Paul really afraid of danger? Yes, he was, for even though he was Paul, he was still a man. This is not to say anything against him but rather about the infirmity of human nature. 

Indeed it is to the credit of his sense of determination that even when he was afraid of death and beatings, he did nothing wrong because of this fear. Therefore those who claim that Paul was not afraid of being beaten not only do not honor him, they diminish his greatness. For if he was without fear, what endurance or self-control was there in bearing dangers?” [Saint John Chrysostom (A.D. 392), Homilies on the First Epistle to the Corinthians 6,2] 

4    and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, 5 so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

The conviction Paul’s message conveyed and the success that met his preaching at Corinth were due to the Holy Spirit, and not to rhetorical eloquence or philosophic reasoning. Thus, the faith of the Corinthians rests on God’s power and not on human eloquence or wisdom. 

“Human wisdom denied the cross, but faith proclaimed the power of God. Wisdom not only failed to reveal the things which people sought after, but also it encouraged them to boast of their own achievements. But faith not only gave them the truth, it also encouraged them to glorify God.” [Saint John Chrysostom (A.D. 392), Homilies on the First Epistle to the Corinthians 6,3]

Gospel - Matthew 5:13-16

Having just completed His Sermon on the Mount which we heard last week, Jesus applies the beatitudes to the hearers of the sermon. He makes this application by using the homely metaphors of salt as seasoning and the single lamp that was used in the one-room house of the Palestinian peasant. 

Jesus said to his disciples: 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Strictly speaking, salt cannot go flat, lose its flavor, and still be salt. In Judaism, salt can become unclean and thus need to be thrown out. Salt is both a spice and a preservative and so is a good teacher. The description of the fate of the salt uses imagery for the Divine judgment. 

14    You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Light imagery is usually applied to God. Here it is applied to the disciple who is to let God’s light shine through him. The mountain may be a reference to Jerusalem. 

15    Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

The imagery presupposes a one-room Palestinian house and a common clay oil lamp. The disciple lives not only for self but for others. 

16    Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. 

This verse contains a delicate balance between doing good works and not being proud or taking credit. The life of discipleship should not lead to arrogance but to the conversion of many to “your heavenly Father.” 


Meditation: "You are the salt of the earth and light of the world"
Jesus used ordinary images, such as salt and light, to convey extraordinary truths that transform our minds, hearts, and lives. What does salt and light have to teach us about God and the transforming power of his kingdom? Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. People traded with it, like we trade with valuable goods, such as gold and stock. Salt also served a very useful purpose, especially in warmer climates before the invention of electricity and refrigeration. Salt not only gave rich flavor to food, it also preserved food from going bad and being spoiled.
The salt of God's kingdom for all
Jesus used the image of salt to describe the transforming effect of God's work in our lives - and how the Holy Spirit wants to work through us to bring the power and blessing of God's kingdom to others. As salt purifies, preserves, and produces rich flavor for our daily food, we, too, as disciples of Jesus, are "salt" for the world of human society. The Lord wants to work in and through us to purify, preserve, and spread the rich flavor of God's kingdom everywhere - his "kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).
Don't lose your saltiness
What did Jesus mean by the expression "if salt has lost its taste... it is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot" (Matthew 5:13)? Salt in the ancient world was often put into ovens to intensify the heat. When the salt was burned off and no longer useful it was thrown out on the ground where it would easily get stepped on and swept away (Matthew 5:13). How can we lose our "saltiness"? When we allow the world, sin, and Satan to corrupt us. The Lord wants us to preserve our "saltiness" - through virtuous living and rejection of sin - not only for our own sake but also for the sake of others. 
The aroma of Christ in the world
Paul the Apostle reminds us that we are called to be "the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life" (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ). Do you allow the fragrance of Christ's love, truth, and holiness to permeate every area of your life, your thoughts, words, actions, and relationships?
Light that shines for all to see
Jesus used the image of light and a lamp to further his illustration of God's transforming work in and through us. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood "light" as symbol or expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God. In his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105). God's grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, but it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace.
Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God's kingdom. Our mission is to be light-bearers of Jesus Christ so that others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception.
There is great freedom and joy for those who live in the light of God's truth and goodness. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God's light?
"Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed".
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe Light of Truth, by Chromatius (died 406 AD)
The Lord has already called his disciples the "salt of the earth" because they seasoned with divine wisdom the hearts of the human race which had been made tasteless by the devil. Now he also calls them the "light of the world." For, illumined by his very own self who is the true and eternal light, they too become light within the darkness. For since he himself is the sun of righteousness, he rightly also calls his disciples "light of the world." Through them, as if through shining rays, he poured the light of his knowledge on the entire world. For by showing the light of truth, the Lord's disciples made the darkness of error flee from people's hearts. (excerpt from TRACTATE ON MATTHEW 19.1.1-2)
[Note: Chromatius was an early Christian scholar and bishop of Aquileia, Italy. He was a close friend of John Chrysostom and Jerome. He died in 406 AD. Jerome described him as a "most learned and most holy man."]

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, MATTHEW 5:13-16

(Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalm 112; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

KEY VERSE: “You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world" (v 13, 14).
TO KNOW: In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spelled out what it meant to be a living sign of God's reign. In order to influence the world for good, a disciple must be like "salt," which caused others to thirst for God. In the ancient world salt was highly valued, so much so that it was often used as currency ("salary"). Salt was also used to preserve food from corruption, and to give it flavor. Jesus compared those who no longer savored God's truth with the process of cooking. In Palestine, salt was laid at the base of the oven in order to retain the heat. After a certain length of time the salt lost its power to heat and it was removed and thrown out on the ground. Jesus' disciples could offer an important ingredient that added zest to peoples’ lives and help to preserve them from evil. Jesus also commanded his followers to do what he did, to give light to the world (Jn 8:12). The houses in Palestine were very dark with only a small window to give light. A lamp was placed on a lampstand so that it would provide illumination for the whole household. Jesus’ disciples should be beacons of light to those who lost their way. But if we are to be light we must be willing to be used up like the oil in the lamp. Like John the Baptist, we must decrease so that Christ's light will increase (Jn 3:30). When others see this light they will give glory to God.
TO LOVE: In what ways can I be "salt" and "light" to my community?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, help me to live in such a way that others can "taste and see how good the Lord is" (Ps 34:9).​


Sunday 5 February 2017

Sun 5th. 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Isaiah 58:7-10. A light rises in the darkness for the upright—Ps 111(112):4-9. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Matthew 5:13-16.
The best we can be.
This is always a challenging Gospel because we are often told not to 'blow your own trumpet'. Tall poppies are cut down by others and we all too often say we don't want someone to get 'above themselves'. But who are we to deny anyone their inherent specialness? We are created in the image of God and our God is loving, creative, amazing, a fighter for justice and so, so much more. Therefore, we are called upon to be the best we can be. The people I most respect in life are often those who have been able to live their faith in all they do, even when it is hard, or others try to knock them down. They daily give a shape and form to God's love. This is what it means to be a Christian.

ST. AGATHA

Although we have evidece that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr.
In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important family. When she was young, she dedicated her life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry her. One of these men, Quintian, was of a high enough rank that he felt he could force her to acquiesce. Knowing she was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had  her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by praying: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see  my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil."
When she continued to profess her faith in Jesus, Quintian had her tortured. He refused her any medical care but God gave her all the care she needed in the form of a vision of St. Peter. When she was tortured again, she died after saying a final prayer: "Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul."
Because she was asked for help during the eruption of Mount Etna she is considered a protector against the outbreak of fire. She is also considered the patroness of bellmakers for an unknown reason -- though some speculate it may have something to do with the fact that bells were used as fire alarms.

LECTIO DIVINA: 5TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)
Lectio Divina: 
 Sunday, February 5, 2017
Salt of the earth and light of the world
Listen to the Word of Jesus,
beginning with today’s experience
Matthew 5, 13-16


1. Opening prayer
Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.
Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.
2. Reading
a) Key for the reading of both parables:
If you have a change to read Matthew  5, 1-12 which meditated on the eight Beatitudes. The Beautitudes constitute the beginning of the Sermon on the Mountain and describe the eight doors of entry into the Kingdom of God, by a life in community (Mt 5, 1-12). This Sunday we meditate the continuation (Mt 5, 13-16) which presents two well known parables, of the light and of the salt, with which Jesus describes the mission of the community. The community has to be salt of the earth and light of the world. Salt does not exist for itself, but to give flavour to food. Light does not exist in itself, but to illuminate the road. We, our community, do not exist for ourselves, but for others and for God.
Almost always when Jesus wants to communicate an important message, he has recourse to a parable or to a comparison, taken from daily life. In general, he does not explain the parable, because it is a question of things that we all know from experience. A parable is a provocation, Jesus provokes the audience to use its own personal experience to understand the message which he wants to communicate. In the case of the Gospel of this Sunday, Jesus wants that each one of us analyzes the experience that he has of salt and light to understand the mission that is ours as Christians. In this world, is there someone, perhaps, who does not know what salt is or what light is? Jesus begins with two very common and universal things to communicate his message.
b) A division of the text to help in the reading:
Matthew 5, 13: The Parable of the salt
Matthew 5, 14-15: The Parable of the light
Matthew 5, 16: Application of the parable of the light.
c) The text:
13 'You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people's feet. 14 'You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine in people's sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.


3. A moment of prayerful silence
so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions
to help us in our personal reflection.

i) Which is the part of the text which struck you most? Why?
ii) In the first place, before trying to understand the meaning of Jesus’ words about the salt, try to reflect within yourself on the experience that you have of the salt in your life and try to discover this: “According to me, salt, for what is it good?
iii) Starting then from this personal experience concerning the salt, try to discover the meaning of Jesus’ words for your life and for the life of the community, of the Church. Am I being salt? Is our community being salt? Is the Church being salt?
iv) For you, what meaning does light have in your life? Which is your experience concerning light?
v) Which is the meaning of the parable of the light starting from the application which Jesus himself makes in the parable?

5. For those who desire to deepen more on this theme
a) Context of the discourse of Jesus:
Literary contest. The four verses of the Gospel of this Sunday (Mt 5, 13-16) are found among the eight Beatitudes (Mt 5, 1-12) and the explanation of how the Law transmitted by Moses is to be understood (Mt 5, 17-19). Then follows the new reading which Jesus makes of the commandments of the Law of God (Mt 5,20-48). Jesus asks to consider the purpose of the Law which according to him is contained in the words: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5, 48). Jesus asks us to imitate God! At the origin of this new teaching of Jesus is found the new experience which he has of God the Father. Observing the Law in this way, we will be Salt of the earth and Light of the world.
Historical Context. Many converted Jews continued to be faithful in the observance of the law, just as they had done during their childhood. But now, having accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and, at the same time, being faithful to the teaching received from their parents and the Rabbi, they were cutting themselves out from their Hebrew past, they were expelled from the Synagogues, from the ancient teachers and even from their parents (Mt 10, 21-22). And in their own Christian community, they heard the converted pagans say that the Law of Moses had been surpassed and that it was not necessary to observe it. They were between two fires. On one side, the ancient teachers and companions, excommunicated them. On the other side, the new companions criticized them. All this caused tension and uncertainty in them. The openness of some criticized the closeness of others and vice-versa. This conflict brought about a crisis which led them to close up in their own position. Some wanted to go ahead, others wanted to place the light under the table. And many asked themselves: “But definitively, which is our mission?” The parables of the salt and the light help us to reflect on the mission.
b) Commentary on the text:
Matthew 5, 13: The parable of the salt
Using images of daily life, with simple and direct words, Jesus makes known which is the mission and the reason of being of the Community: to be salt! In that time, because of the great heat, people and animals needed to eat much salt. The salt was delivered in great blocks by the suppliers and these blocks were placed in the public square to be consumed by the people. The salt which remained fell on the ground, was no longer good for anything and it was stepped on by everyone. Jesus recalls this usage to clarify the mission which the disciples have to carry out. Without salt nobody could live, but what remained of the salt was good for nothing.
Matthew 5, 14-16: The Parable of the Light
The comparison is obvious. Nobody lights a candle to place it under the bushel. A city on a mountain top cannot remain hidden. The community must be light, has to illuminate. It must not be afraid to show the good that it does. It does not do it to make it seen, but what it does can and should be seen. Salt does not exist for itself. Light does not exist for itself. This is the way a community should be: it cannot close itself in self.
c) To broaden the vision on the Beatitudes:
I. The parables in the context of the community of that time
Among the converted Jews there were two tendencies. Some thought that it was no longer necessary to observe the Laws of the Old Testament, because we have been saved by faith in Jesus and not by the observance of the Law (Rom 3, 21-26). Others thought that they, being Jews, had to continue to observe the laws of the Old Testament (Ac 15, 1-2). In each one of these two tendencies there were some more radical groups. Before this conflict, Matthew seeks a balance to unite both extremes. The community has to be a space where this balance can be reached and where it can be lived. The community has to be the centre of irradiation of this lived experience and show everyone the true meaning and the objective of the Law of God. The communities cannot go against the Law, nor can they close themselves up in themselves in the observance of the law. Like Jesus, they have to take a step ahead and show in practice the objective which the law wants to attain, that is the perfect practice of love. Living in this way they will be: “Salt of the Earth and Light of the World”.
II. The various tendencies in the communities of the first Christians
* The Pharisees did not recognize the Messiah in Jesus and accepted only the Old Testament. In the communities there were persons who sympathized with the mentality of the Pharisees (Ac 15, 5).
* Some converted Jews accepted Jesus as Messiah, but did not accept the freedom of Spirit with which the communities lived in the presence of the risen Jesus (Ac 15, 1).
* Others, whether converted Jews or Pagans, thought that with Jesus the end of the Old Testament had been attained and that, therefore, it was not necessary to maintain and to read the books of the Old Testament. From now on, only Jesus and the life in the Spirit! James criticizes this tendency (Ac 15,21).
* There were Christians who lived fully their life in community in the freedom of the Spirit that they no longer considered neither the life of Jesus nor the Old Testament. They wanted only the Christ of the Spirit! They said: “Jesus is cursed!” (I co 12,3).
* The great concern in the Gospel of Matthew is that of showing that these three unities: (1) the Old Testament, (2) Jesus of Nazareth and (3) the life in the Spirit, cannot be separated. The three form part of the same and unique project of God and communicate to us the central certainty of faith: the God of Abraham and of Sarah is present in the community thanks to the faith in Jesus of Nazareth.

6. Prayer: Psalm 27
Yahweh is my light
Yahweh is my light and my salvation,
whom should I fear?
Yahweh is the fortress of my life,
whom should I dread?
When the wicked advance against me to eat me up,
they, my opponents, my enemies,
are the ones who stumble and fall.

Though an army pitch camp against me,
my heart will not fear,
though war break out against me,
my trust will never be shaken.

One thing I ask of Yahweh,
one thing I seek:
to dwell in Yahweh's house all the days of my life,
to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh,
to seek out his temple.

For he hides me away under his roof on the day of evil,
he folds me in the recesses of his tent,
sets me high on a rock.
Now my head is held high above the enemies who surround me;
in his tent I will offer sacrifices of acclaim.
I will sing, I will make music for Yahweh.

Yahweh, hear my voice as I cry,
pity me, answer me!
Of you my heart has said, 'Seek his face!'
Your face, Yahweh, I seek;
do not turn away from me.
Do not thrust aside your servant in anger,
without you I am helpless.
Never leave me, never forsake me, God, my Saviour.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
Yahweh will gather me up.

Yahweh, teach me your way,
lead me on the path of integrity because of my enemies;
do not abandon me to the will of my foes
false witnesses have risen against me,
and are breathing out violence.

This I believe: I shall see the goodness of Yahweh,
in the land of the living.
Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong,
let your heart be bold, put your hope in Yahweh.

7. Final Prayer
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.