Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Friday, 19th August, 2022
Next Sunday's Readings
Friday of 20th week of Ordinary Time, Year 2
A reading from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel 37:1-14
Theme: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel.
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me,
‘Son of man, can these bones live?‘
I said, ‘You know, Lord.
‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”‘
I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me,
‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”‘ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
Then he said,
‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead”. So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 106
Response O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; For his love has no end.
1. Let them say this, the Lord’s redeemed,
whom he redeemed from the hand of the foe
and gathered from far-off lands,
from east and west, north and south. Response
2. Some wandered in the desert, in the wilderness,
finding no way to a city they could dwell in
Hungry they were and thirsty;
Their soul was fainting within them. Response
3. Then they cried to the Lord in their need
And he rescued them from their distress
And he led them along the right way,
To reach a city they could dwell in. Response
4. Let them thank the Lord for his love
For the wonders he does for men.
For he satisfies the thirsty soul;
He fills the hungry with good things. Response
Gospel Acclamation Ps 118: 18
Open my eyes, O Lord, that I am consider the wonders of your law.
Or Ps 24: 4. 5.
Harden not your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord.
The Lord be with you. And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 22:34-40 Glory to you, O Lord
Theme: You must love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself.
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question,
‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’
‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’
The Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Friday, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 22:34-40
The first reading from the prophet Ezekiel is full of drama. The Lord, through the prophet, is speaking to a people who keep saying, ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.’ Any one of us can feel a little like that at certain moments of our lives. We feel dried up; we seem to have lost hope; we sense that we are only half alive, as good as dead. In our first reading, the Lord promises his people that he will raise them from their graves; he will put his spirit within them and they will begin to live again. The Lord makes the same promise to all of us when we feel only half alive and drained of hope. At such moments, the Lord invites us to come before him and to open our hearts to his life-giving spirit, the Holy Spirit, who will enable us to live again. I like that prayer to the Holy Spirit that we pray on Pentecost Sunday, ‘Holy Spirit, Lord of light … Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour they dew.’ The people of Israel in the first reading were like dry bones scattered in a valley, but the Lord wanted to breathe life into those dry bones, pouring the dew of his Spirit upon them.
The Lord always stands ready to breathe life into us, by pouring his Spirit afresh into our lives. His Spirit will always lead us out towards others in love, lifting us beyond our tendency to turn in on ourselves in despondency. The Spirit will move us towards that love of God with all our being and the love of neighbour as ourselves, which Jesus speaks about in the gospel reading and that shaped his own life. When we allow the Spirit to generate the Lord’s own love within us, then we will begin to come alive again. We will discover the Lord’s own joy, which is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, working within us.
The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, 1966/7/8 published 1966/7/8 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel Reflection is available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2021-2022: My Words Will Not Pass Away by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications c/f www.messenger.ie/bookstore