Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Wednesday, 1st February, 2023
Next Sunday's Readings
St Brigid, Abbess, (Mary of the Gael)
Secondary Patron of Ireland
A reading from the Book of the prophet Job 31:16-20, 24-25, 31-32
Theme: Have I been insensible to poor men’s needs, or let a widow’s eyes grow dim?
Have I been insensible to poor men’s needs,
or let a widow’s eyes grow dim?
Or taken my share of bread alone, not giving a share to the orphan?
I, whom God has fostered father-like, from childhood,
and guided since I left my mother’s womb.
Have I ever seen a wretch in need of clothing,
or a beggar going naked,
without his having cause to bless me from his heart,
as he felt the warmth of the fleece from my lambs?
Have I put all my trust in gold,’
from finest gold sought my security?
Have I ever gloated over my great wealth,
or the riches that my hands have Won?
The people of my tent, did they not say, ‘Is there a man he has not filled with meat?”
No stranger ever had to sleep outside, my door was always open to the traveller.
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God.
Alternative FIRST READING
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians 3:14-21
Theme: You are filled with the utter fulness of God.
Brothers and sisters this, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, ‘so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth;’ ‘until, knowing the love of Christ,” which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fulness of God. Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 106 (107) :35-38, 41, 43. RI. v. 1
Response Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his love endures for ever.
1. He changes desert into streams,
thirsty ground into springs of water.
There he settles the hungry
and they built a city to dwell in. Response
2. They sow fields and plant their vines;
these yield crops for the harvest.
He blesses them; they grow in numbers.
He does not let their herds decrease. Response
3. But he raises the needy from distress;
makes families numerous as a flock,
The upright see it and rejoice
but all who do wrong are silenced. Response
Gospel Acclamation 1 John 4:12
As long as we love one another, God will live in us and his love will be complete in us.
The Lord be with you. And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 6:32-38 Glory to you, O Lord
Theme: Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If you love those who love you what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much.
And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount.
Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’
The Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection 1st Feb, Wed Feast of Saint Brigid Luke 6:32-38
Saint Brigid is the secondary patron of Ireland, after Saint Patrick. She was born around 454. When she was young her father wished to make a suitable marriage for her but she insisted that she wanted to consecrate herself to God. She received the veil and spiritual formation probably from Saint Mel and she stayed for a while under his direction in Ardagh. Others followed her example and this led to her founding a double monastery in Kildare, with a section for men and a section for women. Through Brigid’s reputation as a spiritual teacher, the monastery became a centre of pilgrimage. She died in 524 and she is venerated not only throughout Ireland but in several European lands.
She was renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving and care of the sick. Saint Brigid’s cross remains a popular sign of God’s protection. In legend it was used by Brigid to explain the Christian faith. As a woman of deep prayer, it is appropriate that the first reading for her feast is that wonderful prayer of Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. He prays that our hidden self would grow strong, that Christ would live in our hearts. When we allow Christ to live in our hearts, then our hidden self, our deepest self, grows strong. Paul equates allowing Christ to live in our hearts with knowing the love of Christ, which, paradoxically, he states is beyond all knowledge. Yet as we come to know the love of Christ, not just with our minds but with our hearts, as we experience his love for us, our hidden self will be strengthened, and, then, we will be empowered to live in the compassionate, non-judgemental, way that Jesus speaks about in the gospel reading. Jesus is calling there for a life of love that reflects the love that is in God, ‘Be compassionate as your Father in compassionate’. Paul reminds us that such a life flows from Christ living in us.
The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966/7/8 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2022-2023: Your word is a lamp for my feet and light for my path by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/