Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Saturday, 2nd December, 2023
Next Sunday's Readings
Saturday of the 34th week in Ordinary Time, Year 1
A reading from the prophet Daniel 7:15-27
Sovereignty and kingship will be given to the people of the saints of the most high.
‘I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through my head alarmed me. So I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him to tell me the truth about all this. And in reply he revealed to me what these things meant.
“These four great beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth. Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever.”
Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, eating, crushing and trampling underfoot what remained; and the truth about the ten horns on its head – and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth that was full of boasts, and why it made a greater show than the other horns. This was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger, until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom. This is what he said:
“The fourth beast is to be a fourth kingdom on earth,
different from all other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it underfoot and crush it.
As for the ten horns: from this kingdom will rise ten kings, and another after them;
this one will be different from the previous ones and will bring down three kings;
he is going to speak words against the Most High, and harass the saints of the Most High.
He will consider changing seasons and the Law, and the saints will be put into his power for a time, two times, and half a time.
But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him,
consumed, and utterly destroyed.
And sovereignty and kingship, and the splendours of all the kingdoms under heaven
will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty and every empire will serve and obey him.”‘
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm Dan 3: 82-87. Rv v59
Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
1. Sons of men! bless the Lord. Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
Israel! bless the Lord. Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
2. Priests! bless the Lord. Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
Servants of the Lord! bless the Lord. Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
3. Spirits and souls of the virtuous! bless the Lord. Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
Devout and humble-hearted men! bless the Lord. Response Give glory and eternal praise to him!
Gospel Acclamation Mt 24:42
Stay awake and stand ready, because you do not know the hour when the Son of Man is coming.
or Lk 21: 36
Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to stand
with confidence before the Son of Man.
The Lord be with you. And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 21:34-36 Glory to you, O Lord.
Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen
Jesus said to his disciples
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth.
Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Saturday, Week 34 in Ordinary Time Luke 21:34-36 Last day of Year A
In this short gospel reading, Jesus makes two calls on his disciples, ‘Watch yourselves’, and ‘Stay awake, praying at all times’. The call to stay away, praying at all times, is a call to watch the Lord, to keep our focus on the Lord. The call to watch the Lord is more fundamental than the call to watch ourselves. It is only by continuing to look upon the Lord in prayer that we will be able to see ourselves as we truly are, as the Lord sees us. When we hear the call of Jesus to pray at all times, we may wonder how we could possibly pray at all times. Yes, we can pray some of the time, but, surely, not ‘all times’. However, Jesus is not calling on us to be on our knees in prayer at all times or to be constantly in our parish church. Praying at all times is more a prayerful awareness of the Lord’s presence to us. We can enter into this awareness ‘at all times’, wherever we might be, whatever we might be doing. Just as the Lord is present to us at all times, he calls on us to be present to him at all times. That doesn’t mean we cannot be present to others or to the task of the moment.
It is just that our attentiveness to others and to all in the course of our daily lives is contained within an underlying attentiveness to the Lord, that ‘staying awake’ to him that Jesus talks about in the gospel reading. He also assures us in that gospel reading that if we are prayerfully present to him at all times in this way, we will receive from him the strength we need to engage with all that comes our way, ‘all that is going to happen’, in the words of the gospel reading.
The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made 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 2022, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/