Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Thursday, 7th December, 2023
Next Sunday's Readings
Thursday of the First week of Advent
It is the upright nation, those who hear and do the will of God that will enter the kingdom.
Memorial of St Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the church
A reading from the prophet Isaiah 26:1-6
Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one.
That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us.
Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in,
she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace,
because she trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock;
he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel;
he brings it down, brings it down to the ground, flings it down in the dust:
the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 117
Response Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
1. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men:
it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. Response
2. Open to me the gates of holiness: I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord’s own gate where the just may enter
I will thank you for you have given answer and you are my saviour. Response
3. O Lord, grant us salvation; O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord; the Lord God is our light. Response
Gospel Acclamation Is 40:9-10
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem. Here the Lord is coming with power.
or Is 55:6
Seek the Lord while he can still be found, call to him while he is still near.
The Lord be with you. And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 7: 21. 24-27 Glory to you, O Lord.
The person who does the will of my Father will enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.
‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.
‘But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Thursday First Week of Advent Matthew 7:21, 24-27
We know that a house is as good as its foundations. If the foundations are flimsy, the consequences for those who live in the house can be catastrophic, especially if unusual stress is placed on the building because of weather or some other disturbance of nature. The most important part of the house is that which is not immediately visible. In the gospel reading, Jesus draws on that image of the house to speak about the foundation of our lives as human beings. He declares that entrusting ourselves to him, listening to his word and trying to live by his word, will provide a foundation for our lives that will enable us to withstand the great storms of life. We need some solid ground under us as we go through life. Jesus presents himself as that solid ground. If we build our lives on all he says and does, he will prove to be a rock, enabling us to stand firm even when the disappointments and sufferings of life leave us feeling very vulnerable. As human beings we long for security at many levels. Jesus tells us that we will find our ultimate security in him if, in the phrase of Saint Paul, we allow his word to dwell in us richly, and, then, to bear fruit in our lives.
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 his book Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2021, 2024: The Word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022/23, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/