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07/08/2022 Day 219

Sunday, 7 August 2022
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C
Readings on p. 1143 and Antiphons on p. 1139 of the Daily Missal and on p. 943 of the Sunday Missal


Entrance Antiphon

Look to your covenant, O Lord; forget not the life of your poor ones forever. Arise, O God, and defend your cause; do not forget the cries of those who seek you.


First Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9

A reading from the Book of Wisdom.

That night was made known beforehand to our fathers,
so that they might rejoice in the sure knowledge
of the oaths in which they trusted.
The deliverance of the righteous
and the destruction of their enemies
were expected by your people.
For by the same means by which you punished our enemies
you called us to yourself and glorified us.
For in secret the holy children of good men offered sacrifices,
and with one accord agreed to the divine law,
that the saints would share alike the same things,
both blessings and dangers;
and already they were singing the praises of the fathers.

The Word of the Lord.



Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:1 & 12.18-19.20 & 22 (R.12b)

Let us now pray the Responsorial Psalm:

R/. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen as his heritage.

Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for the upright.
Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his heritage.

Yes, the Lord’s eyes are on those who fear him,
who hope in his merciful love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
May your merciful love be upon us,
as we hope in you, O Lord.

R/. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen as his heritage.


Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2.8-19

A reading from the Letters to the Hebrews.

Brothers and sisters:
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.
For by it the men of old received divine approval.
By faith Abraham obeyed
when he was called to go out to a place
which he was to receive as an inheritance;
and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,
as in a foreign land,
living in tents with Isaac and Jacob,
heirs with him of the same promise.
For he looked forward to the city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God.
By faith, Sarah herself received the power to conceive,
even when she was past the age,
since she considered him faithful who had promised.
Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead,
were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven
and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

These all died in faith,
not having received what was promised,
but having seen it and greeted it from afar,
and having acknowledged
that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
For people who speak thus make it clear
that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of that land
from which they had gone out,
they would have had the opportunity to return.
But as it is, they desire a better country,
that is, a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared for them a city.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested,
offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises
was ready to offer up his only son,
of whom it was said,
“Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.”
He considered that God was able to raise men
even from the dead;
hence he did receive him back,
and this was a symbol.

The Word of the Lord.

Please stand for the Gospel.

Alleluia, Alleluia.
Watch therefore, and be ready; the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.


Gospel: Luke 12:32-48

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

At that time:
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Fear not, little flock,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions, and give alms;
provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old,
with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail,
where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.

Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
and be like men who are waiting for their master
to come home from the marriage feast,
so that they may open to him at once
when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds awake when he comes;
truly, I say to you,
he will put on his apron and have them sit at table,
and he will come and serve them.
If he comes in the second watch, or in the third,
and finds them so,
blessed are those servants!
But know this,
that if the householder had known
at what hour the thief was coming,
he would have been awake
and would not have left his house to be broken into.
You also must be ready;
for the Son of man is coming
at an hour you do not expect.”

Peter said,
“Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?”

And the Lord said,
“Who then is the faithful and wise steward,
whom his master will set over his household,
to give them their portion of food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant
whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
Truly, I tell you,
he will set him over all his possessions.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants
and to eat and drink and get drunk,
the master of that servant will come
on a day when he does not expect him
and at an hour he does not know,
and will punish him,
and put him with the unfaithful.
And that servant who knew his master’s will,
but did not make ready or act according to his will,
shall receive a severe beating.
But he who did not know,
and did what deserved a beating,
shall receive a light beating.
Everyone to whom much is given,
of him, will much be required;
and of him to whom men commit much,
they will demand the more.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


Communion Antiphon.

O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord who gives you your fill of finest wheat.



Fr John Kavanagh, an American priest, wrote about his encounter with Mother Teresa:

  • “Long ago, when I spent a month working at the House of the Dying in Calcutta, I sought a sure answer to my future.
  • On the first morning, I met Mother Teresa after Mass at dawn.
  • She asked, “And what can I do for you?”
  • I asked her to pray for me.
  • “What do you want me to pray for?”
  • I voiced the request I had carried thousands of kilometres: “Pray that I have clarity.”
  • She said “No.” That was that.
  • When I asked why, she answered that clarity was the last thing I was clinging to and had to let go of.
  • When I commented that she herself had always seemed to have the clarity I longed for, she laughed:
    • “I never have had clarity; what I’ve always had is trust.
    • So, I will pray that you have trust.””
  • (Fr. John Kavanaugh; quoted by Fr. Botelho).

How do we trust in God? How do we have faith in God?

There have been many definitions of faith:

  • It has been described as: the assent of the mind to God’s revelation or the acceptance of God’s will in life.
  • But, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews defined faith as conviction and hope.
    • The conviction that God was working in unseen ways right now.
    • And the assurance that fed our hope that Jesus would return soon to complete the work God was doing.

Chapter 11 in Hebrews was an exploration into those two aspects of faith.

  • The second reading is an extract from Chapter 11.
  • We read that Abraham lived a life of faith,
    • since both his call and his lifestyle depended upon the present activity of God.
  • Abraham was sure about God working in his life, even in unseen ways.
  • Abraham’s son and grandson would not only receive the patriarch’s wealth and nomadic ways, they would also receive the same virtue of utter dependence on God.
  • Even the matriarch Sarah had faith, since she conceived and bore Isaac in her old age.

Then, we read about the second aspect of faith, hope in the future.

  • The promises God made would lead to eternal life in a heavenly Jerusalem.

Both aspects of faith come together in the example of Genesis 22, the famous story of Abraham offering Isaac to God in a human sacrifice.

  • This story has sparked much debate over the centuries.
  • The letter to the Hebrews tried to resolve this controversy with the doctrine of the resurrection.
  • Why would Abraham violate God’s law against human sacrifice, even though he was commanded by that same God to offer up Isaac?
  • Because, Abraham was so sure God would keep his promise of descendants through Isaac, that the sacrifice itself would confirm God’s faithfulness.
  • How could the sacrifice lead to this conclusion?
  • God had the power to raise people from the dead.
  • And, by extension, God would raise Isaac from the dead.
  • So, God was faithful to his promise even in the face of such an unthinkable act.

So, faith is a conviction about the present and a hope in the future.

  • This gives us a challenge: Even though we can’t see it, are we convinced God is working in our life right now?
  • Do we place our hope in God’s future?
  • These two questions sum up our understanding of faith.

For many of us the fear level is high and rising.

  • After these past few years the pandemic is still a threat to our health and has killed so many.
  • The level of crime seems to be rising, and we hear of many car hijackings these days.
  • Need I go on? We can add much more to a “fear list.”
  • I haven’t even begun to list international fear factors like terrorism, the threats posed by Russia, China and North Korea.
  • Plus, there is devastating effects of climate change.

How then, can Jesus tell us, ““Fear not, little flock,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

  • Some might ask, “What world does he live in?”
  • What’s more, he advises us to, “Sell your belongings and give alms.”
  • But it is the security our belongings give that helps reduce at least some of our fears.
  • We do need belongings and bank accounts to survive in this modern world.

What is important here is to understand we must not read this just in a literal sense.

  • We need to understand the deeper meaning of the text.
  • Jesus is reminding us that our earthly possessions cannot protect us from what we fear.
  • Rather, we have God whose “good pleasure” is to give us what is imperishable and can’t be taken from us – life in the community Jesus calls “the Kingdom.”
  • And ruling in that new order is our gracious God who cares for us even amid real threats and dangers.
  • This does not mean we will live a carefree life or that bad things won’t happen to good people.
  • It does mean that God will never leave us on our own.
  • The question for us is: where, or on what, do we place our confidence for the uncertain future?
  • Is it in our possessions, or by living under the loving gaze of God, whom Jesus tells us is “pleased” with us.

Jesus is reassuring his disciples because they are his followers, and they will face questions, opposition and even death.

  • Who is strong enough for that?
  • It will not be their determination and courage alone that will see them through, but the one he calls “Father,” who is already pleased with them.
  • God does not take a judgmental seat like a chair umpire at a tennis match, who observes and judges the players from above.
  • Instead, the God Jesus reveals to us is concerned about even the hairs of our head.
  • This God is giving us a treasure that will not wear out, or fail us in our need.
  • So, Jesus advises not to put our confidence in human resources, in what we own, or can buy, as important as they are to daily life.

To help explain this, Jesus proposes the parable of the late return of the master of the household.

  • “…Be like people who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once
    when he comes and knocks.”
  • The master expects the servants to be ready for him whenever he comes.
  • But what an unusual master!
  • When he arrives and finds them prepared, he puts on an apron to serve them.
  • This is a reminder for us to be vigilant and persistent in our service to others.
  • When we are, we can be assured that the Lord is in our very midst, indeed, joining us in our service.

When can we expect the Lord to come to serve us, his disciples?

  • Certainly at this Mass, Jesus feeds us his very life in his word and in Holy Communion.
  • But, according to the parable,
    • he will also show up at times we do not expect him.

The servants who wait their master’s return from the wedding are consistent in their waiting.

  • They expect his return and are congratulated when he arrives.
  • They did not know when he would come, but that did not diminish their vigilance, or expectation.

Let’s join the Master’s servants in their surprise.

  • Who among them could have anticipated what they experienced;
    • mere servants being treated with honour and dignity and served at the table by their master?
  • What does that suggest to us servants in the Kingdom?
  • Well, those servants didn’t do anything extraordinary or praiseworthy.
  • They just stayed faithful to their assigned tasks.
  • The surprise came by way of an unexpected gift, the master served them.

Day by day we do what is expected of us: we serve the Lord in ways he has shown us by his life and death.

  • Are we prepared to be surprised when he shows up?
  • Do we sense his presence, for example, when a simple service project we work on evokes unexpected results we would never have anticipated?
  • Or, when we have done our best to raise our children and have felt inadequate to the task.
  • Yet, they do something, or choose a way of life, that swells us with pride.
  • How did that happen?
  • The parable tells us: the Master surprises ordinary servants just doing the best they can.
  • Surprise is another name for grace.

From today’s Gospel reading:

Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.


The parables today are particularly pointed in their use of images like break-ins and surprise returns. Those responsible for administration, spiritual leadership and the church’s dealing with social issues (like abused workers) will be held accountable for the care of the household; the well-being of the servants.

So we ask ourselves:

  • What touched me in the readings today?
  • What responsibility in the Lord’s household have I been given?
  • How faithful have I been to doing what I have been given to do in the master’s absence?


Homile Audio

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