18th Ordinary Sunday, 31 July: Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23; Ps 90:3-6, 12-14, 17; Col 3:1-5, 9-11; Lk 12:13-21 ~ our days are numbered

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God’s Word calls us to recognize the transience of life, to keep our eyes on what is lasting.

Opening Prayer:

O God, the giver of every gift that endures, only by your grace can we rightly understand the wonder of life and why it is given. By the word of your Son challenge our foolishness, confront our greed, and shape our lives to the wisdom of the gospel. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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“God of Our Fathers”


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23 (NLT)
[The Preacher tells us that it is easy to fall into the trap of vanity.]

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
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Ecclesiastes Pascal

Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17 (NLT)

You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.

You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered.
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Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
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And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!
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“Psalm 90” – James Block


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A Reading from the Letters: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11 (NLT)
[Leave sin behind, says Paul, and look to Christ. He is a model worth imitating.]

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

hidden in Christ

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
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Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 12:13-21 (NLT)
[Jesus’ warning against greed is accompanied by a reminder of what it means to follow him: we must be always prepared.]

Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”

Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
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“Be Thou My Vision” – Tommy Walker


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Intercessory Prayer:

God of endless generations: help us as we lay out our needs before you today.

+ That church leaders may live the simple life they preach…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the wealthy may share with those who are hungry and poor…. Lord, hear us.
+ That men and women who work too hard may find rest in you this summer…. Lord, hear us.
+ That there may be peace and forgiveness in families…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those who suffer, in mind or body or spirit, may have peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all the people on vacations may travel safely…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all who have died recently, especially Fr. Jacques Hamel (martyred in France), may enter heaven where Christ sits at God’s right hand…. Lord, hear us.

O God, you have been our refuge and our strength, from one generation to the next: hear your people’s prayer today, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Elohim Lanu Machaseh Va’oz – The Lord is Our Refuge & Strength”


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Benediction:

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 24-25

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 30 July – 2 Peter 1:10-11 ~ hard work is the proof of faith

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. – Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT)

Morning Reading: 2 Peter 1:10-11 (NLT)

Samaritan's Purse Responding to Texas Tornadoes
Samaritan’s Purse
Responding to Texas Tornadoes

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Christ Jesus became man to make us sons and daughters of God and he intercedes for us before God our Father. Hear us as we pray, Lord, and open to us the treasures of your love.

+ Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your mercy: make us as willing to offer mercy, as we are to receive mercy.
+ You have washed us clean in the waters of baptism: we consecrate our day to you.
+ Fill us with praise of you today: may we joyfully take your word with us wherever we may go.
+ Teach us to respond willingly to your word: may your word bear good fruit in us.
+ Give us courage when things go wrong: strengthen us with faith in you, with hope in your promises, and with love of your will.

Let the splendor of the Resurrection light up our hearts and minds, Lord, scattering the shadow of death and bringing us to the radiance of eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Mercy” // Brave New World // Amanda Cook

Blessing

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Daily Reading: 29 July – Paul to the Leaders: The Coming of the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11

Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:18.e – Paul to the Leaders

The Coming of the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 (NLT)

The Hope of the Resurrection

1 Thessalonians 4:13  And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

The Triumph Of Christianity Over Paganism Gustave Doré, 1899 The Joey and Tobey Tanenbaum Collection, 2002. Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario.
The Triumph Of Christianity Over Paganism
Gustave Doré, 1899
The Joey and Tobey Tanenbaum Collection, 2002.
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5  Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 7 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
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Prayer

Lord Jesus: We wait patiently with faith-filled expectation for your imminent return. Prepare your Church in every way to receive you – as  a bride awaits her groom. Specifically, we pray –

  • that those whose loved ones have died in Christ would rejoice in the certain hope of their resurrection
  • that your people would live today with the end in mind – life with you forever
  • that your people would live today alert and clearheaded – prepared for your return
  • that your people would live in the light today – protected by faith and love and confident in our salvation

Gracious God: Thank you for choosing to save us through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. May we encourage each other today in faith and love and so be ready for his return in your good time. Amen.
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“Even So Come” – Chris Tomlin


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Closing Sentence

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20 (NLT)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Daily Reading: 28 July – Paul to the Leaders: All Scripture is God-Breathed – 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:18.d – Paul to the Leaders

All Scripture is God-Breathed – 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8 (NLT)

Paul’s Charge to Timothy

2 Timothy 3:10  But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

2-Tim-3-16-17

14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

2 Timothy 4  I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

Open-Bible-with-Pen

3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
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“Word Of God Speak” – Mercyme


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Prayer

Holy God, it still amazes me that you chose to speak to us, your finite creatures, in our own words. May I never take for granted the great gift of being able to read your Word and learn your Truth. But Father, please give me the character and the courage to put it into practical use and let it train me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Closing Sentence

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!