Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our God is a gracious God, who throws open the doors to the Kingdom to all of humanity.
To the banquet of your kingdom, O God of the nations, you have invited people of every race and tongue. May all who are called to a place at your table come by the narrow way to the unending feast of life. 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. Amen.
“All are welcome” – by Marty Haugen
A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 66:18-21 (NLT)
[Isaiah dreams of the time when all the nations will accept God’s message and be gathered together.]
“I can see what they are doing, and I know what they are thinking. So I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see my glory. I will perform a sign among them. And I will send those who survive to be messengers to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (who are famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to all the lands beyond the sea that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. There they will declare my glory to the nations. They will bring the remnant of your people back from every nation. They will bring them to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord. They will ride on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. “And I will appoint some of them to be my priests and Levites. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 117:1-2 (NLT)
Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
“Psalm 117” – Sons of Korah | All You Peoples All you Nations
A Reading from the Letters: Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13 (NLT)
[Suffering is interpreted as a way of being trained to do what is right.]
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 13:22-30 (NLT)
[Salvation is open to all people, but many now first will be last into the kingdom of God.]
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”
He replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.”
“Come to the Banquet of God” – Christ the King Choir Qatar
Come to the banquet of God, our God who embraces all people, our God who gathers all of humanity and calls us with passion untold.
Come to the feast of our God, our God who delights in us all, our God in whose arms we’re safely enfolded who loves us with passion untold!
In the love of the Lord we belong. In the heart of God we dwell. In the banquet of God we herald and sing the wonder of oneness, the triumph of love, compassion, salvation for all!
Come to the banquet of God. Feast of all friends, meal of love. Par-take in the goodness, share in the majesty. God’s justice is mercy untold!
God of love and faithfulness, hear our prayers:
+ That missionaries who are struggling may not give up…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those who preach the gospel may do so with courage and clarity…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all the peoples of the earth may learn to live in friendship and peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all believers may live the Gospel, in faith, honesty and love of neighbor…. Lord, hear us.
+ That teachers and students returning to school may look forward to making a new start…. Lord, hear us.
+ That people in need may have the support of their friends and neighbors…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all who have preceded us in death may take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God…. Lord, hear us.
Faithful God, strong is your love for all people: hear our prayers, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“You Are Mine” – David Haas
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 15:5-6
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen