Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God is merciful to all who humble themselves before him.
O God, who alone can probe the depths of the heart, you hear the prayer of the humble and justify the repentant sinner. As we stand before you, grant us the gift of humility, that we may see our own sins clearly and refrain from judging our neighbor. 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.
“How great is our God” – Chris Tomlin
A Reading from the Apocrypha: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18 (USCCB)
[The Lord is not deferential to the powerful but takes the side of the powerless.]
The LORD is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.
Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint.
The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 21-22 (NLT)
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
Calamity will surely destroy the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
“The cry of the poor “
A Reading from the Letters: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 (NLT)
[Paul speaks of his imminent death and reflects on his own deep faith.]
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 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.
The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 18:9-14 (NLT)
[Jesus gives an example of humility before God – the Pharisee and the tax collector.]
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
“God of Mercy and Compassion”
God of justice and mercy, you know no favorites but are partial to the prayers of the powerless and broken-hearted. In humility, and total dependence, we come before you –
+ For all civil leaders, that their governance may reflect your justice and mercy…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all religious leaders, that they may lead your people with humility…. Lord, hear us.
+ For believers facing persecution, that their faith may be strengthened and their religious freedom respected…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who feel broken-hearted and powerless, that they may recognize your presence with them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our families and especially for people who are sick or troubled…. Lord, hear us.
+ For believers whose life on earth is over, that the crown of righteousness may be theirs…. Lord, hear us.
Compassionate God, you rescue your people in all their distress, hear the prayers we offer in humility and truth, through Christ our Lord.
“Ever Be” – Kalley Heiligenthal | Bethel Music
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen