OFFICE FOR LITURGY

of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Sacred Hospitality is our theme: as the letter to the Hebrews says: “remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” True hospitality lies in two things: first the welcome, encouraging the stranger to enter the house and be at home there: secondly, the gift - not just of food or drink, but of time: listening to the stranger, and giving of ourselves to them. This is what makes hospitality costly, but holy, and a true service of Jesus Christ.

Notes for Readers

First Reading: Genesis 18:1-10
 
This is the scene pictured in Andrei Rublev’s famous ikon of the Trinity - the three angels sat round a table under the Oak of Mamre. While the story is on one level very simple, it has deeper messages. As a reader, all you have to worry about is telling the story as well as you can. In telling the story, make sure you bring out Abraham’s enthusiasm - his hospitality is not grudging or reluctant - notice that he runs from the tent to meet the strangers. Then again, he hastens to find Sarah, and runs to the cattle. There is a breathless energy about the whole of this section - try to capture it, without garbling words and sentences. There should be a big pause before the final paragraph, since that marks a complete change in the story: Abraham has been giving, now he is to receive: try to make the break in both your timing and tone of voice. Be very emphatic with the words of the guest - slow down completely for this, as this promise to Abraham was one of the great turning points of the story of the Old Testament, and is very significant.
 
Second Reading: Colossians 1:24-28
 
Be careful not to take the tone of this reading from the first sentence: even though Paul mentions his sufferings, that is not what he is trying to emphasise here: what he is talking about is the “mystery” of Christ - something hidden for centuries, but now revealed to the saints and the pagans. The meaning of this “revealing the mystery” is so that everyone can be “perfect in Christ”. Notice how certain words and phrases jump out of the reading - identifying these will help give “shape” to your reading, and not leave it flat: the phrase “hidden for generation and centuries” stands out, as does “rich glory of this mystery”. Be very careful of those sentences where Paul jumps from one concept to the next - sometimes by repeating a word (“message” in line 5, “this is” in line 9) - don’t see these as separate phrases, but as logical steps, each resting on the one before.
Andrei Rublev 's Trinity

From the Catechism

The final tribulation and Christ’s return in glory
CCC 668-677, 769
 
“Come, Lord Jesus!”
CCC 451, 671, 1130, 1403, 2817
 
Humble vigilance of heart
CCC 2729-2733
 
1130: “The Church celebrates the mystery of her Lord "until he comes," when God will be "everything to everyone." Since the apostolic age the liturgy has been drawn toward its goal by the Spirit's groaning in the Church: Marana tha! The liturgy thus shares in Jesus' desire: "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you . . . until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." In the sacraments of Christ the Church already receives the guarantee of her inheritance and even now shares in everlasting life, while "awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus." The "Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come . . . Come, Lord Jesus!'"

Gospel Wordsearch

Click on the box to the left to get this week's Gospel based Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.