OFFICE FOR LITURGY

of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

What is compassion? What is love? And how do we live them out in our own age? These are the questions that spring from the Gospel today. In many ways this is the hardest teaching Jesus offers us, because it goes against so much of what the "modern world" would have us believe. Look at the first reading: David and Saul are enemies, and Saul is suddenly in David's power. The logic of the modern world would say "Strike while you can." But David chooses another path. He is com­passionate. We can all think of times when we were in a position to take revenge, score a victory over someone, take it out on them. Our measure of our faith is whether or not we were compassionate - especially with our enemies - as Jesus taught us.

Notes for Readers

First Reading: 1 Samuel 26.7-23
 
Saul had taken David in as an ally, but things had gone wrong and the two are now at war. The war would end if the King died, for then David would be victorious. Victory is here, literally, within David's grasp. So how dramatic it is that David does not let Abishai kill the King! It is this sense of drama that the reader must convey in proclaiming this story. First, it is a story, so tell it. Get a sense of the characters - hot-headed Abishai and thoughtful David. The drama is easy for a contemporary audi­ence to understand. Secondly, make sure you see the message - compassion, even in war. Use this knowledge of the underlying mes­sage to help you emphasise certain words and phrases - not just reading out the words, but trying to help the listening congregation to be part of the drama, to see it from the inside.
 
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians15:45-49
 
This is one of those readings – normally in Saint Paul – which almost defy simple understanding when read out loud: it is probably the frequent repetition of a few words ("earthly", "heavenly", "man", "spirit") that can make it very difficult to keep track of what's going on. So what is going on? Paul is comparing Adam and Jesus: through Adam (the "earthly man") came sin and death and worldly things. Jesus, the sec­ond Adam, has come from heaven to lead us back to heaven. The only way you can make sense of this reading is to take it in small chunks: each pair of contrasts should be delivered, then pause. Stress the words "earthly" and "heavenly" whenever they appear, in order to separate out the meaning of the passage. Good luck!
Pieter Pourbus "The Last Judgment"

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.