Mass Readings

June 26, 2019

Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 373

Reading 1 Gn15:1-12, 17-18

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

“Fear not, Abram!
I am your shield;
I will make your reward very great.”

But Abram said,
“O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be,
if I keep on being childless
and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?”
Abram continued,
“See, you have given me no offspring,
and so one of my servants will be my heir.”
Then the word of the LORD came to him:
“No, that one shall not be your heir;
your own issue shall be your heir.”
He took him outside and said:
“Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”
Abram put his faith in the LORD,
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him,
“I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans
to give you this land as a possession.”
“O Lord GOD,” he asked,
“how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
He answered him,
“Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat,
a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
Abram brought him all these, split them in two,
and placed each half opposite the other;
but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses,
but Abram stayed with them.
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram,
and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark,
there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch,
which passed between those pieces.
It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
saying: “To your descendants I give this land,
from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River the Euphrates.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R.(8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:4a, 5b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”

Homily: June 26

Genesis 16:1-12,15-16; Psalm 105:1-5; Matthew 7:21-29
“Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock.” (C.f. Matthew 7:24)
▪During the hurricane Michael that took place in Florida, USA, in 2018, there was a house that stood firm after the storm while all other houses went down or were in bad shapes. This house survived the 155-mph winds relatively unscathed. Houses there are required to be built at 120-mph winds, but the Sand Castle was designed for 240 to 250-mph winds. It was reinforced from its foundation and within to withstand such eventualities.
▪This brings us to what the Lord is talking about today on building on sand and rock. It is not because we like to build on sand, but because we do not have the patience, the courage and strength to build on rock. We do not want to waste such time building strong structures, which at the end of the day will collapse. Why do you think that the Church has faced centuries of persecution and still stood strong? It is its foundation that has kept it standing.
▪It is unfortunate that we are building human beings on very soft foundations today. With the changes we are facing in the world today, if we are not careful, we will lose our God given gifts of creativity. I am not against change, I like the innovations like every other people do, because they have improved our lives to a great extent. But with the modern world where computer does everything for us, drives our cars, cooks for us, feeds us, does calculations for us, thinks for us for answers, do you think that our brains instead of developing will rather be dying.
▪In the past we have families who are over four being raised by even a poor widow. Children were raised responsibly with the meagre resources. Today, everything is dependent on money and we have more money, but our money has lost values that no matter the much we gather we still cannot even raise one child well, hence why many have chosen not to have children at all. Most of the children raised in great affluence sometimes do not even understand what their parents paid to be where they are today.
▪Dear friend, we all face times when we have difficulties, but remember that it is only those who remain on Christ that will survive the hurricanes of life, because He is our surest foundations. May we not lose sight of the Lord who will never abandon us. May He save us today in the face of all our difficulties, forever and ever. Amen
Stand on the Lord Jesus Christ today and you will survive all trials; this can only be proven by doing His will.
May God bless you today
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam

Holy Angels Parish and St Mary’s Parish, St Albans, Vermont