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Mass Readings

Catholic Ireland

Liturgical Readings for : Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024
Léachtaí Gaeilge
Next Sunday's Readings

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2

Optional memorial of St Cartage, bishop

FIRST READING 

A reading from the letter of St James         4:13-17
You never know what will happen tomorrow. The most you should ever say is: ‘If it is the Lord’s will’

Here is the answer for those of you who talk like this:
Today or tomorrow, we are off to this or that town;
we are going to spend a year there, trading, and make some money.’

You never know what will happen tomorrow:
you are no more than a mist that is here for a little while and then disappears.
The most you should ever say is:
If it is the Lord’s will, we shall still be alive to do this or that.’
But how proud and sure of yourselves you are now!
Pride of this kind is always wicked.
Everyone who knows what is the right thing to do and doesn’t do it commits a sin.

The Word of the Lord.               Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm             Ps 48
Response                                     How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

1. Hear this, all you peoples, give heed, all who dwell in the world,
men both low and high, rich and poor alike!                                                      Response

2. Why should I fear in evil days the malice of the foes who surround me,
men who trust in their wealth, and boast of the vastness of their riches?   Response

3. For no man can buy his own ransom, or pay a price to God for his life.
The ransom of his soul is beyond him. He cannot buy life without end,
nor avoid coming to the grave.                                                                             Response

4. He knows that wise men and fools must both perish
and leave their wealth to others.                                                                          Response

Gospel  Acclamation         Jn 14: 6
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
no one can come to the Father except through me.

Alleluia!

GOSPEL

The Lord be with you.                       And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark  9: 38-40        Glory to you, O Lord
Anyone who is not against us is for us.

John said to Jesus,
‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ 
But Jesus said,
You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me.
Anyone who is not against us is for us.’

The Gospel of the Lord.            Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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Gospel Reflection           Wednesday          Seventh Week in Ordinary Time          Mark 9:38-40

In one of the episodes of the BBC television series of the 1980s, ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, the leading civil servant, Sir Humphrey Atkins, was shocked to discover that ‘one of us’, a fellow civil servant, had turned out to be a Russian spy. It was presumed that ‘one of us’ couldn’t do such a thing. Tightly knit groups can generate a certain blindness to the failings of its members, and, sometimes, a distain for those who are not ‘one of us’.

In today’s gospel reading, the disciples try to stop someone doing good in Jesus’ name because he was not ‘one of us’. However, in a mild rebuke to his disciples, Jesus declares that he has no objection to someone ‘who works a miracle in my name’. Such a person, he says, is unlikely ‘to speak evil of me’. We are to rejoice in the good work done by others, regardless of where they stand in relation to our own community of faith. In the words of the fourth gospel, ‘the Spirit blows where it choses’ (Jn 3:8). Towards the end of his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes,
whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things
’ (Phil 4:8). Paul draws a very broad circle there.

In today’s first reading, Saint James writes, ‘You never know what will happen tomorrow’. It is also true that you never know what will happen today. Like the disciples in the gospel reading, any day we can come across people who live the gospel, without, perhaps, having any conscious relationship with the Lord. The Lord speaks powerfully to us through all who do whatever is true, honourable, just and commendable. There is something here to rejoice in. The Lord’s work on our behalf is always so much bigger than our work on his behalf.

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The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from his book Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2024: The Word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022/23, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/

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