Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church - 13th September 2017
Reading 1, Colossians 3:1-11
2 Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth,
5 That is why you must kill everything in you that is earthly: sexual vice, impurity, uncontrolled passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god;
6 it is precisely these things which draw God's retribution upon those who resist.
7 And these things made up your way of life when you were living among such people,
8 but now you also must give up all these things: human anger, hot temper, malice, abusive language and dirty talk;
9 and do not lie to each other. You have stripped off your old behaviour with your old self,
11 and in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised and uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 10-11, 12-13
The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is Yahweh and worthy of all praise, his greatness beyond all reckoning.
10 All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh, and your faithful shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingship and tell of your might,
13 Your kingship is a kingship for ever, your reign lasts from age to age. Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words, and upright in all his deeds.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and leap for joy!
Your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Luke 6:20-26
20 Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours.
21 Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh.
22 'Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man.
23 Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
25 Alas for you who have plenty to eat now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who are laughing now: you shall mourn and weep.
26 'Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: Those who live according to the new self are blessed; those who live under the old self have nothing to anticipate but woes (see Lk 6:20-26). In Baptism, our old self died with Christ, drowned in the waters of Baptism. Yet our lives after Baptism sometimes seem like a civil war (see Jas 4:1). We want to live a good and holy life for the Lord, yet we sin (see Rm 7:7-25).
The key is to daily live our Baptism. Each time you bless yourselves with holy water, that is, the water of Baptism, renew your baptismal vows. Tell yourself: "I am a baptized child of Almighty God! Lord Jesus, drown my old self with You in this holy water. Help me put on the pure, victorious garments of my new self that lives in You. May I live the new life of blessings and not the old life of woes."
Prayer: Father, "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me" (Gal 2:19-20). Amen.