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Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Wisdom 9:13-18 (JB)

A reading from the book of Wisdom

Who can comprehend the will of God?

What man can know the intentions of God?

Who can divine the will of the Lord?

The reasonings of mortals are unsure

and our intentions unstable;

for a perishable body presses down the soul,

and this tent of clay weighs down the teeming mind.

It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth,

laborious to know what lies within our reach;

who, then, can discover what is in the heavens?

As for your intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted Wisdom

and sent your holy spirit from above?

Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened

and men been taught what pleases you,

and saved, by Wisdom.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Wisdom 9:13-18 (NRSV)

A reading from the book of Wisdom

For who can learn the counsel of God?

Or who can discern what the Lord wills?

For the reasoning of mortals is worthless,

and our designs are likely to fail;

for a perishable body weighs down the soul,

and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.

We can hardly guess at what is on earth,

and what is at hand we find with labour;

but who has traced out what is in the heavens?

Who has learned your counsel,

unless you have given wisdom

and sent your holy spirit from on high?

And thus the paths of those on earth were set right,

and people were taught what pleases you,

and were saved by wisdom.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 89:3-6, 12-14, 17 (JB)

R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

You turn men back in to dust

and say: ‘Go back, sons of men.’

To your eyes a thousand years

are like yesterday, come and gone,

no more than a watch in the night. R.

You sweep men away like a dream,

like grass which springs up in the morning.

In the morning it springs up and flowers:

by evening it withers and fades. R.

Make us know the shortness of our life

that we may gain wisdom of heart.

Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?

Show pity to your servants. R.

In the morning, fill us with your love;

we shall exult and rejoice all our days.

Let the favour of the Lord be upon us:

give success to the work of our hands. R.

Second Reading

Philemon 1: 9-10, 12-17 (JB)

A reading from the letter of St Paul to Philemon

Receive him, not as a slave anymore, but as a very dear brother.

This is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Philemon 1: 9-10, 12-17 (NRSV)

A reading from the letter of Paul to Philemon

I, Paul, do this as an old man,

and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus.

I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus,

whose father I have become during my imprisonment.

I am sending him,

that is, my own heart,

back to you.

I wanted to keep him with me,

so that he might be of service to me in your place

during my imprisonment for the gospel;

but I preferred to do nothing without your consent,

in order that your good deed might be voluntary

and not something forced.

Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while,

so that you might have him back forever,

no longer as a slave but more than a slave,

a beloved brother-

especially to me but how much more to you,

both in the flesh and in the Lord.

So if you consider me your partner,

welcome him as you would welcome me.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Ps 118:135 (JB)

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let your face shine on your servant,

and teach me your laws.

Alleluia!

Ps 119:135 (NRSV)

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let your face shine on your servant,

and teach me your laws.

Alleluia!

Gospel

Luke 14:25-33 (JB)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

All who do not renounce their possessions cannot be my disciples.

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 14:25-33 (NRSV)

A reading from the holy gospel according to Luke

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus;

and he turned and said to them,

“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother,

spouse and children, brothers and sisters,

yes, and even life itself,

cannot be my disciple.

Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me

cannot be my disciple.

“For which of you,

intending to build a tower,

does not first sit down and estimate the cost,

to see whether he has enough to complete it?

Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish,

all who see it will begin to ridicule him,

saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

“Or what king,

going out to wage war against another king,

will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand

to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand?

If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away,

he sends a delegation

and asks for the terms of peace.

“So therefore, none of you can become my disciple

if you do not give up all your possessions.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.