Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings
First Scripture Reading
Exodus 20: 1-17
Gospel Reading
Matthew 13:18-23

Opening Prayer

You sound so awesome as You thunder the commandments of Sinai. Did You want them carved on stone or in our hearts? I know that You want to be remembered, honored and loved, and want us to deal respectfully with each other. Help us to get over our hang-ups about authority. Humble us to see that Your laws are for our good, and not some arbitrary authoritarian mandate. As a parent, You expect the best of us, because we are created in Your image, and have a special place in Your heart. Continue to till the soil of our hearts so that the seed of Your Word and law may penetrate deeply and blossom abundantly in Your reign. Thunder into our hearts today, Beloved God of Law, Eternal Gardener of human affairs.

Reading I Ex 20:1-17

In those days:
God delivered all these commandments:

    “I, the LORD, am your God, 
    who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves 
    in the shape of anything in the sky above 
    or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; 
    you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, 
    inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness 
    on the children of those who hate me, 
    down to the third and fourth generation; 
    but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation 
    on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished 
    him who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Six days you may labor and do all your work, 
    but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, 
    or your male or female slave, or your beast, 
    or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, 
    the sea and all that is in them; 
    but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, 
    that you may have a long life in the land 
    which the LORD, your God, is giving you.

“You shall not kill.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, 
    nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, 
    nor anything else that belongs to him.”

Responsorial Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R.    (John 6:68c)  Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
    refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
    giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eye.
R.    Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
    all of them just.
R.    Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
    than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
    or honey from the comb.
R.    Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

Alleluia See Lk 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:18-23

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom
without understanding it,
and the Evil One comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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