of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford

Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

It’s probably a nightmare we all share - being locked out of the house, the sales, the big match, missing the train, the boat, the plane, whatever, and having to watch the crowds that have got inside, while we can do nothing. Complacency is what leaves us in this situation, and the Lord warns all who listen to him to be careful, taking nothing  for granted, but making sure that we are (spiritually at least) like the people waiting with their sleeping bags and thermos flasks by the front door of the ticket office.

Notes for Readers

First Reading: Isaiah 36:18-21
A wonderful,  boisterous reading, filled with colour and excitement, as the prophet sees the procession of the nations of the Lord - strange sounding names (don’t worry about them - say them as they look), strange forms of transport, all flowing towards the Temple in Jerusalem. Just picture what Hollywood could do with this scene, and then try to read it! So your tone should be excited, confident, positive. Be aware of the “shape” of the reading: first, after a “headline”, the messengers are sent to all the strange sounding places; then they return, bringing with them the “brothers” from all the mountains. This is the gathering of the tribes of Israel - Isaiah would have proclaimed this with joy and gladness - so should you! Practice the lists - of places and of means of transport - so you can rattle them off fluently, and use them to create a picture. Underline the words “all” and “every” whenever they crop up. But above all enjoy this reading!
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:5-7.11-13
At first glance this seems a rather negative and gloomy reading - but it isn’t. The author is trying to explain why being a Christian sometimes seems rather hard and difficult: it’s because the Father loves us, and like any loving Father sometimes has to correct us, to bring us back (if we will listen) to the right path.  It starts well, by engaging the congregation with a question - as always, don’t be afraid of letting “you” mean the people listening to you read. From then on there should be a tone of gentleness in this reading, since it is all about encouragement - even when it uses words like “punishment”. A key line is the one which talks about punishment being no fun at the time, but later “bearing fruit in peace and goodness.” Watch the last sentence - it’s a bit short of commas, so make sure you put the pauses in the right places.
Pieter Pourbus "The Last Judgment"

From the Catechism

The final tribulation and Christ’s return in glory
CCC 668-677, 769
“Come, Lord Jesus!”
CCC 451, 671, 1130, 1403, 2817
Humble vigilance of heart
CCC 2729-2733
1130: “The Church celebrates the mystery of her Lord "until he comes," when God will be "everything to everyone." Since the apostolic age the liturgy has been drawn toward its goal by the Spirit's groaning in the Church: Marana tha! The liturgy thus shares in Jesus' desire: "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you . . . until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." In the sacraments of Christ the Church already receives the guarantee of her inheritance and even now shares in everlasting life, while "awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus." The "Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come . . . Come, Lord Jesus!'"

Gospel Wordsearch

Click on the box to the left to get this week's Gospel based Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.