We first hoped in Christ, and you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:11-14)
Brethren: In Christ, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 33:1-2.4-5.12-13 (R. 12b)
R/. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen as his heritage.
Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp;
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs. R.
For the word of the Lord is faithful,
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right,
and his merciful love fills the earth. R.
Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his heritage.
From the heavens the Lord looks forth;
he sees all the children of men. R.
ALLELUIA Psalm 33:22
Alleluia. May your merciful love be upon us, as we hope in you, O Lord. Alleluia.
“Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 12:1-7)
At that time: When so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, Jesus began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And trot one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Paul bears witness to the truth that those who witness to Christ and believe in him have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. What a unique privilege that has been granted to those who believe! This is the blessedness of the people that the Lord has chosen as his heritage. Just as we look forward constantly to this great heritage, we must also be mindful of living hypocritical lives – lives that are not rooted in truth but are influenced by empty praises by men. Having in mind that God has full knowledge of our every action, we must therefore be guided by the principle of truth that is pure. God does not forget his own, every hair in your head is known by him! So fear not even when the immediate outcome of living out the truth seems not to be pleasant and rewarding.