A reading from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 8:1-8)
“I will save my people from the east country and from the west country.”
The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts: If it is marvelous in the sight of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in my sight, says the Lord of hosts? Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 102:16-18.19-21.29 and 22-23 (R.17)
R/. The Lord shall build up Sion, he will appear in all his glory.
The nations shall fear the name of the Lord,
and all the earth’s kings your glory.
When the Lord shall build up Sion,
he will appear in all his glory.
Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless;
he will not despise their prayers. R/.
Let this be written for ages to come,
that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;
the Lord looked down from his holy place on high,
looked down from heaven to the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
and free those condemned to die. R/.
The children of your servants shall dwell untroubled,
and their descendants established before you.
May the name of the Lord be proclaimed in Sion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples and kingdoms are gathered as one
to offer their worship to the Lord. R/.
ALLELUIA Mark 10:45
Alleluia. The Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 9:46-50)
“He who! Is least among you all is the one who is great.”
At that time: An argument arose among the disciples as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The people of Jesus’ time consider greatness in terms of power, wealth, property, social status, success, etc. a child is considered the least constituent in society. It has no status as a human being and is never counted as one. The same is true in our own times, Jesus presents a different value system in which true greatness lies in being the last one, the least one, the unaccounted one, the servant of all. Paradoxically, this least one is truly great because the kingdom of God belongs to them’. According to Jesus, ‘the first will be last and the last will be first.’ Jesus’ own life is an example of this, as he “emptied himself, took the form of a servant… becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross…” But “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…” (Phil 2:5-11).