Christ is the head from whom the whole body is joined and knit together.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:7-16)
Brethren: Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and up builds itself in love.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 122:1-2.3-4ab.4cd-5 (R. see 1)
R/. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord ”
And now our feet are standing within
your gates, O Jerusalem. R.
Jerusalem is built as a city
bonded as one together.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord. R.
For Israel’s witness it is
to praise the name of the Lord.
There were set the thrones for judgement,
the thrones of the house of David. R.
ALLELUIA Ezekiel 33 : 11
Alleluia. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord, but that he turn from his way and live. Alleluia.
“Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 13: 1-9)
There were some present at that very time who told Jesus of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down. ”’
The Gospel of the Lord.
The eschatological teaching of Jesus that we have learnt from this week’s readings is concluded with the call to repentance, acknowledging the fact that we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Thus, we should never spend time accusing anyone of being a sinner but we should look inward for a proper self-examination. We indulge in judging and condemning others for their sins and weaknesses, but are we better off than those we condemn? Jesus gives us opportunities to repent, how well do we use those opportunities? Every day, every moment, every event, every warning is an opportunity for us to change and become fruitful and useful. We must change our sinful ways and become righteous, bearing fruit, or else we shall be condemned/cut off like the unfruitful fig tree.