“Elijah was covered by the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit.”
A reading from the Book of Sirach (Sirach 48: 1-14)
The prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch. He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire. How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous, deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have? You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High; who brought kings down to destruction, and famous men from their beds, and easily destroyed their dominion; who heard rebuke at Sinai and judgements of vengeance at Horeb; who anointed kings to inflict retribution, and prophets to succeed you. You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses of fire; you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Blessed are those who saw you, and those who have fallen asleep in your love; for we also shall surely live, but our name, after death, will not be such. It was Elijah who was covered by the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit; in all his days he did not tremble before any ruler, and no one brought him into subjection. Nothing was too hard for him, and when he was dead his body prophesied. As in his life he did wonders, so in death his deeds were marvellous.
The word of the Lord.
R/. Rejoice in the Lord, you just.
The Lord is king, let earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Cloud and darkness surround him;
justice and right are the foundation of his throne. R.
A fire prepares his path;
it bums up his foes on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth looks on and trembles. R.
R/. Rejoice in the Lord, you just.
The mountains melt like wax
before the face of the Lord,
before the face of the Lord of all the earth.
The skies proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory. R.
Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
those who boast of their worthless gods.
All you angels, worship him. R.
ALLELUIA Romans 8:15bc
Alleluia. You have received the spirit of sonship; in him we cry, “Abba! Father!” Alleluia.
“Pray then like this.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 6:7-15)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The “Our Father” helps us understand who God is and who we are. In this prayer, we acknowledge God as our loving and caring Father and we surrender ourselves to him as his children. Above all it teaches us to honour God our loving Father, to respect and care for our brothers and sisters, to completely depend on his providence and live in harmony with one another. St Therese of Lisieux wrote: “for me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” Our prayers are not meant to impress people but are a means to obtain God’s graces and blessings.