“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”
The beginning of the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1: 1- 10)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth:
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 98: 1.2-3ab.3cd-4.5-6 (R. 2a)
R/. The Lord has made known his salvation.
O sing a new song to the Low,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy
arm have brought salvation. R.
The LORD has made known his salvation,
has shown his deliverance to the nations.
He has remembered his merciful
love and his truth for the house of Israel. R.
All the ends of the earth have
seen the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song,
and sing out your praise. R.
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn,
raise a shout before the King, the Lord. R.
ALLELUIA John 14:6
Alleluia. I am the way, and the truth, and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father but by me. Alleluia.
The blood of the prophets will be required, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 11:47-54)
At that time: Jesus said, “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute, ’that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The readings of today present us with a renewed awareness of God’s love and plans for us even from the very beginning. God made us blameless and even when we sinned he reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ. The glorious plans of God for us are gifts to us and we must work hard never to go contrary to these plans. The consequence of this is the fact that we become accountable for the love God has given to us. Daily, we are reminded of this sublime fact, but do we truly listen and take this reminder to heart or like the people of old do we conspire to kill the voice of truth and wisdom. God surely will hold us accountable for his love; we must not kill the voice of truth and wisdom by our actions, thoughts and words.