A reading from the Book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1-8)
“If it pleases the king, send me to the city of my fathers, that I may rebuild it.”
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I, Nehemiah, took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live for ever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “For what do you make request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may rebuild it.” And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house which I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 137:1-2.3.4-5.6 (R. 6ab)
R/. O let my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not!
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept,
on the poplars that grew there
we hung up our harps. R/.
For it was there that they asked us, our captors, for songs,
our oppressors, for joy.
“Sing to us,” they said,
“one of Sion’s songs.” R/.
O how could we sing
the song of the Lord
on foreign soil?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
let my right hand wither! R/.
O let my tongue
cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
if I prize not Jerusalem
as the first of my joys! R/.
Alleluia. I count everything as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 9:57-62)
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
At that time: As Jesus and his disciples were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Angels are heavenly beings who take care of us. God assigns them to minister to us. They do this in many ways, either as our guardians or as messengers. St Michael is the defender of the church. St Gabriel brings glad tidings to Mary, that she will be the mother of God, and announces the birth of John the Baptist. It is St Raphael who brings about healing to Tobias and helps Tobit in his journey until he attains his desire to marry. Our Guardian Angels are always interceding for us. We need to trust their intercession, especially when things become difficult. We have to learn how to invoke them. They are always available to attend to us in our spiritual and material needs. Angels are real and very effective ministries of God in our world.