13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
28 June 2020
O God, who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Readings and Commentaries
One of the oldest and most famous baptisteries in the world lies adjacent to the basilica of St John Lateran in Rome. It contains a poetic inscription centred on the image of the baptismal font as a fertile womb teeming with new life. The poem delights in the idea of baptism as rebirth in the power of the Spirit. It can be seen as an inspired commentary on Jesus’ brief word to Nicodemus about the need to be born of water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
For his part Paul offers the distinctly different but complementary image of the font. He presents it not as a womb but as a tomb. In Paul’s mind baptism is a sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Going down into the waters of the font, the candidate dies to sin and death and rises out of them to new life with God.
These two perspectives are mutually enriching rather than contradictory. Together they set our imaginations free to gain fresh insight into this sacramental rite that is cherished by every Christian community.
A reading from the second book of the Kings 4:8–11, 14–16
One day as Elisha was on his way to Shunem, a woman of rank who lived there pressed him to stay and eat there. After this he always broke his journey for a meal when he passed that way. She said to her husband, ‘Look, I am sure the man who is constantly passing our way must be a holy man of God. Let us build him a small room on the roof, and put him a bed in it, and a table and chair and lamp; whenever he comes to us he can rest there.’
One day when he came, he retired to the upper room and lay down. ‘What can be done for her?’ he asked. Gehazi (his servant) answered, ‘Well, she has no son and her husband is old.’ Elisha said, ‘Call her.’ The servant called her and she stood at the door. ‘This time next year,’ Elisha said ‘you will hold a son in your arms.’
Responsorial Psalm Ps 88:2–3, 16–19
R.For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;
through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,
that your truth is firmly established as the heavens. R.
Happy the people who acclaim such a king,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name,
who make your justice the source of their bliss. R.
For it is you, O Lord, who are the glory of their strength;
it is by your favour that our might is exalted:
for our ruler is in the keeping of the Lord;
our king in the keeping of the Holy One of Israel. R.
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 6:3–4, 8–11
When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.
But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 10:37–42
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.
‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man because he is a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.
‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
Almighty and all-merciful God, lover of the human race, healer of all our wounds, in whom there is no shadow of death, save us in this time of crisis; grant wisdom and courage to our leaders; watch over all medical people as they tend the sick and work for a cure; stir in us a sense of solidarity beyond all isolation; if our doors are closed, let our hearts be open. By the power of your love destroy the virus of fear, that hope may never die and the light of Easter, the triumph of life, may shine upon us and the whole world. Through Jesus Christ, the Lord risen from the dead, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. Holy Mary, health of the sick, pray for us. St Joseph, guardian of us all, pray for us.
(Most Rev. Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane)
Gracious God, We give thanks anew for your providence and presence. We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas. We pray for those in need of healing. We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving. We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response. We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders. We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable. This prayer for our nation in the family of nations, with all that is on our hearts, we gather now and pray through
(Ecumenical prayer from the National Council of Churches. We have been invited to pray this prayer at 7pm each day.)