Sacred Liturgy: Liturgy of the Word


First Reading
They read from the book of the Law and they understood what was read.

A reading from the Book of Nehemiah 8: 2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

            Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand. Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presenceof the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law. Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. He opened the scroll so that all people might see it --for he was standing higher up than any of the people--; and, as he opened it, all the people rose.Ezra bleesed the Lord, he great God, and all the people, their hands raised high, answered, "Amen, amen!" Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the Lord, their facesto the ground. Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read.Then Nehemiah, that is,His Excellency, and Ezra the priest-scribe and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people: "Today is holy to the Lord your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep"-- for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: "Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord. Do not be saddenes this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strenght!".  


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 19: 8, 9, 10, 15

R/. "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life" 

The law of the Lord is perfect,

            refreshing the soul;

The decree of the Lord is trustworthy,
            giving wisdom to the simple.
R/. "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life"  


The precepts of the Lord are right,
            rejoicing the heart;
The command of the Lord is clear,

            enlightening the eye.
R/. "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life"  


The fear of the Lord is pure,

            enduring forever;
The ordinances of the Lord are true,
            all of them just

R/. "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life"  

Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
            find favor before you, 
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer
R/. "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life"

Second Reading
You are Christ's body and individually parts of it.

A reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 12: 12-30

            Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one  Spirit  we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

             Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, "Because  I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong less to the body. Or if an ear should say, "Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But  as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you." Indeed, te parts of the body that seem to be  weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

              Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of i. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then of healing, assitance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

Today the Scripture passage is fulfilled.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 1: 1-4; 4: 14-21

            Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it downin an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received.

             Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.

             He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according tohis custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prphet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling uo the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

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