Friday of week 18 in Ordinary Time, or Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major
Israel restored; Nineveh ruined
See, over the mountains the messenger hurries!
‘Peace!’ he proclaims.
Judah, celebrate your feasts,
carry out your vows,
for Belial will never pass through you again;
he is utterly annihilated.
Yes, the Lord is restoring the vineyard of Jacob
and the vineyard of Israel.
For the plunderers had plundered them,
they had broken off their branches.
Woe to the city soaked in blood,
full of lies,
stuffed with booty,
whose plunderings know no end!
The crack of the whip!
The rumble of wheels!
flash of swords,
gleam of spears…
a mass of wounded,
hosts of dead,
they stumble over the dead.
I am going to pelt you with filth,
shame you, make you a public show.
And all who look on you will turn their backs on you and say,
‘Nineveh is a ruin.’
Could anyone pity her?
Where can I find anyone to comfort her?
Psalm or canticle
It is close, the day of their ruin;
their doom comes at speed.
For the Lord will see his people righted,
he will take pity on his servants.
See now that I, I am He,
and beside me there is no other god.
It is I who deal death and life;
when I have struck it is I who heal.
When I have whetted my flashing sword
I will take up the cause of Right,
I will give my foes as good again,
I will repay those who hate me.
Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?
‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour. I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.’