& Agencies

Back to Services & Agencies

Scripture of the Week


Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia) 

Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland) 

Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) 

Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA) 

Commentary on the Gospel Reading for each day of the month (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)  


Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm   SEE BELOW

Fr. John McKinnon click here

Fr. John Thornhill  click here


Sunday, 17 Feb 2019: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

First Reading - Jer 17:5-8

A curse on those who trust in humanity; a blessing on those who trust in the Lord.

The Lord says this:

‘A curse on the man who puts his trust in man,
who relies on things of flesh,
whose heart turns from the Lord.
He is like dry scrub in the wastelands:
if good comes, he has no eyes for it,
he settles in the parched places of the wilderness,
a salt land, uninhabited.
‘A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord,
with the Lord for his hope.
He is like a tree by the waterside
that thrusts its roots to the stream:
when the heat comes it feels no alarm,
its foliage stays green;
it has no worries in a year of drought,
and never ceases to bear fruit.’

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 1:1-4. R. Ps 39:5

(R.) Happy are they who hope in the Lord.

Second Reading - 1 Cor 15:12, 16-20

If Christ is not raised from the dead, your faith is in vain.

If Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.

But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

Gospel Acclamation

Lk 6:23

Alleluia, alleluia!

Rejoice and be glad;

your reward is great in heaven.


Gospel - Lk 6:17. 20-26

Happy are the poor. Woe to the rich!

Jesus came down with the Twelve and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases.

Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said:
‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

‘Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

Gospel Reflection:

We are unlikely to consider ourselves blessed or happy when we cannot pay our bills or put food on the table. We are likewise slow to count our blessings, much less dance for joy, when we find ourselves in tears or when we are excluded, rejected, and treated with contempt. We are more likely to consider ourselves blessed when we do not have to be constantly worried about money or food and when others treat us with respect. So why does Luke’s Jesus declare the poor and suffering happy or blessed? And why does he seem to be so hard on those who enjoy economic security and the respect of others? What does the gospel say to those of us who are somewhere between the destitute who are declared blessed and the wealthy who are told to watch out? What does this gospel offer to those who attract neither praise nor blame? There are no easy answers to any of this, beyond the clear evidence that Luke’s Sermon on the Plain engages the theme of reversal that permeates this gospel.

The poor are told that the reign of God is theirs. In others words, it is a present rather than a future reality. The poor can at least know that they are acceptable to God in ways that may be incomprehensible to the wealthy who, in their turn, are challenged to share their wealth. It is not much consolation for the hungry or those who weep to know that their “reward will be great in heaven” if heaven is a place enjoyed only in the afterlife. “Heaven” is better understood as a way of talking about God’s empire of justice and compassion. Reversal is expected in this life rather than the next. Weeping is usually connected in the prophetic literature with the disasters that flow from “ungodly” decisions. In our times, there are many weeping over “ungodly” decisions in relation to asylum seekers and carbon emissions. Laughter seems a remote possibility for many displaced people of our world. We are reminded today of the gospel imperative to work and pray that war-torn and climate affected countries will once again resonate with the sound of happy laughter.

Finally, our experience makes us wary of those who flatter us or put us on pedestals. It is generally only a matter of time before we fall from favour and find ourselves on the receiving end of criticism or even attack. It is ultimately better to be misunderstood and to be at peace with one’s conscience in the pursuit of compassion and justice than to be the object of adulation and praise. I suspect it is only in handling life’s challenges with dignity, grace, and single-minded focus on the gospel that we find blessing or happiness.

 Sr Veronica Lawson rsm

© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.









We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese
we gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the sea
in interwoven faith communities. Spirit filled
we celebrate and share our journey
reaching out to nurture all God's people.

Diocesan Vision Statement 2005

All Enquiries

PO Box 576
Ballarat, Victoria 3353

Phone +61 3 5337 7111

Where to find us

Catholic Diocese of Ballarat
5 Lyons Street South
Ballarat, Victoria 3353