Saturday

10

June

2017

Sundays Gospel

Sunday 22 November 2020

Christ the King – Solemnity

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17

The Lord will judge between sheep and sheep

The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
  As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 22(23):1-3a,5-6
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
  there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
  where he gives me repose.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Near restful waters he leads me,
  to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path;
  he is true to his name.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You have prepared a banquet for me
  in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
  my cup is overflowing.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
  all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
  for ever and ever.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28

Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father; so that God may be all in all

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.

Gospel Acclamation Mk11:10
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!
Alleluia!

Gospel
Matthew 25:31-46

I was naked and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
  ‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
  ‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”
  ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’

Sunday 29 November 2020

1st Sunday of Advent 

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Isaiah 63:16-17,64:1,3-8

O that you would tear the heavens open and come down

You, Lord, yourself are our Father,
‘Our Redeemer’ is your ancient name.
Why, Lord, leave us to stray from your ways
and harden our hearts against fearing you?
Return, for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your inheritance.
Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down!
– at your Presence the mountains would melt.
No ear has heard,
no eye has seen
any god but you act like this
for those who trust him.
You guide those who act with integrity
and keep your ways in mind.
You were angry when we were sinners;
we had long been rebels against you.
We were all like men unclean,
all that integrity of ours like filthy clothing.
We have all withered like leaves
and our sins blew us away like the wind.
No one invoked your name
or roused himself to catch hold of you.
For you hid your face from us
and gave us up to the power of our sins.
And yet, Lord, you are our Father;
we the clay, you the potter,
we are all the work of your hand.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 79(80):2-3,15-16,18-19
God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
  shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might,
  O Lord, come to our help.
God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
God of hosts, turn again, we implore,
  look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
  the vine your right hand has planted.
God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
May your hand be on the man you have chosen,
  the man you have given your strength.
And we shall never forsake you again;
  give us life that we may call upon your name.
God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 1:3-9

We are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.
  I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel Acclamation Ps84:8
Alleluia, alleluia!
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy
and give us your saving help.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 13:33-37

If he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’

 

 

Sunday 6 December 2020

2nd Sunday of Advent 

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it

‘Console my people, console them’
says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem
and call to her
that her time of service is ended,
that her sin is atoned for,
that she has received from the hand of the Lord
double punishment for all her crimes.’
A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness
a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God
across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low.
Let every cliff become a plain,
and the ridges a valley;
then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
and all mankind shall see it;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
Go up on a high mountain,
joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice,
joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear,
say to the towns of Judah,
‘Here is your God.’
Here is the Lord coming with power,
his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him,
his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast
and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 84(85):9-14(Advent)
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
  a voice that speaks of peace,
  peace for his people.
His help is near for those who fear him
  and his glory will dwell in our land.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
Mercy and faithfulness have met;
  justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
  and justice look down from heaven.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
The Lord will make us prosper
  and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
  and peace shall follow his steps.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.

Second reading 2 Peter 3:8-14

We are waiting for the new heavens and the new earth

There is one thing, my friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, ‘a day’ can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not being slow to carry out his promises, as anybody else might be called slow; but he is being patient with you all, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to change his ways. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up.
  Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace.

Gospel Acclamation Lk3:4,6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:1-8

A voice cries in the wilderness: prepare a way for the Lord

The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:
Look, I am going to send my messenger before you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.
and so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

 

 

 

Sunday 13 December 2020

3rd Sunday of Advent 

Liturgical Colour: Rose or Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11

He has sent me to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up hearts that are broken;
to proclaim liberty to captives,
freedom to those in prison;
to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.
‘I exult for joy in the Lord,
my soul rejoices in my God,
for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation,
he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity,
like a bridegroom wearing his wreath,
like a bride adorned in her jewels.
‘For as the earth makes fresh things grow,
as a garden makes seeds spring up,
so will the Lord make both integrity and praise
spring up in the sight of the nations.’

Responsorial Psalm
Luke 1:46-50,53-54
My soul rejoices in my God.
My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her nothingness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
My soul rejoices in my God.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.
My soul rejoices in my God.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy.
My soul rejoices in my God.

Second reading
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

May you all be kept safe for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.
  Never try to suppress the Spirit or treat the gift of prophecy with contempt; think before you do anything – hold on to what is good and avoid every form of evil.
  May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may you all be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has called you and he will not fail you.

Gospel Acclamation Is61:1(Lk4:18)
Alleluia, alleluia!
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor.
Alleluia!

Gospel
John 1:6-8,19-28

‘There stands among you the one coming after me’

A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:
a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’
Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

 

 

Sunday 20 December 2020

4th Sunday of Advent 

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16

Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me

Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’
  But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:
  ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 88(89):2-5,27,29
I will sing for ever of your love, O 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.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
  I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
  and set up your throne through all ages.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘He will say to me: “You are my father,
  my God, the rock who saves me.”
I will keep my love for him always;
  with him my covenant shall last.’
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.

Second reading Romans 16:25-27

The mystery is revealed that was kept secret for endless ages

Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Acclamation Lk1:38
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the handmaid of the Lord:
let what you have said be done to me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:26-38

‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

 

 

Friday 25 December 2020

Christmas Day – Vigil Mass
  (see also Midnight Mass, Mass at Dawn and Mass during the Day)

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass

Readings for the Vigil Mass, celebrated during the afternoon or evening before Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 62:1-5

The bridegroom rejoices in his bride

About Zion I will not be silent,
about Jerusalem I will not grow weary,
until her integrity shines out like the dawn
and her salvation flames like a torch.
The nations then will see your integrity,
all the kings your glory,
and you will be called by a new name,
one which the mouth of the Lord will confer.
You are to be a crown of splendour in the hand of the Lord,
a princely diadem in the hand of your God;
no longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken’,
nor your land ‘Abandoned’,
but you shall be called ‘My Delight’
and your land ‘The Wedded’;
for the Lord takes delight in you
and your land will have its wedding.
Like a young man marrying a virgin,
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride,
so will your God rejoice in you.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 88(89):4-5,16-17,27,29
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
  I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
  and set up your throne through all ages.’
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
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.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘He will say to me: “You are my father,
  my God, the rock who saves me.”
I will keep my love for him always;
  with him my covenant shall endure.’
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.

Second reading
Acts 13:16-17,22-25

Paul’s witness to Christ, the son of David

When Paul reached Antioch in Pisidia, he stood up in the synagogue, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
  ‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out.
  ‘Then he made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Tomorrow there will be an end to the sin of the world
and the saviour of the world will be our king.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 1:1-25

The ancestry and birth of Jesus Christ, the son of David

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,
Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse;
and Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah,
Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah;
and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud was the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.
  This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son
and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.

Friday 25 December 2020

Christmas Day – Midnight Mass
  (see also Vigil Mass, Mass at Dawn and Mass during the Day)

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass

Readings for the Midnight Mass, celebrated during the night before Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 9:1-7

A Son is given to us

The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.
You have made their gladness greater,
you have made their joy increase;
they rejoice in your presence
as men rejoice at harvest time,
as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that was weighing on him,
the bar across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor,
these you break as on the day of Midian.
For all the footgear of battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
is burnt,
and consumed by fire.
For there is a child born for us,
a son given to us
and dominion is laid on his shoulders;
and this is the name they give him:
Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,
Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.
Wide is his dominion
in a peace that has no end,
for the throne of David
and for his royal power,
which he establishes and makes secure
in justice and integrity.
From this time onwards and for ever,
the jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will do this.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 95(96):1-3,11-13
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
  sing to the Lord all the earth.
  O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
Proclaim his help day by day,
  tell among the nations his glory
  and his wonders among all the peoples.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad,
  let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
let the land and all it bears rejoice,
  all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at the presence of the Lord for he comes,
  he comes to rule the earth.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
With justice he will rule the world,
  he will judge the peoples with his truth.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.

Second reading Titus 2:11-14

God’s grace has been revealed to the whole human race

God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

Gospel Acclamation Lk2:10-11
Alleluia, alleluia!
I bring you news of great joy:
today a saviour has been born to us, Christ the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:1-14

‘In the town of David a saviour has been born to you’

Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census – the first – took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.
  In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing:
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace to men who enjoy his favour.’

Friday 25 December 2020

Christmas Day – Mass at Dawn
  (see also Vigil Mass, Midnight Mass and Mass during the Day)

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass

Readings for the Dawn Mass, celebrated at dawn on Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 62:11-12

Look, your saviour comes

This the Lord proclaims
to the ends of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Look,
your saviour comes,
the prize of his victory with him,
his trophies before him.’
They shall be called ‘The Holy People’,
‘The Lord’s Redeemed.’
And you shall be called ‘The-sought-after’,
‘City-not-forsaken.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 96(97):1,6,11-12
This day new light will shine upon the earth: the Lord is born for us.
The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
  let all the coastlands be glad.
The skies proclaim his justice;
  all peoples see his glory.
This day new light will shine upon the earth: the Lord is born for us.
Light shines forth for the just
  and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
  give glory to his holy name.
This day new light will shine upon the earth: the Lord is born for us.

Second reading Titus 3:4-7

It was no reason except his own compassion that he saved us

When the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

Gospel Acclamation Lk2:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace to men who enjoy his favour.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:15-20

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the baby lying in the manger

Now when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

Friday 25 December 2020

Christmas Day – Mass during the Day
  (see also Vigil Mass, Midnight Mass and Mass at Dawn)

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass

Readings for the daytime Mass on Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 52:7-10

Rejoice, for the Lord is consoling his people

How beautiful on the mountains,
are the feet of one who brings good news,
who heralds peace, brings happiness,
proclaims salvation,
and tells Zion,
‘Your God is king!’
Listen! Your watchmen raise their voices,
they shout for joy together,
for they see the Lord face to face,
as he returns to Zion.
Break into shouts of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord is consoling his people,
redeeming Jerusalem.
The Lord bares his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 97(98):1-6
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
  with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
  acclaim the King, the Lord.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Second reading Hebrews 1:1-6

God has spoken to us through his Son

At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
  God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me. Again, when he brings the First-Born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship him.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
A hallowed day has dawned upon us.
Come, you nations, worship the Lord,
for today a great light has shone down upon the earth.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 1:1-18

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us

In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me.’
Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

Saturday 26 December 2020

Saint Stephen, the first Martyr – Feast 

Liturgical Colour: Red.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59

The martyrdom of Stephen

Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people. But then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.
  But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 30(31):3-4,6,8,16-17
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
  a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
  For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
  It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
As for me, I trust in the Lord:
  let me be glad and rejoice in your love.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
  from the hands of those who hate me.
Let your face shine on your servant.
  Save me in your love.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel Acclamation Ps117:26,27
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord:
the Lord God is our light.
Alleluia!

Gospel
Matthew 10:17-22

The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
  ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’

 

 

Sunday 27 December 2020

The Holy Family

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Genesis 15:1-6,21:1-3

Your heir shall be your own flesh and blood

The word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’
  ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless…’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir.’ And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood.’ Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.
  The Lord dealt kindly with Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the time God had promised. Abraham named the son born to him Isaac, the son to whom Sarah had given birth.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 127(128):1-5
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord
  and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
  You will be happy and prosper.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
  in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive,
  around your table.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Indeed thus shall be blessed
  the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
  all the days of your life!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!

Second reading
Colossians 3:12-21

Family life in the Lord

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
  Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.

Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!
At various times in the past
and in various different ways,
God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
but in our own time, the last days,
he has spoken to us through his Son.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:22-40

My eyes have seen your salvation

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
  Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
  There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

 

 

 

Friday 1 January 2021

Mary, Mother of God – Solemnity

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading Numbers 6:22-27

They are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”
This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 66(67):2-3,5,6,8
O God, be gracious and bless us.
O God, be gracious and bless us
  and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
  and all nations learn your saving help.
O God, be gracious and bless us.
Let the nations be glad and exult
  for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
  you guide the nations on earth.
O God, be gracious and bless us.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
  let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
  till the ends of the earth revere him.
O God, be gracious and bless us.

Second reading Galatians 4:4-7

God sent his Son, born of a woman

When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.

Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!
At various times in the past
and in various different ways,
God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
but in our own time, the last days,
he has spoken to us through his Son.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the baby lying in the manger

The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
  When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.

Sunday 3 January 2021

2nd Sunday of Christmas

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Ecclesiasticus 24:1-2,8-12

From eternity, in the beginning, God created wisdom

Wisdom speaks her own praises,
  in the midst of her people she glories in herself.
She opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High,
  she glories in herself in the presence of the Mighty One;
‘Then the creator of all things instructed me,
  and he who created me fixed a place for my tent.
He said, “Pitch your tent in Jacob,
  make Israel your inheritance.”
From eternity, in the beginning, he created me,
  and for eternity I shall remain.
I ministered before him in the holy tabernacle,
  and thus was I established on Zion.
In the beloved city he has given me rest,
  and in Jerusalem I wield my authority.
I have taken root in a privileged people,
  in the Lord’s property, in his inheritance.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 147:12-15,19-20
The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.
or
Alleluia!
O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
  Zion, praise your God!
He has strengthened the bars of your gates
  he has blessed the children within you.
The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.
or
Alleluia!
He established peace on your borders,
  he feeds you with finest wheat.
He sends out his word to the earth
  and swiftly runs his command.
The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.
or
Alleluia!
He makes his word known to Jacob,
  to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations;
  he has not taught them his decrees.
The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading
Ephesians 1:3-6,15-18

Before the world was made, God chose us in Christ

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ,
to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,
determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ
for his own kind purposes,
to make us praise the glory of his grace,
his free gift to us in the Beloved.
That will explain why I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love that you show towards all the saints, have never failed to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit.

Gospel Acclamation cf.1Tim3:16
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glory be to you, O Christ, proclaimed to the pagans.
Glory be to you, O Christ, believed in by the world.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 1:1-18

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us

In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me.’
Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

 

 

Wednesday 6 January 2021

The Epiphany of the Lord – Mass of the Day
  (see also Vigil Mass)

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass

These readings are for the day of the feast itself:


First reading Isaiah 60:1-6

Above you the glory of the Lord appears

Arise, shine out, Jerusalem, for your light has come,
the glory of the Lord is rising on you,
though night still covers the earth
and darkness the peoples.
Above you the Lord now rises
and above you his glory appears.
The nations come to your light
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look round:
all are assembling and coming towards you,
your sons from far away
and your daughters being tenderly carried.
At this sight you will grow radiant,
your heart throbbing and full;
since the riches of the sea will flow to you,
the wealth of the nations come to you;
camels in throngs will cover you,
and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
everyone in Sheba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing the praise of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 71(72):1-2,7-8,10-13
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
O God, give your judgement to the king,
  to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
  and your poor in right judgement.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
In his days justice shall flourish
  and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
  from the Great River to earth’s bounds.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts
  shall pay him tribute.
The kings of Sheba and Seba
  shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate,
  all nations shall serve him.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
For he shall save the poor when they cry
  and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
  and save the lives of the poor.
All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

Second reading
Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6

It has now been revealed that pagans share the same inheritance

You have probably heard how I have been entrusted by God with the grace he meant for you, and that it was by a revelation that I was given the knowledge of the mystery. This mystery that has now been revealed through the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets was unknown to any men in past generations; it means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ, through the gospel.

Gospel Acclamation Mt2:2
Alleluia, alleluia!
We saw his star as it rose
and have come to do the Lord homage.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 2:1-12

The visit of the Magi

After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea,’ they told him ‘for this is what the prophet wrote:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
you are by no means least among the leaders of Judah,
for out of you will come a leader
who will shepherd my people Israel.’
Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared, and sent them on to Bethlehem. ‘Go and find out all about the child,’ he said ‘and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.’ Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And there in front of them was the star they had seen rising; it went forward, and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.

 

 

 

Sunday 10 January 2021

The Baptism of the Lord – Feast

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading Isaiah 55:1-11

Come to me and your soul will live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you

Thus says the Lord:
Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;
though you have no money, come!
Buy corn without money, and eat,
and, at no cost, wine and milk.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
your wages on what fails to satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat
and rich food to enjoy.
Pay attention, come to me;
listen, and your soul will live.
With you I will make an everlasting covenant
out of the favours promised to David.
See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples,
a leader and a master of the nations.
See, you will summon a nation you never knew,
those unknown will come hurrying to you,
for the sake of the Lord your God,
of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you.
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found,
call to him while he is still near.
Let the wicked man abandon his way,
the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him,
to our God who is rich in forgiving;
for my thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.
Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.
Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

Responsorial Psalm Isaiah 12

The rejoicing of a redeemed people

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Truly, God is my salvation,
  I trust, I shall not fear.
For the Lord is my strength, my song,
  he became my saviour.
With joy you will draw water
  from the wells of salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
  Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
  Declare the greatness of his name.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Sing a psalm to the Lord
  for he has done glorious deeds;
  make them known to all the earth!
People of Zion, sing and shout for joy,
  for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Second reading 1 John 5:1-9

Jesus Christ came by water and blood

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
has been begotten by God;
and whoever loves the Father that begot him
loves the child whom he begets.
We can be sure that we love God’s children
if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us;
this is what loving God is –
keeping his commandments;
and his commandments are not difficult,
because anyone who has been begotten by God
has already overcome the world;
this is the victory over the world –
our faith.
Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood,
not with water only,
but with water and blood;
with the Spirit as another witness –
since the Spirit is the truth –
so that there are three witnesses,
the Spirit, the water and the blood,
and all three of them agree.
We accept the testimony of human witnesses,
but God’s testimony is much greater,
and this is God’s testimony,
given as evidence for his Son.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn1:29
Alleluia, alleluia!
John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said:
This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:7-11

‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you’

In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said:
  ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
  It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’

Sunday 17 January 2021

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Liturgical Colour: Green.

Readings at Mass


First reading
1 Samuel 3:3-10,19

‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening’

Samuel was lying in the sanctuary of the Lord, where the ark of God was, when the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ He answered, ‘Here I am.’ Then he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, since you called me.’ Eli said, ‘I did not call. Go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down. Once again the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, since you called me.’ He replied, ‘I did not call you, my son; go back and lie down.’ Samuel had as yet no knowledge of the Lord and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Once again the Lord called, the third time. He got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, since you called me.’ Eli then understood that it was the Lord who was calling the boy, and he said to Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if someone calls say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
  The Lord then came and stood by, calling as he had done before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’
  Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him and let no word of his fall to the ground.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 39(40):2,4,7-10
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
I waited, I waited for the Lord
  and he stooped down to me;
  he heard my cry.
He put a new song into my mouth,
  praise of our God.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
  but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
  Instead, here am I.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
In the scroll of the book it stands written
  that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law
  in the depth of my heart.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
Your justice I have proclaimed
  in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
  you know it, O Lord.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 6:13-15,17-20

Do not sin against your own body

The body is not meant for fornication: it is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God, who raised the Lord from the dead, will by his power raise us up too.
  You know, surely, that your bodies are members making up the body of Christ; do you think I can take parts of Christ’s body and join them to the body of a prostitute? Never! But anyone who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
  Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God.

Gospel Acclamation 1S3:9,Jn6:68
Alleluia, alleluia!
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening:
you have the message of eternal life.
Alleluia!
Or: Jn1:41,17
Alleluia, alleluia!
We have found the Messiah – which means the Christ –
grace and truth have come through him.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 1:35-42

‘We have found the Messiah’

As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
  One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.

 

 

Sunday 24 January 2021

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sunday of the Word of God) 

Liturgical Colour: Green.

Readings at Mass


First reading Jonah 3:1-5,10

The people of Nineveh renounce their evil behaviour

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.
  God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 24(25):4-6,7b-9
Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, make me know your ways.
  Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
  for you are God my saviour.
Lord, make me know your ways.
Remember your mercy, Lord,
  and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me,
  because of your goodness, O Lord.
Lord, make me know your ways.
The Lord is good and upright.
  He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
  He teaches his way to the poor.
Lord, make me know your ways.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 7:29-31

The world as we know it is passing away

Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Gospel Acclamation Mk1:15
Alleluia, alleluia!
The kingdom of God is close at hand:
repent, and believe the Good News.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:14-20

I will make you into fishers of men

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
  As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
  Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

 

 

 

Sunday 31 January 2021

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Liturgical Colour: Green.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Deuteronomy 18:15-20

I will raise up a prophet and put my words into his mouth

Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself, from among yourselves, from your own brothers; to him you must listen. This is what you yourselves asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the Assembly. “Do not let me hear again” you said “the voice of the Lord my God, nor look any longer on this great fire, or I shall die”; and the Lord said to me, “All they have spoken is well said. I will raise up a prophet like yourself for them from their own brothers; I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him. The man who does not listen to my words that he speaks in my name, shall be held answerable to me for it. But the prophet who presumes to say in my name a thing I have not commanded him to say, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 94(95):1-2,6-9
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
  hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
  with songs let us hail the Lord.
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
Come in; let us bow and bend low;
  let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
  the people who belong to his pasture,
  the flock that is led by his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
O that today you would listen to his voice!
  ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
  as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
  when they tried me, though they saw my work.’
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

Second reading
1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Give your undivided attention to the Lord

I would like to see you free from all worry. An unmarried man can devote himself to the Lord’s affairs, all he need worry about is pleasing the Lord; but a married man has to bother about the world’s affairs and devote himself to pleasing his wife: he is torn two ways. In the same way an unmarried woman, like a young girl, can devote herself to the Lord’s affairs; all she need worry about is being holy in body and spirit. The married woman, on the other hand, has to worry about the world’s affairs and devote herself to pleasing her husband. I say this only to help you, not to put a halter round your necks, but simply to make sure that everything is as it should be, and that you give your undivided attention to the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation Mt11:25
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessed are you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom
to mere children.
Alleluia!
Or: Mt4:16
Alleluia, alleluia!
The people that lived in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:21-28

Unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority

Jesus and his disciples went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
  In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

 

 

 

Monday 1 February 2021

Saint Brigid, Abbess, Secondary Patron of Ireland – Feast

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Job 31:16-20,24-25,31-32

Have I been insensible to the needs of the poor?

Have I been insensible to poor men’s needs,
  or let a widow’s eyes grow dim?
Or taken my share of bread alone,
  not giving a share to the orphan?
I, whom God has fostered father-like, from childhood,
  and guided since I left my mother’s womb.
Have I ever seen a wretch in need of clothing,
  or a beggar going naked,
without his having cause to bless me from his heart,
  as he felt the warmth of the fleece from my lambs?
Have I put all my trust in gold,
  from finest gold sought my security?
Have I ever gloated over my great wealth,
  or the riches that my hands have won?
The people of my tent, did they not say,
  ‘Is there a man he has not filled with meat’?
No stranger ever had to sleep outside,
  my door was always open to the traveller.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 106 (107)
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his love has no end.
The Lord changes desert into streams,
  thirsty ground into springs of water.
There he settles the hungry
  and they build a city to dwell in.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his love has no end.
They sow fields and plant their vines;
  these yield crops for the harvest.
He blesses them; they grow in numbers.
  He does not let their herds decrease.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his love has no end.
But he raises the needy from distress;
  makes families numerous as a flock.
The upright see it and rejoice
  but all who do wrong are silenced.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his love has no end.

Gospel Acclamation 1 John 4:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
As long as we love one another,
God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 6:32-38

Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.
Ps 106 (107):35-38, 41-42. R/. v. 1

Jesus said to his disciples:
  ‘If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
  ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

Tuesday 2 February 2021

The Presentation of the Lord – Feast

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


When a Feast of the Lord is celebrated on a weekday there is only one reading before the Gospel, which may be chosen from either the first or second reading.

First reading Malachi 3:1-4

The Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple

The Lord God says this: Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord as in former days, as in the years of old.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 23(24):7-10
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
O gates, lift high your heads;
  grow higher, ancient doors.
  Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
Who is the king of glory?
  The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
  the Lord, the valiant in war.
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
O gates, lift high your heads;
  grow higher, ancient doors.
  Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.
Who is he, the king of glory?
  He, the Lord of armies,
  he is the king of glory.
Who is the king of glory? He, the Lord, he is the king of glory.

When a Feast of the Lord falls on a weekday, there is no reading after the Psalm and before the Gospel.

Gospel Acclamation Lk2:32
Alleluia, alleluia!
The light to enlighten the Gentiles
and give glory to Israel, your people.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:22-40

My eyes have seen your salvation

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
  Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
  There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

 

 

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Saint Blaise, Bishop, Martyr 
  or Wednesday of week 4 in Ordinary Time 
  or Saint Ansgar (Oscar), Bishop 

Liturgical Colour: Red.

Readings at Mass

Readings for the feria (Wednesday)

There is a choice today between the readings for the ferial day (Wednesday) and those for the memorial. The ferial readings are recommended unless pastoral reasons suggest otherwise.

First reading
Hebrews 12:4-7,11-15

God is training you as his sons

In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death.
  Have you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, when the Lord corrects you, do not treat it lightly; but do not get discouraged when he reprimands you. For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons. Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness. So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again.
  Always be wanting peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord. Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 102(103):1-2,13-14,17-18
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
As a father has compassion on his sons,
  the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
  he remembers that we are dust.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
But the love of the Lord is everlasting
  upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children
  when they keep his covenant in truth.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4
Alleluia, alleluia!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Alleluia!
Or: Jn10:27
Alleluia, alleluia!
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord,
I know them and they follow me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 6:1-6

‘A prophet is only despised in his own country’

Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

 

 

 

Sunday 7 February 2021

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Liturgical Colour: Green.

Readings at Mass


First reading Job 7:1-4,6-7

My life is but a breath

Job began to speak:
Is not man’s life on earth nothing more than pressed service,
  his time no better than hired drudgery?
Like the slave, sighing for the shade,
  or the workman with no thought but his wages,
months of delusion I have assigned to me,
  nothing for my own but nights of grief.
Lying in bed I wonder, ‘When will it be day?’
  Risen I think, ‘How slowly evening comes!’
  Restlessly I fret till twilight falls.
Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle my days have passed,
  and vanished, leaving no hope behind.
Remember that my life is but a breath,
  and that my eyes will never again see joy.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 146(147):1-6
Praise the Lord who heals the broken-hearted.
or
Alleluia!
Praise the Lord for he is good;
  sing to our God for he is loving:
  to him our praise is due.
Praise the Lord who heals the broken-hearted.
or
Alleluia!
The Lord builds up Jerusalem
  and brings back Israel’s exiles,
he heals the broken-hearted,
  he binds up all their wounds.
He fixes the number of the stars;
  he calls each one by its name.
Praise the Lord who heals the broken-hearted.
or
Alleluia!
Our Lord is great and almighty;
  his wisdom can never be measured.
The Lord raises the lowly;
  he humbles the wicked to the dust.
Praise the Lord who heals the broken-hearted.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading
1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23

I should be punished if I did not preach the Gospel

I do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands. Do you know what my reward is? It is this: in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me.
  So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could. I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.

Gospel Acclamation Jn8:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
anyone who follows me will have the light of life.
Alleluia!
Or: Mt8:17
Alleluia, alleluia!
He took our sicknesses away,
and carried our diseases for us.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:29-39

He cast out devils and cured many who were suffering from disease

On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway. He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.
  That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
  In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.’ And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out devils.

 

 

 

 

Sunday 14 February 2021

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Liturgical Colour: Green.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46

The unclean man must live outside the camp

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘If a swelling or scab or shiny spot appears on a man’s skin, a case of leprosy of the skin is to be suspected. The man must be taken to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests who are his sons.
  ‘The man is leprous: he is unclean. The priest must declare him unclean; he is suffering from leprosy of the head. A man infected with leprosy must wear his clothing torn and his hair disordered; he must shield his upper lip and cry, “Unclean, unclean.” As long as the disease lasts he must be unclean; and therefore he must live apart: he must live outside the camp.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 31(32):1-2,5,11
You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Happy the man whose offence is forgiven,
  whose sin is remitted.
O happy the man to whom the Lord
  imputes no guilt,
  in whose spirit is no guile.
You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.
But now I have acknowledged my sins;
  my guilt I did not hide.
I said: ‘I will confess
  my offence to the Lord.’
And you, Lord, have forgiven
  the guilt of my sin.
You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord,
  exult, you just!
O come, ring out your joy,
  all you upright of heart.
You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

Take me for your model, as I take Christ

Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God. Never do anything offensive to anyone – to Jews or Greeks or to the Church of God; just as I try to be helpful to everyone at all times, not anxious for my own advantage but for the advantage of everybody else, so that they may be saved. Take me for your model, as I take Christ.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Ep1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia!
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.
Alleluia!
Or: Lk7:16
Alleluia, alleluia!
A great prophet has appeared among us;
God has visited his people.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:40-45

The leprosy left the man at once, and he was cured

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

 

 

 

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Ash Wednesday 

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading Joel 2:12-18

Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn

‘Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks –
come back to me with all your heart,
fasting, weeping, mourning.’
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn,
turn to the Lord your God again,
for he is all tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger, rich in graciousness,
and ready to relent.
Who knows if he will not turn again, will not relent,
will not leave a blessing as he passes,
oblation and libation
for the Lord your God?
Sound the trumpet in Zion!
Order a fast,
proclaim a solemn assembly,
call the people together,
summon the community,
assemble the elders,
gather the children,
even the infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his bedroom
and the bride her alcove.
Between vestibule and altar let the priests,
the ministers of the Lord, lament.
Let them say,
‘Spare your people, Lord!
Do not make your heritage a thing of shame,
a byword for the nations.
Why should it be said among the nations,
“Where is their God?”’
Then the Lord, jealous on behalf of his land,
took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 50(51):3-6,12-14,17
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
  In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
  and cleanse me from my sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
My offences truly I know them;
  my sin is always before me
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
  what is evil in your sight I have done.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
  put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
  nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me again the joy of your help;
  with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
O Lord, open my lips
  and my mouth shall declare your praise.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Second reading
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Be reconciled to God

We are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God. As his fellow workers, we beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation.

Gospel Acclamation Ps50:12,14
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
A pure heart create for me, O God,
and give me again the joy of your help.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Or: cf.Ps94:8
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Harden not your hearts today,
but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel
Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

Your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
  ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
  ‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’

 

 

 

Sunday 21 February 2021

1st Sunday of Lent 

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading Genesis 9:8-15

‘There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again’

God spoke to Noah and his sons, ‘See, I establish my Covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you: everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth. I establish my Covenant with you: no thing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.’
  God said, ‘Here is the sign of the Covenant I make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all generations: I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind. And so the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all things of flesh.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 24(25):4-6,7b-9
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.
Lord, make me know your ways.
  Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
  for you are God my saviour.
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.
Remember your mercy, Lord,
  and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me,
  because of your goodness, O Lord.
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.
The Lord is good and upright.
  He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
  He teaches his way to the poor.
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.

Second reading 1 Peter 3:18-22

The water on which the Ark floated is a type of the baptism which saves you now

Christ himself, innocent though he was, died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people ‘by water’, and when God was still waiting patiently, that these spirits refused to believe. That water is a type of the baptism which saves you now, and which is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand, now that he has made the angels and Dominations and Powers his subjects.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel Mark 1:12-15

Jesus was tempted by Satan, and the angels looked after him

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.
  After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

 

 

 

Sunday 28 February 2021

2nd Sunday of Lent 

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18

The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’
  When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.
  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.
  The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 115(116):10,15-19
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
I trusted, even when I said:
  ‘I am sorely afflicted,’
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
  is the death of his faithful.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
  you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
  in your midst, O Jerusalem.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Second reading Romans 8:31-34

God did not spare his own Son

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Gospel Acclamation Mt17:5
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
From the bright cloud the Father’s voice was heard:
‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel Mark 9:2-10

This is my Son, the Beloved

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.
  As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

 

 

 

Sunday 7 March 2021

3rd Sunday of Lent – Proper Readings 
  (see also The Samaritan Woman)

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading Exodus 20:1-17

The Law given at Sinai

God spoke all these words. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  ‘You shall have no gods except me.
  ‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God and I punish the father’s fault in the sons, the grandsons, and the great-grandsons of those who hate me; but I show kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  ‘You shall not utter the name of the Lord your God to misuse it, for the Lord will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.
  ‘Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath for the Lord your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the stranger who lives with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that these hold, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred.
  ‘Honour your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God has given to you.
  ‘You shall not kill.
  ‘You shall not commit adultery.
  ‘You shall not steal.
  ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
  ‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 18(19):8-11
You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
  it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
  it gives wisdom to the simple.
You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
  they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
  it gives light to the eyes.
You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.
The fear of the Lord is holy,
  abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
  and all of them just.
You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.
They are more to be desired than gold,
  than the purest of gold
and sweeter are they than honey,
  than honey from the comb.
You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 1:22-25

The crucified Christ, the power and wisdom of God

While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel Acclamation Jn11:25, 26
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Or: Jn3:16
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son:
everyone who believes in him has eternal life.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel John 2:13-25

Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.
  During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave, but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him.

 

or

 

Sunday 7 March 2021

3rd Sunday of Lent – The Samaritan Woman 
  (see also Proper Readings)

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading Exodus 17:3-7

Strike the rock, and water will flow from it

Tormented by thirst, the people complained against Moses. ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt?’ they said. ‘Was it so that I should die of thirst, my children too, and my cattle?’
  Moses appealed to the Lord. ‘How am I to deal with this people?” he said. ‘A little more and they will stone me!’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take with you some of the elders of Israel and move on to the forefront of the people; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the river, and go. I shall be standing before you there on the rock, at Horeb. You must strike the rock, and water will flow from it for the people to drink.’ This is what Moses did, in the sight of the elders of Israel. The place was named Massah and Meribah because of the grumbling of the sons of Israel and because they put the Lord to the test by saying, ‘Is the Lord with us, or not?’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 94(95):1-2,6-9
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
  hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
  with songs let us hail the Lord.
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
Come in; let us bow and bend low;
  let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
  the people who belong to his pasture,
  the flock that is led by his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
O that today you would listen to his voice!
  ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
  as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
  when they tried me, though they saw my work.’
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

Second reading
Romans 5:1-2,5-8

The love of God has been poured into our hearts

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. And this hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

Gospel Acclamation Jn4:42,15
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Lord, you are really the saviour of the world:
give me the living water, so that I may never get thirsty.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!

Gospel John 4:5-42

A spring of water welling up to eternal life

Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well is there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘What? You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?’ – Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus replied:
‘If you only knew what God is offering
and who it is that is saying to you:
Give me a drink, you would have been the one to ask,
and he would have given you living water.’
‘You have no bucket, sir,’ she answered ‘and the well is deep: how could you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?’ Jesus replied:
‘Whoever drinks this water
will get thirsty again;
but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give
will never be thirsty again:
the water that I shall give
will turn into a spring inside him,
welling up to eternal life.’
‘Sir,’ said the woman ‘give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty and never have to come here again to draw water.’ ‘Go and call your husband’ said Jesus to her ‘and come back here.’ The woman answered, ‘I have no husband.’ He said to her, ‘You are right to say, “I have no husband”; for although you have had five, the one you have now is not your husband. You spoke the truth there.’ ‘I see you are a prophet, sir’ said the woman. ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said:
‘Believe me, woman,
the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You worship what you do not know;
we worship what we do know:
for salvation comes from the Jews.
But the hour will come
– in fact it is here already –
when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth:
that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants.
God is spirit,
and those who worship
must worship in spirit and truth.’
The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah – that is, Christ – is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything.’ ‘I who am speaking to you,’ said Jesus ‘I am he.’
  At this point his disciples returned, and were surprised to find him speaking to a woman, though none of them asked, ‘What do you want from her?’ or, ‘Why are you talking to her?’ The woman put down her water jar and hurried back to the town to tell the people. ‘Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did; I wonder if he is the Christ?’ This brought people out of the town and they started walking towards him.
  Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, do have something to eat; but he said, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples asked one another, ‘Has someone been bringing him food?’ But Jesus said:
‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me,
and to complete his work.
Have you not got a saying:
Four months and then the harvest?
Well, I tell you:
Look around you, look at the fields;
already they are white, ready for harvest!
Already the reaper is being paid his wages,
already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life,
and thus sower and reaper rejoice together.
For here the proverb holds good:
one sows, another reaps;
I sent you to reap a harvest you had not worked for.
Others worked for it;
and you have come into the rewards of their trouble.’
Many Samaritans of that town had believed in him on the strength of the woman’s testimony when she said, ‘He told me all I have ever done’, so, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them many more came to believe; and they said to the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world.’

 

 

 

 

Sunday 14 March 2021

4th Sunday of Lent – Proper Readings 
  (see also The Man Born Blind)

Liturgical Colour: Rose or Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
2 Chronicles 36:14-16,19-23

God’s wrath and mercy are revealed in the exile and release of his people

All the heads of the priesthood, and the people too, added infidelity to infidelity, copying all the shameful practices of the nations and defiling the Temple that the Lord had consecrated for himself in Jerusalem. The Lord, the God of their ancestors, tirelessly sent them messenger after messenger, since he wished to spare his people and his house. But they ridiculed the messengers of God, they despised his words, they laughed at his prophets, until at last the wrath of the Lord rose so high against his people that there was no further remedy.
  Their enemies burned down the Temple of God, demolished the walls of Jerusalem, set fire to all its palaces, and destroyed everything of value in it. The survivors were deported by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon; they were to serve him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. This is how the word of the Lord was fulfilled that he spoke through Jeremiah, ‘Until this land has enjoyed its sabbath rest, until seventy years have gone by, it will keep sabbath throughout the days of its desolation.’
  And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: ‘Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up.”’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 136(137):1-6
O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!
By the rivers of Babylon
  there we sat and wept,
  remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there
  we hung up our harps.
O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!
For it was there that they asked us,
  our captors, for songs,
  our oppressors, for joy.
‘Sing to us,’ they said,
  ‘one of Zion’s songs.’
O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!
O how could we sing
  the song of the Lord
  on alien soil?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
  let my right hand wither!
O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!
O let my tongue
  cleave to my mouth
  if I remember you not,
if I prize not Jerusalem
  above all my joys!
O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!

Second reading
Ephesians 2:4-10

You have been saved through grace

God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
  This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.

Gospel Acclamation Jn3:16
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son:
everyone who believes in him has eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel John 3:14-21

God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘The Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light
because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong
hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be exposed;
but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,
so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’

 

OR

Sunday 14 March 2021

4th Sunday of Lent – The Man Born Blind 
  (see also Proper Readings)

Liturgical Colour: Rose or Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13

David is anointed by Samuel

The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’ When Samuel arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands there before him,’ but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him: God does not see as man sees: man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’ At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 22(23)
The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
  there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
  where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
  to revive my drooping spirit.
The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me along the right path;
  he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
  no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
  with these you give me comfort.
The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
You have prepared a banquet for me
  in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
  my cup is overflowing.
The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
  all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
  for ever and ever.
The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

Second reading
Ephesians 5:8-14

Anything exposed by the light will turn into light

You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light. That is why it is said:
Wake up from your sleep,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.

Gospel Acclamation Jn8:12
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!

Gospel John 9:1-41

The blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored

As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
‘As long as the day lasts
I must carry out the work of the one who sent me;
the night will soon be here when no one can work.
As long as I am in the world
I am the light of the world.’
Having said this, he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man, and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.
  His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’ So they said to him, ‘Then how do your eyes come to be open?’ ‘The man called Jesus’ he answered ‘made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, “Go and wash at Siloam”; so I went, and when I washed I could see.’ They asked, ‘Where is he?’ ‘I don’t know’ he answered.
  They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man. However, the Jews would not believe that the man had been blind and had gained his sight, without first sending for his parents and asking them, ‘Is this man really your son who you say was born blind? If so, how is it that he is now able to see?’ His parents answered, ‘We know he is our son and we know he was born blind, but we do not know how it is that he can see now, or who opened his eyes. He is old enough: let him speak for himself.’ His parents spoke like this out of fear of the Jews, who had already agreed to expel from the synagogue anyone who should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. This was why his parents said, ‘He is old enough; ask him.’
  So the Jews again sent for the man and said to him, ‘Give glory to God! For our part, we know that this man is a sinner.’ The man answered, ‘I don’t know if he is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now I can see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He replied, ‘I have told you once and you wouldn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples too?’ At this they hurled abuse at him: ‘You can be his disciple,’ they said ‘we are disciples of Moses: we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.’ The man replied, ‘Now here is an astonishing thing! He has opened my eyes, and you don’t know where he comes from! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but God does listen to men who are devout and do his will. Ever since the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of a man who was born blind; if this man were not from God, he couldn’t do a thing.’ ‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.
  Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.
  Jesus said:
‘It is for judgement
that I have come into this world,
so that those without sight may see
and those with sight turn blind.’
Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘We are not blind, surely?’ Jesus replied:
‘Blind? If you were,
you would not be guilty,
but since you say, “We see,”
your guilt remains.’

 

 

 

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Saint Patrick, Bishop, Missionary – Solemnity 

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading Jeremiah 1:4-9

Go and say whatever I command you and do not fear

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you came to birth I consecrated you;
I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’
I said, ‘Ah, Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am a child!’
But the Lord replied,
‘Do not say, “I am a child.”
Go now to those to whom I send you
and, say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to protect you –
it is the Lord who speaks!’
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me:
‘There! I am putting my words into your mouth.’

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 116(117)
Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News.
O praise the Lord, all you nations,
  acclaim him all you peoples!
Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News.
Strong is his love for us;
  he is faithful for ever.
Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News.

Second reading Romans 10:9-18

Faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ

If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
  But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him, and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him, and they will not hear of him unless they get a preacher, and they will never have a preacher unless one is sent, but as scripture says: The footsteps of those who bring good news are a welcome sound. Not everyone, of course, listens to the Good News. As Isaiah says: Lord, how many believed what we proclaimed? So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ. Let me put the question: is it possible that they did not hear? Indeed they did; in the words of the psalm, their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world.

Gospel Acclamation Lk4:17
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
The Lord has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel Mark 16:15-20

Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven and said to them:
  ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
  And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.

 

 

Sunday 21 March 2021

5th Sunday of Lent – Proper Readings 
  (see also Lazarus)

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Jeremiah 31:31-34

I will write my Law in their hearts

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. It is the Lord who speaks. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest – it is the Lord who speaks – since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 50(51):3-4,12-15
A pure heart create for me, O God.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
  In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
  and cleanse me from my sin.
A pure heart create for me, O God.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
  put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
  nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
A pure heart create for me, O God.
Give me again the joy of your help;
  with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
  and sinners may return to you.
A pure heart create for me, O God.

Second reading Hebrews 5:7-9

He learned to obey and he became the source of eternal salvation

During his life on earth, Christ offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

Gospel Acclamation Jn12:26
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord;
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!

Gospel John 12:20-33

If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:
‘Now the hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified.
I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world
will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say:
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name!’
A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.
‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;
now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I shall draw all men to myself.’
By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.

 

OR

Sunday 21 March 2021

5th Sunday of Lent – Lazarus 
  (see also Proper Readings)

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Ezekiel 37:12-14

I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live

The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 129(130)
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
  Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
  to the voice of my pleading.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
  Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
  for this we revere you.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
My soul is waiting for the Lord.
  I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
  more than watchman for daybreak.
(Let the watchman count on daybreak
  and Israel on the Lord.)
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Because with the Lord there is mercy
  and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
  from all its iniquity.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Second reading Romans 8:8-11

The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you

People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

Gospel Acclamation Jn11:25, 26
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel John 11:1-45

I am the resurrection and the life

There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. The sisters sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’
  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’ The disciples said, ‘Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?’ Jesus replied:
‘Are there not twelve hours in the day?
A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling
because he has the light of this world to see by;
but if he walks at night he stumbles,
because there is no light to guide him.’
He said that and then added, ‘Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better.’ The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by ‘rest’ he meant ‘sleep’, so Jesus put it plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.’ Then Thomas – known as the Twin – said to the other disciples, ‘Let us go too, and die with him.’
  On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’
  When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice, ‘The Master is here and wants to see you.’ Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
  Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her, Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’ But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:
‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.
I knew indeed that you always hear me,
but I speak for the sake of all these who stand round me,
so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’
When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free.’
  Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.

 

 

 

Thursday 25 March 2021

The Annunciation of the Lord – Solemnity

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Isaiah 7:10-14,8:10

The maiden is with child

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’
  Then Isaiah said:
‘Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men
without trying the patience of my God, too?
The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child
and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Immanuel,
a name which means “God-is-with-us.”’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 39(40):7-11
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
  but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
  Instead, here am I.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
In the scroll of the book it stands written
  that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law
  in the depth of my heart.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
Your justice I have proclaimed
  in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
  you know it, O Lord.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
I have not hidden your justice in my heart
  but declared your faithful help.
I have not hidden your love and your truth
  from the great assembly.
Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

Second reading Hebrews 10:4-10

God’s will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what Christ said, on coming into the world:
You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’
Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his bodymade once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation Jn1:14
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
The Word became flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel Luke 1:26-38

‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

Sunday 28 March 2021

Palm Sunday 

Liturgical Colour: Red.

Readings at Mass

This gospel is read at the procession with palms before Mass:

EITHER:

Gospel Mark 11:1-10

Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord.

When they drew near to Jerusalem,
to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two of his disciples, and said to them,
‘Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately as you enter it
you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat;
untie it and bring it.
If any one says to you,
“Why are you doing this?” say,
“The Lord has need of it
and will send it back here immediately.’”
And they went away,
and found a colt tied at the door out in the open street;
and they untied it.
And those who stood there said to them,
‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’
And they told them what Jesus had said;
and they let them go.
And they brought the colt to Jesus,
and threw their garments on it;
and he sat upon it.
And many spread their garments on the road,
and others spread leafy branches
which they had cut from the fields.
And those who went before
and those who followed cried out,
‘Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming!
Hosanna in the highest!’

OR:

Alternative Gospel John 12:12-16

Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord.

A great crowd who had come to the feast
heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
So they took branches of palm trees
and went out to meet him, crying,
‘Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
even the king of Israel!’
And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as is written,
‘Fear not, daughter of Sion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on an ass’s colt!’
His disciples did not understand this at first;
but when Jesus was glorified,
then they remembered that this had been written of him
and had been done to him.

The following are the readings at the Mass itself:


First reading Isaiah 50:4-7

I did not cover my face against insult: I know I shall not be shamed

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 21(22):8-9,17-20,23-24
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
All who see me deride me.
  They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
‘He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
  let him release him if this is his friend.’
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Many dogs have surrounded me,
  a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet
  I can count every one of my bones.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
They divide my clothing among them.
  They cast lots for my robe.
O Lord, do not leave me alone,
  my strength, make haste to help me!
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
I will tell of your name to my brethren
  and praise you where they are assembled.
‘You who fear the Lord give him praise;
  all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
  Revere him, Israel’s sons.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Second reading
Philippians 2:6-11

Christ humbled himself but God raised him high

His state was divine,
yet Christ Jesus did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel Acclamation Phil2:8-9
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Christ was humbler yet,
even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name which is above all names.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel Mark 14:1-15:47

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

Key: N. Narrator.  Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.
  N. It was two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death. For they said,
  C. It must not be during the festivities, or there will be a disturbance among the people.
  N. Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper; he was at dinner when a woman came in with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment on his head. Some who were there said to one another indignantly,
  C. Why this waste of ointment? Ointment like this could have been sold for over three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor.
  N. and they were angry with her. But Jesus said,
   Leave her alone. Why are you upsetting her? What she has done for me is one of the good works. You have the poor with you always, and you can be kind to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me. She has done what was in her power to do: she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. I tell you solemnly, wherever throughout all the world the Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told also, in remembrance of her.
  N. Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, approached the chief priests with an offer to hand Jesus over to them. They were delighted to hear it, and promised to give him money; and he looked for a way of betraying him when the opportunity should occur.
  On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to him,
  C. Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?
  N. So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
   Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, ‘The Master says: “Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.
  N. The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
  When evening came he arrived with the Twelve. And while they were at table eating, Jesus said,
   I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me.
  N. They were distressed and asked him, one after another,
  C. Not I, surely?
  N. He said to them,
   It is one of the Twelve, one who is dipping into the same dish with me. Yes, the Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!
  N. And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them, saying:
   Take it: this is my body.
  N. Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them,
   This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.
  N. After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them,
   You will all lose faith, for the scripture says: ‘I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ However, after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee.
  N. Peter said,
  O. Even if all lose faith, I will not.
  N. And Jesus said to him,
   I tell you solemnly, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.
  N. But he repeated still more earnestly,
  O. If I have to die with you, I will never disown you.
  N. And they all said the same.
  They came to a small estate called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples,
   Stay here while I pray.
  N. Then he took Peter and James and John with him. And a sudden fear came over him, and great distress. And he said to them,
   My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here, and keep awake.
  N. And going on a little further he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by. He said:
   Abba (Father)! Everything is possible for you. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not I, would have it.
  N. He came back and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter,
   Simon, are you asleep? Had you not the strength to keep awake one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
  N. Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came back and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy; and they could find no answer for him. He came back a third time and said to them,
   You can sleep on now and take your rest. It is all over. The hour has come. Now the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is close at hand already.
  N. Even while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up with a number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them. He had said,
  O. The one I kiss he is the man. Take him in charge, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away.
  N. So when the traitor came, he went straight up to Jesus and said,
  O. Rabbi!
  N. and kissed him. The others seized him and took him in charge. Then one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear.
  Then Jesus spoke:
   Am I a brigand, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I was among you teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me. But this is to fulfil the scriptures.
  N. And they all deserted him and ran away. A young man who followed him had nothing on but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the cloth in their hands and ran away naked.
  They led Jesus off to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes assembled there. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the high priest’s palace, and was sitting with the attendants warming himself at the fire.
  The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus on which they might pass the death sentence. But they could not find any. Several, indeed, brought false evidence against him, but their evidence was conflicting. Some stood up and submitted this false evidence against him,
  C. We heard him say, ‘I am going to destroy this Temple made by human hands, and in three days build another, not made by human hands.’
  N. But even on this point their evidence was conflicting. The high priest then stood up before the whole assembly and put this question to Jesus,
  O. Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you?
  N. But he was silent and made no answer at all. The high priest put a second question to him,
  O. Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?
  N. Jesus said,
   I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.
  N. The high priest tore his robes, and said:
  O. What need of witnesses have we now? You heard the blasphemy. What is your finding?
  N. And they all gave their verdict: he deserved to die.
  Some of them started spitting at him and, blindfolding him, began hitting him with their fists and shouting,
  C. Play the prophet!
  N. And the attendants rained blows on him.
  While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s servant-girls came up. She saw Peter warming himself there, stared at him and said,
  O. You too were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.
  N. But he denied it, saying.
  O. I do not know, I do not understand, what you are talking about.
  N. And he went out into the forecourt. The servant-girl saw him and again started telling the bystanders,
  O. This fellow is one of them.
  N. But again he denied it. A little later the bystanders themselves said to Peter,
  C. You are one of them for sure! Why, you are a Galilean.
  N. But he started calling down curses on himself and swearing,
  O. I do not know the man you speak of.
  N. At that moment the cock crew for the second time, and Peter recalled how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.’ And he burst into tears.
  First thing in the morning, the chief priests together with the elders and scribes, in short the whole Sanhedrin, had their plan ready. They had Jesus bound and took him away and handed him over to Pilate.
  Pilate questioned him:
  O. Are you the king of the Jews?
  N. He answered,
   It is you who say it.
  N. And the chief priests brought many accusations against him. Pilate questioned him again:
  O. Have you no reply at all? See how many accusations they are bringing against you!
  N. But, to Pilate’s amazement, Jesus made no further reply.
  At festival time Pilate used to release a prisoner for them, anyone they asked for. Now a man called Barabbas was then in prison with the rioters who had committed murder during the uprising. When the crowd went up and began to ask Pilate the customary favour, Pilate answered them
  O. Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?
  N. For he realised it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over. The chief priests, however, had incited the crowd to demand that he should release Barabbas for them instead. Then Pilate spoke again:
  O. But in that case, what am I to do with the man you call king of the Jews?
  N. They shouted back,
  C. Crucify him!
  N. Pilate asked them,
  O. Why? What harm has he done?
  N. But they shouted all the louder,
  C. Crucify him!
  N. So Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released Barabbas for them and, having ordered Jesus to be scourged, handed him over to be crucified.
  The soldiers led him away to the inner part of the palace, that is, the Praetorium, and called the whole cohort together. They dressed him up in purple, twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on him. And they began saluting him,
  C. Hail, king of the Jews!
  N. They struck his head with a reed and spat on him; and they went down on their knees to do him homage. And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple and dressed him in his own clothes.
  They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.
  They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it. Then they crucified him, and shared out his clothing, casting lots to decide what each should get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The inscription giving the charge against him read: ‘The King of the Jews.’ And they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.
  The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said,
  C. Aha! So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself: come down from the cross!
  N. The chief priests and the scribes mocked him among themselves in the same way. They said,
  C. He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, for us to see it and believe.
  N. Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.
  When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
   Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
  N. which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said
  C. Listen, he is calling on Elijah.
  N. Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink, saying:
  O. Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.
  N. But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
  All kneel and pause for a moment.
  And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said,
  O. In truth this man was a son of God.
  N. There were some women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger and Joset, and Salome. These used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. And there were many other women there who had come up to Jerusalem with him.
  It was now evening, and since it was Preparation Day (that is, the vigil of the sabbath), there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God, and he boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead. Having been assured of this by the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph who bought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joset were watching and took note of where he was laid.

 

 

Maundy Thursday – Evening Mass

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass

Here are the readings for the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper:


First reading
Exodus 12:1-8,11-14

The Passover is a day of festival for all generations, for ever

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt:
  ‘This month is to be the first of all the others for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock, one for each family: one animal for each household. If the household is too small to eat the animal, a man must join with his neighbour, the nearest to his house, as the number of persons requires. You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal. It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may take it from either sheep or goats. You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel shall slaughter it between the two evenings. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. You shall eat it like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand. You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord. That night, I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord! The blood shall serve to mark the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will pass over you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt. This day is to be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour. For all generations you are to declare it a day of festival, for ever.”’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 115(116):12-13,15-18
The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.
How can I repay the Lord
  for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
  is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
  you have loosened my bonds.
The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people.
The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord

This is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.

Gospel Acclamation Jn13:34
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
I give you a new commandment:
love one another just as I have loved you,
says the Lord.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel John 13:1-15

Now he showed how perfect his love was

It was before the festival of the Passover, and Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was.
  They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garment and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me.’ ‘Then, Lord,’ said Simon Peter ‘not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’ Jesus said, ‘No one who has taken a bath needs washing, he is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are.’
  When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’

 

 

 

Friday 2 April 2021

Good Friday 

Liturgical Colour: Red.

Readings at Mass

There is no Mass today. The readings given here are used in the afternoon celebration of the Lord’s Passion.


First reading
Isaiah 52:13-53:12

The servant of the Lord, an expiatory Sacrifice

See, my servant will prosper,
he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights.
As the crowds were appalled on seeing him
– so disfigured did he look
that he seemed no longer human –
so will the crowds be astonished at him,
and kings stand speechless before him;
for they shall see something never told
and witness something never heard before:
‘Who could believe what we have heard,
and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’
Like a sapling he grew up in front of us,
like a root in arid ground.
Without beauty, without majesty we saw him,
no looks to attract our eyes;
a thing despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,
a man to make people screen their faces;
he was despised and we took no account of him.
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,
ours the sorrows he carried.
But we, we thought of him as someone punished,
struck by God, and brought low.
Yet he was pierced through for our faults,
crushed for our sins.
On him lies a punishment that brings us peace,
and through his wounds we are healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each taking his own way,
and the Lord burdened him
with the sins of all of us.
Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,
he never opened his mouth,
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers
never opening its mouth.
By force and by law he was taken;
would anyone plead his cause?
Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living;
for our faults struck down in death.
They gave him a grave with the wicked,
a tomb with the rich,
though he had done no wrong
and there had been no perjury in his mouth.
The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering.
If he offers his life in atonement,
he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.
His soul’s anguish over
he shall see the light and be content.
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,
taking their faults on himself.
Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,
he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,
for surrendering himself to death
and letting himself be taken for a sinner,
while he was bearing the faults of many
and praying all the time for sinners.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 30(31):2,6,12-13,15-17,25
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
  Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
  It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In the face of all my foes
  I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbours
  and of fear to my friends.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Those who see me in the street
  run far away from me.
I am like a dead man, forgotten in men’s hearts,
  like a thing thrown away.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
  I say: ‘You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
  from the hands of those who hate me.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine on your servant.
  Save me in your love.’
Be strong, let your heart take courage,
  all who hope in the Lord.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Second reading
Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9

The Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.
  During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

Gospel Acclamation Phil2:8-9
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Christ was humbler yet,
even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name which is above all names.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel John 18:1-19:42

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ

Key: N. Narrator.  Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.
  N. Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kedron valley. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples. Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, and he brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons. Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus then came forward and said,
   Who are you looking for?
  N. They answered,
  C. Jesus the Nazarene.
  N. He said,
   I am he.
  N. Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. When Jesus said, ‘I am he’, they moved back and fell to the ground. He asked them a second time,
   Who are you looking for?
  N. They said,
  C. Jesus the Nazarene.
  N. Jesus replied,
   I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.
  N. This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, ‘Not one of those you gave me have I lost.’
  Simon Peter, who carried a sword, drew it and wounded the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,
   Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?
  N. The cohort and its captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people.’
  Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus. This disciple, who was known to the high priest, went with Jesus into the high priest’s palace, but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought Peter in. The maid on duty at the door said to Peter,
  O. Aren’t you another of that man’s disciples?
  N. He answered,
  O. I am not.
  N. Now it was cold, and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire and were standing there warming themselves; so Peter stood there too, warming himself with the others.
  The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered,
   I have spoken openly for all the world to hear; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple where all the Jews meet together: I have said nothing in secret. But why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught: they know what I said.
  N. At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying,
  O. Is that the way to answer the high priest?
  N. Jesus replied,
   If there is something wrong in what I said, point it out; but if there is no offence in it, why do you strike me?
  N. Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
  As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him,
  O. Aren’t you another of his disciples?
  N. He denied it, saying,
  O. I am not.
  N. One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
  O. Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?
  N. Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.
  They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves or they would be defiled and unable to eat the passover. So Pilate came outside to them and said,
  O. What charge do you bring against this man?
  N. They replied,
  C. If he were not a criminal, we should not be handing him over to you.
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law.
  N. The Jews answered,
  C. We are not allowed to put a man to death.
  N. This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.
  So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, and asked,
  O. Are you the king of the Jews?
  N. Jesus replied,
   Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?
  N. Pilate answered,
  O. Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?
  N. Jesus replied,
   Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.
  N. Pilate said,
  O. So you are a king, then?
  N. Jesus answered,
   It is you who say it. Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Truth? What is that?
  N. and with that he went out again to the Jews and said,
  O. I find no case against him. But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release the king of the Jews?
  N. At this they shouted:
  C. Not this man, but Barabbas.
  N. Barabbas was a brigand.
  Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying,
  C. Hail, king of the Jews!
  N. and they slapped him in the face.
  Pilate came outside again and said to them,
  O. Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case.
  N. Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said,
  O. Here is the man.
  N. When they saw him the chief priests and the guards shouted,
  C. Crucify him! Crucify him!
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Take him yourselves and crucify him: I can find no case against him.
  N. The Jews replied,
  C. We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.
  N. When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased. Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus
  O. Where do you come from?
  N. But Jesus made no answer. Pilate then said to him,
  O. Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?
  N. Jesus replied,
   You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above; that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.
  N. From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted,
  C. If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.
  N. Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was Passover Preparation Day, about the sixth hour. Pilate said to the Jews,
  O. Here is your king.
  N. They said,
  C. Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Do you want me to crucify your king?
  N. The chief priests answered,
  C. We have no king except Caesar.
  N. So in the end Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
  They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate,
  C. You should not write ‘King of the Jews,’ but ‘This man said: “I am King of the Jews.”’
  N. Pilate answered,
  O. What I have written, I have written.
  N. When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another,
  C. Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.
  N. In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled:
  They shared out my clothing among them.
  They cast lots for my clothes.
This is exactly what the soldiers did.
  Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother,
   Woman, this is your son.
  N. Then to the disciple he said,
   This is your mother.
  N. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.
  After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:
   I am thirsty.
  N. A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said,
   It is accomplished;
  N. and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.
  Here all kneel and pause for a short time.
  It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:
  Not one bone of his will be broken;
and again, in another place scripture says:
  They will look on the one whom they have pierced.
After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus – though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away. Nicodemus came as well – the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time – and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.

 

 

 

Saturday 3 April 2021

Holy Saturday

Readings at Mass

Liturgical colour: White.
There is no Mass on Holy Saturday itself. Here are the readings for the evening Easter Vigil.


First reading Genesis 1:1-2:2

God saw all that he had made, and indeed it was very good

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, and God’s spirit hovered over the water.
  God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night.’ Evening came and morning came: the first day.
  God said, ‘Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two.’ And so it was. God made the vault, and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault. God called the vault ‘heaven.’ Evening came and morning came: the second day.
  God said, ‘Let the waters under heaven come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear.’ And so it was. God called the dry land ‘earth’ and the mass of waters ‘seas’, and God saw that it was good.
  God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their seed inside, on the earth.’ And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the third day.
  God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth.’ And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth, to govern the day and the night and to divide light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the fourth day.
  God said, ‘Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth within the vault of heaven.’ And so it was. God created great sea-serpents and every kind of living creature with which the waters teem, and every kind of winged creature. God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply upon the earth.’ Evening came and morning came: the fifth day.
  God said, ‘Let the earth produce every kind of living creature: cattle, reptiles, and every kind of wild beast.’ And so it was. God made every kind of wild beast, every kind of cattle, and every kind of land reptile. God saw that it was good.
  God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’
God created man in the image of himself,
in the image of God he created him,
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are upon the whole earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. To all wild beasts, all birds of heaven and all living reptiles on the earth I give all the foliage of plants for food.’ And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day.
  Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing.

Psalm
Psalm 103(104):1-2,5-6,10,12-14,24,35
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
  wrapped in light as in a robe!
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
You founded the earth on its base,
  to stand firm from age to age.
You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak:
  the waters stood higher than the mountains.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
  they flow in between the hills.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
  from the branches they sing their song.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
From your dwelling you water the hills;
  earth drinks its fill of your gift.
You make the grass grow for the cattle
  and the plants to serve man’s needs.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
How many are your works, O Lord!
  In wisdom you have made them all.
  The earth is full of your riches.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Second reading Genesis 22:1-18

The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’
  Rising early next morning Abraham saddled his ass and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He chopped wood for the burnt offering and started on his journey to the place God had pointed out to him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Then Abraham said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you.’
  Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife. Then the two of them set out together. Isaac spoke to his father Abraham, ‘Father’ he said. ‘Yes, my son’ he replied. ‘Look,’ he said ‘here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘My son, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.’ Then the two of them went on together.
  When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.
  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.
  Abraham called this place ‘The Lord Provides’, and hence the saying today: On the mountain the Lord provides.
  The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Psalm
Psalm 15(16):5,8-11
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
  it is you yourself who are my prize.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
  since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
  even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
  nor let your beloved know decay.
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
You will show me the path of life,
  the fullness of joy in your presence,
  at your right hand happiness for ever.
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.

Third reading
Exodus 14:15-15:1

The sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me so? Tell the sons of Israel to march on. For yourself, raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and part it for the sons of Israel to walk through the sea on dry ground. I for my part will make the heart of the Egyptians so stubborn that they will follow them. So shall I win myself glory at the expense of Pharaoh, of all his army, his chariots, his horsemen. And when I have won glory for myself, at the expense of Pharaoh and his chariots and his army, the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.’
  Then the angel of God, who marched at the front of the army of Israel, changed station and moved to their rear. The pillar of cloud changed station from the front to the rear of them, and remained there. It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud was dark, and the night passed without the armies drawing any closer the whole night long.
  Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove back the sea with a strong easterly wind all night, and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to right and to left of them. The Egyptians gave chase: after them they went, right into the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
  In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and of cloud, and threw the army into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could scarcely make headway. ‘Let us flee from the Israelites,’ the Egyptians cried. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!’
  ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘that the waters may flow back on the Egyptians and their chariots and their horsemen.’
  Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and, as day broke, the sea returned to its bed. The fleeing Egyptians marched right into it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the very middle of the sea. The returning waters overwhelmed the chariots and the horsemen of Pharaoh’s whole army, which had followed the Israelites into the sea; not a single one of them was left. But the sons of Israel had marched through the sea on dry ground, walls of water to right and to left of them.
  That day, the Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. Israel witnessed the great act that the Lord had performed against the Egyptians, and the people venerated the Lord; they put their faith in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.
  It was then that Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song in honour of the Lord:

Canticle Exodus 15

Hymn of victory after crossing the Red Sea

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
  Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation.
  This is my God and I extol him,
  my father’s God and I give him praise.
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
The Lord is a warrior! ‘The Lord’ is his name.
  The chariots of Pharaoh he hurled into the sea,
the flower of his army is drowned in the sea.
  The deeps hide them; they sank like a stone.
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
Your right hand, Lord, glorious in its power,
  your right hand, Lord, has shattered the enemy.
  In the greatness of your glory you crushed the foe.
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
You will lead your people and plant them on your mountain,
  the place, O Lord, where you have made your home,
the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have made.
  The Lord will reign for ever and ever.
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

Fourth reading Isaiah 54:5-14

With everlasting love the Lord your redeemer has taken pity on you

Thus says the Lord:
Now your creator will be your husband,
his name, the Lord of Hosts;
your redeemer will be the Holy One of Israel,
he is called the God of the whole earth.
Yes, like a forsaken wife, distressed in spirit,
the Lord calls you back.
Does a man cast off the wife of his youth?
says your God.
I did forsake you for a brief moment,
but with great love will I take you back.
In excess of anger, for a moment
I hid my face from you.
But with everlasting love I have taken pity on you,
says the Lord, your redeemer.
I am now as I was in the days of Noah
when I swore that Noah’s waters
should never flood the world again.
So now I swear concerning my anger with you
and the threats I made against you;
for the mountains may depart,
the hills be shaken,
but my love for you will never leave you
and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken,
says the Lord who takes pity on you.
Unhappy creature, storm-tossed, disconsolate,
see, I will set your stones on carbuncles
and your foundations on sapphires.
I will make rubies your battlements,
your gates crystal,
and your entire wall precious stones.
Your sons will all be taught by the Lord.
The prosperity of your sons will be great.
You will be founded on integrity;
remote from oppression, you will have nothing to fear;
remote from terror, it will not approach you.

Psalm
Psalm 29(30):2,4-6,11-13
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me
  and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead,
  restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him,
  give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts a moment; his favour all through life.
  At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
The Lord listened and had pity.
  The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing:
  O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.

Fifth reading Isaiah 55:1-11

Come to me and your soul will live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you

Thus says the Lord:
Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;
though you have no money, come!
Buy corn without money, and eat,
and, at no cost, wine and milk.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
your wages on what fails to satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat
and rich food to enjoy.
Pay attention, come to me;
listen, and your soul will live.
With you I will make an everlasting covenant
out of the favours promised to David.
See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples,
a leader and a master of the nations.
See, you will summon a nation you never knew,
those unknown will come hurrying to you,
for the sake of the Lord your God,
of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you.
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found,
call to him while he is still near.
Let the wicked man abandon his way,
the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him,
to our God who is rich in forgiving;
for my thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.
Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.
Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

Canticle Isaiah 12

The rejoicing of a redeemed people

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Truly, God is my salvation,
  I trust, I shall not fear.
For the Lord is my strength, my song,
  he became my saviour.
With joy you will draw water
  from the wells of salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
  Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
  Declare the greatness of his name.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Sing a psalm to the Lord
  for he has done glorious deeds;
  make them known to all the earth!
People of Zion, sing and shout for joy,
  for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Sixth reading
Baruch 3:9-15,32-4:4

In the radiance of the Lord, make your way to light

Listen, Israel, to commands that bring life;
hear, and learn what knowledge means.
Why, Israel, why are you in the country of your enemies,
growing older and older in an alien land,
sharing defilement with the dead,
reckoned with those who go to Sheol?
Because you have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.
Had you walked in the way of God,
you would have lived in peace for ever.
Learn where knowledge is, where strength,
where understanding, and so learn
where length of days is, where life,
where the light of the eyes and where peace.
But who has found out where she lives,
who has entered her treasure house?
But the One who knows all knows her,
he has grasped her with his own intellect,
he has set the earth firm for ever
and filled it with four-footed beasts.
He sends the light – and it goes,
he recalls it – and trembling it obeys;
the stars shine joyfully at their set times:
when he calls them, they answer, ‘Here we are’;
they gladly shine for their creator.
It is he who is our God,
no other can compare with him.
He has grasped the whole way of knowledge,
and confided it to his servant Jacob,
to Israel his well-beloved;
so causing her to appear on earth
and move among men.
This is the book of the commandments of God,
the Law that stands for ever;
those who keep her live,
those who desert her die.
Turn back, Jacob, seize her,
in her radiance make your way to light:
do not yield your glory to another,
your privilege to a people not your own.
Israel, blessed are we:
what pleases God has been revealed to us.

Psalm
Psalm 18(19):8-11
You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
  it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
  it gives wisdom to the simple.
You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
  they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
  it gives light to the eyes.
You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.
The fear of the Lord is holy,
  abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
  and all of them just.
You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.
They are more to be desired than gold,
  than the purest of gold
and sweeter are they than honey,
  than honey from the comb.
You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

Seventh reading
Ezekiel 36:16-17,18-28

I shall pour clean water over you and I shall give you a new heart

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, the members of the House of Israel used to live in their own land, but they defiled it by their conduct and actions. I then discharged my fury at them because of the blood they shed in their land and the idols with which they defiled it. I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in foreign countries. I sentenced them as their conduct and actions deserved. And now they have profaned my holy name among the nations where they have gone, so that people say of them, “These are the people of the Lord; they have been exiled from his land.”
  ‘But I have been concerned about my holy name, which the House of Israel has profaned among the nations where they have gone.
  ‘And so, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord says this: I am not doing this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land.
  ‘“I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.”’

The psalm to be used after the Seventh Reading varies from place to place and it depends on whether a baptism is being celebrated at the Easter Vigil.
In the USA:
  If there is no baptism, either Isaiah 12 or Psalm 50(51) is used.
  If there is a baptism, Psalm 41(42) is used.
In the English-speaking world:
  If there is no baptism, Psalm 41(42) is used.
  If there is a baptism, either Isaiah 12 or Psalm 50(51) MUST be used instead.
In the rest of the world:
  If there is no baptism, Psalm 41(42) is used.
  If there is a baptism, either Isaiah 12 or Psalm 50(51) MAY be used instead.
The psalms are listed below. Isaiah 12 is shown above, after the Fifth Reading.
Psalm
Psalm 41(42):2-3,5,42:3-4
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
My soul is thirsting for God,
  the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
  the face of God?
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
These things will I remember
  as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
  into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
  the throng wild with joy.
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
O send forth your light and your truth;
  let these be my guide.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
  to the place where you dwell.
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
And I will come to the altar of God,
  the God of my joy.
My redeemer, I will thank you on the harp,
  O God, my God.
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

Epistle Romans 6:3-11

Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again

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.
  If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a Christian dies, of course, he has finished with sin.
  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.

Psalm
Psalm 117(118):1-2,16-17,22-23
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
  for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say:
  ‘His love has no end.’
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
  his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
  and recount his deeds.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The stone which the builders rejected
  has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
  a marvel in our eyes.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Gospel Mark 16:1-8

Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, has risen

When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.
  They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him, just as he told you.”’

 

 

 

Sunday 4 April 2021

Easter Sunday

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Acts 10:34,37-43

‘We have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection’

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil. Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses – we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead – and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 117(118):1-2,16-17,22-23
This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
  for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say:
  ‘His love has no end.’
This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
  his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
  and recount his deeds.
This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The stone which the builders rejected
  has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
  a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Second reading
Colossians 3:1-4

Look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is

Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.
Sequence

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
  offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended:
  combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
  yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary:
  say what thou didst see
  upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as he rose!
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
he goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen
  from the dead we know.
Victorious king, thy mercy show!

Gospel Acclamation 1Cor5:7-8
Alleluia, alleluia!
Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed:
let us celebrate the feast then, in the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 20:1-9

He must rise from the dead

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’
  So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

 

 

 

 

Sunday 11 April 2021

Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading Acts 4:32-35

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed for his own use anything that he had, as everything they owned was held in common.
  The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all given great respect.
  None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any members who might be in need.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 117(118):2-4,15-18,22-24
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say:
  ‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:
  ‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
  ‘His love has no end.’
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
  his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
  and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord,
  but not doomed to die.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
The stone which the builders rejected
  has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
  a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
  we rejoice and are glad.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.

Second reading 1 John 5:1-6

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has already overcome the world

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
has been begotten by God;
and whoever loves the Father that begot him
loves the child whom he begets.
We can be sure that we love God’s children
if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us;
this is what loving God is –
keeping his commandments;
and his commandments are not difficult,
because anyone who has been begotten by God
has already overcome the world;
this is the victory over the world –
our faith.
Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood,
not with water only,
but with water and blood;
with the Spirit as another witness –
since the Spirit is the truth.
Sequence

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
  offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended:
  combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
  yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary:
  say what thou didst see
  upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as he rose!
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
he goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen
  from the dead we know.
Victorious king, thy mercy show!

Gospel Acclamation Jn20:29
Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
Alleluia!

Gospel John 20:19-31

Eight days later, Jesus came again and stood among them

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

 

 

 

Sunday 18 April 2021

3rd Sunday of Easter

Liturgical Colour: White.

Readings at Mass


First reading
Acts 3:13-15,17-19

You killed the prince of life: God, however, raised him from the dead

Peter said to the people: ‘You are Israelites, and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, who has glorified his servant Jesus, the same Jesus you handed over and then disowned in the presence of Pilate after Pilate had decided to release him. It was you who accused the Holy One, the Just One, you who demanded the reprieve of a murderer while you killed the prince of life. God, however, raised him from the dead, and to that fact we are the witnesses.
  ‘Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing; this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer. Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.’

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 4:2,4,7,9
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
When I call, answer me, O God of justice;
  from anguish you released me, have mercy and hear me!
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who grants favours to those whom he loves;
  the Lord hears me whenever I call him.
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
‘What can bring us happiness?’ many say.
  Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once
  for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading 1 John 2:1-5

Jesus Christ is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and the world’s

I am writing this, my children,
to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away,
and not only ours,
but the whole world’s.
We can be sure that we know God
only by keeping his commandments.
Anyone who says, ‘I know him’,
and does not keep his commandments,
is a liar,
refusing to admit the truth.
But when anyone does obey what he has said,
God’s love comes to perfection in him.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Lk24:32
Alleluia, alleluia!
Lord Jesus, explain the Scriptures to us.
Make our hearts burn within us as you talk to us.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 24:35-48

It is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead

The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.
  They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.
  Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’