Monday 04 December 2017

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Jer 31: 10; Is 35: 4

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations;declare it to the distant lands:Behold, our Saviour will come; you need no longer fear.


Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God,as we await the advent of Christ your Son, so that, when he comes and knocks,he may find us watchful in prayerand exultant in his praise.Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First reading : Isaiah 2:1-5

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.In the days to comethe mountain of the Temple of the Lordshall tower above the mountainsand be lifted higher than the hills.All the nations will stream to it,peoples without number will come to it; and they will say:‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,to the Temple of the God of Jacobthat he may teach us his waysso that we may walk in his paths;since the Law will go out from Zion,and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’He will wield authority over the nationsand adjudicate between many peoples;these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation,there will be no more training for war. O House of Jacob, come,let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Psalm 121:1-2,4-5,6-9

R: I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’

  1. I rejoiced when I heard them say:‘Let us go to God’s house.’And now our feet are standingwithin your gates, O Jerusalem.
  2. It is there that the tribes go up,the tribes of the Lord.For Israel’s law it is,there to praise the Lord’s name.There were set the thrones of judgementof the house of David.
  3. For the peace of Jerusalem pray: ‘Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your walls, in your palaces, peace!’
  4. For love of my brethren and friends I say: ‘Peace upon you!’For love of the house of the Lord I will ask for your good.

Gospel Acclamation: cf.Ps79:4

Alleluia, alleluia!God of hosts, bring us back:let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 8:5-11

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Accept, we pray, O Lord, these offerings we make,gathered from among your gifts to us,and may what you grant us to celebrate devoutly here belowgain for us the prize of eternal redemption.Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 105: 4-5; Is 38: 3

Come, O Lord, visit us in peace,that we may rejoice before you with a blameless heart.

Prayer after Communion

May these mysteries, O Lord,in which we have participated,profit us, we pray,for even now, as we walk amid passing things,you teach us by themto love the things of heavenand hold fast to what endures.Through Christ our Lord.

Where do we begin in our preparation to encounter God? Today’s readings invite us to rethink our values. First, the God we worship is not a God of a particular race or tribe. This is shown clearly in the Gospel reading. The words of Jesus (8:10) contrasts the centurion to all in Israel with the stinging judgment that the children of the kingdom would be cast out into outer darkness (8:11-12; cp. 3:9; 22:13). This kind of dire warning may signal a preliminary stage to the universality of the kingdom. Hence, in this messianic age, a gentile can be a beneficiary provided he has faith as in the case of the centurion. Our God is universal and leads his children to universal friendship. It is only when this friendship is established that nation will no longer raise sword against nation nor learn war any more. But the current world situation tells us that this message of Isaiah has not been heeded. Nations do not only raise sword against nations, tribes in a nation raise sword against one another, families in a tribe against each other, members of a family against themselves. A kingdom divided against itself will surely collapse.