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Thursday 7 December 2017 Saint Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Sir 15: 5

In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.

Collect

O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading : Isaiah 26:1-6

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us. Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace, because she trusts in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock; he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel; he brings it down, brings it down to the ground, flings it down in the dust: the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 117

R/Blessed in the name of the Lordis he who comes.

  1. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men: it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
  2. Open to me the gates of holiness: I will enter and give thanks. This is the Lord’s own gate where the just may enter I will thank you for you have given answer and you are my saviour.
  3. O Lord, grant us salvation; O Lord, grant success. Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes. We bless you from the house of the Lord; the Lord God is our light.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION Is 55:6

Alleluia, alleluia!Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, Call to him while he is still near.Alleluia!

GOSPEL : Matthew 7:21. 24-27

A reading from the holy Gospel according to

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.’ Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

Prayer over the Offerings

As we celebrate the divine mysteries, O Lord, we pray, may the Holy Spirit fill us with that light of faith by which he constantly enlightened Saint Ambrose for the spreading of your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 1: 2, 3

He who ponders the law of the Lord day and night will yield fruit in due season.

 

Prayer after Communion

Lead us, who have been strengthened by the power of this Sacrament, O Lord, so to profit from the teaching of Saint Ambrose that, hastening fearlessly along your paths, we may be prepared for the delights of the eternal banquet. Through Christ our Lord.

A rock is the very symbol of stability, consistency, concreteness.... Of course it is also the symbol of hardness and rigidity, but that is not in focus here. There are people who remind you of rocks: some of them incarnate the first qualities, but some the second. We need those first qualities. Stability: not to be blown around by every wind of opinion, every passing enthusiasm, every fashion of the moment.... Consistency: not to try and get by with clever words alone, but to have the weight of one’s life behind each word we speak - so much so, and so habitually, that quite often no words are necessary at all. Concreteness: not to evade issues, but to face what lies before us, even if it threatens to try us sorely or defeat us. Since the Incarnation, abstract-sounding realities like the mind of God, the will of God, etc., have become concrete in Christ. “You are the house whose foundations are the apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:20).