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Thursday November 2 2017 THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS)

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. 1 Th 4: 14; 1 Cor 15: 22

Just as Jesus died and has risen again, so through Jesus God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep; and as in Adam all die, so also in Christ will all be brought to life.

Collect

Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, and, as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead, is deepened, so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants also find new strength. 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 : Wisdom 3:1-9

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace. If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be. God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust. When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they. They shall judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever. They who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

Alternative First reading : Isaiah 25:6-9

Psalm : Psalm 22:1-6

R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You have prepared a banquet for me, in the sight of my foes.My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
  4. 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.

Second reading : Romans 5:5-11

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. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.

Gospel Acclamation : Jn6:39

Alleluia, alleluia! It is my Father’s will, says the Lord, that I should lose nothing of all he has given to me, and that I should raise it up on the last day. Alleluia!

Gospel : Mark 15:33-39,16:1-6

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?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah.’ Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.’ But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 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, ‘In truth this man was a son of God.’ 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.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Look favourably on our offerings, O Lord, so that your departed servants may be taken up into glory with your Son,in whose great mystery of love we are all united. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Communion Antiphon : Cf. Jn 11: 25-26

I am the Resurrection and the Life, says the Lord. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will not die for ever.

Prayer after Communion

Grant we pray, O Lord, that your departed servants, for whom we have celebrated this paschal Sacrament, may pass over to a dwelling place of light and peace. Through Christ our Lord.

The Church remembers today the souls of all the faithful departed (the suffering Church) who are undergoing purification in purgatory and are yet to attain the fullness of the beatific vision. Purgatory is not just a place of punishment, but a state of transition in which souls are purified for onward journey to heaven, for nothing defiled can enter into heaven. These poor souls in purgatory cannot help themselves spiritually; nonetheless, our prayers and sacrifices can bring about a remission of their sins. The love of God is so overwhelmingly that He desires to save every soul at all costs.

Wednesday November 1 2017 ALL SAINTS , WHITE

Entrance Antiphon

Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honour of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long. 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 : Apocalypse 7:2-4.9-14

I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, 'Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.' Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel. After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, 'Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, 'Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.' One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, 'Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?' I answered him, 'You can tell me, my Lord.' Then he said, 'These are the people who have been through great persecution, and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.'

  Responsorial : Psalm Psalm 23:1-6

   

R/ Such are the men who seek your face, O Lord.

  1. The Lord's is the earth and its fullness, the world and all its peoples.
    It is he who set it on the seas; on the waters he made it firm.
  2. Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place?
    The man with clean hands and pure heart, who desires not worthless things.
  3. He shall receive blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saves him.
    Such are the men who seek him, seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Second Reading : John 3:1-3

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God's children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is. Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.

Gospel : Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: 'How happy are the poor in spirit;  theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:  they shall be satisfied. Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God. Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 'Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.'

Prayer over the Offerings

May these offerings we bring in honour of all the Saints be pleasing to you, O Lord, and grant that, just as we believe the Saints to be already assured of immortality, so we may experience their concern for our salvation.Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion Antiphon : Mt 5: 8-10

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Prayer after Communion

As we adore you, O God, who alone are holy and wonderful in all your Saints, we implore your grace, so that, coming to perfect holiness in the fullness of your love, we may pass from this pilgrim table to the banquet of our heavenly homeland. Through Christ our Lord.

What is the good life which God intends for us? And how is it related with the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not our desire and longing for true happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. The heart of Jesus' message is that we can live a very happy life. The call to holiness, to be saints who joyfully pursue God's will for their lives, can be found in these eight beatitudes. Jesus' beatitudes sum up our calling or vocation - to live a life of the beatitudes. The word beatitude literally means "happiness" or "blessedness". The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. Jesus' beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal.

Monday 30 October 2017

Readings at Mass

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 104: 3-4

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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: Romans 8:12-17

My brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live. Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.

Psalm: 67:2,4,6-7,20-21

R/ This God of ours is a God who saves.

  1. Let God arise, let his foes be scattered. Let those who hate him flee before him. But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God, they shall exult and dance for joy.
  2. Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, such is God in his holy place. God gives the lonely a home to live in; he leads the prisoners forth into freedom.
  3. May the Lord be blessed day after day. He bears our burdens, God our saviour. This God of ours is a God who saves. The Lord our God holds the keys of death.

 

 

Gospel Acclamation: Jn17:17

Alleluia, alleluia! Your word is truth, O Lord: consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17

One sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’ and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God. But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’ But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

Prayer over the Offerings

Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 19: 6

We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.

Prayer after Communion

May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.

Christ asks us to be merciful as our Father (Luke 6:36) because he knows we have all it takes to be that.  One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is Compassion.  God has given us the gift of compassion to protect the helpless. Through the spirit we have received a new principle of life that not only places us in a new relationship with God, so that we can cry out to him” Abba Father” (Rom 8:15) but also gives us new power to be merciful to others. God’s Mercy is greater than our sinfulness and it is by his mercy that we live. Jesus healed on the Sabbath because God does not rest from showing his mercy and love. The Jewish leaders were indignant that Jesus would perform such a work on the Sabbath, the day of rest.  They were so caught up in their ritual observance of the Sabbath that they lost sight of God's mercy. Are we insensitive to the sufferings of others? 

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 104: 3-4

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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: Romans 8:18-25

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.

Psalm: 125:1-6

R/ What marvels the Lord worked for us.

  1. When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, it seemed like a dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, on our lips there were songs.
  2. The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels the Lord worked for them!’ What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
  3. Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage as streams in dry land. Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.
  4. They go out, they go out, full of tears, carrying seed for the sowing: they come back, they come back, full of song, carrying their sheaves.

Gospel Acclamation: Jn15:15

Alleluia, alleluia! I call you friends, says the Lord, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 13:18-21

Jesus said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’ Another thing he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with? It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 19: 6

We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.

Prayer after Communion

May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.

When Jesus handed over the Spirit to the Church it was not simply to save our souls but to set in motion the transformation of creation with the gospel values. This means that every Christian has a responsibility and an obligation to bring others to the faith. The Spirit is working in every human being especially in the baptized. It gives us the hope that the kingdom of God, which began “like a grain of mustard seed” will one day spread throughout the world. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2 Cor. 4:7). If we are not yet burning with the fire to bring the goodness to others then we have not received it ourselves.

Oct 29 SUN: THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 104: 3-4

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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 readingExodus 22:20-26

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the sons of Israel this:‘“You must not molest the stranger or oppress him, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt. You must not be harsh with the widow, or with the orphan; if you are harsh with them, they will surely cry out to me, and be sure I shall hear their cry; my anger will flare and I shall kill you with the sword, your own wives will be widows, your own children orphans.‘“If you lend money to any of my people, to any poor man among you, you must not play the usurer with him: you must not demand interest from him.‘“If you take another’s cloak as a pledge, you must give it back to him before sunset. It is all the covering he has; it is the cloak he wraps his body in; what else would he sleep in? If he cries to me, I will listen, for I am full of pity.”’

Psalm 17:2-4,47,51

I love you, Lord, my strength.

  1. I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my saviour. My God is the rock where I take refuge; my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold. The Lord is worthy of all praise, when I call I am saved from my foes.
  2. Long life to the Lord, my rock! Praised be the God who saves me, He has given great victories to his king and shown his love for his anointed.

Second reading1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

You observed the sort of life we lived when we were with you, which was for your instruction, and you were led to become imitators of us, and of the Lord; and it was with the joy of the Holy Spirit that you took to the gospel, in spite of the great opposition all round you. This has made you the great example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia since it was from you that the word of the Lord started to spread – and not only throughout Macedonia and Achaia, for the news of your faith in God has spread everywhere. We do not need to tell other people about it: other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with idolatry when you were converted to God and became servants of the real, living God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven to save us from the retribution which is coming.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Ac16:14

Alleluia, alleluia! Open our heart, O Lord,to accept the words of your Son.Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 19: 6

We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.

Prayer after Communion

May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.

The Gospel today summarises Deuteronomy 6:5, on the love of God and Leviticus 19:18 on the love of neighbour. Jesus doesn’t equate love of neighbour with love of one’s fellow Israelites; he extends love to all people without distinction. In effect, love for our neighbour is very demanding, and goes beyond all racism or prejudice. On this note, a Samaritan becomes a neighbour to the Jew and the Muslim becomes a neighbour to the Christian. We can already claim we love God by saying that we pray, we go to church, we read the Bible etc. To love the Lord with our whole heart, whole soul, whole strength and whole mind, simply means to love him with our whole BEING. We must know that it is our love for others that keeps the great love of Jesus for people alive in our world today. A preacher once said that “Love of God and love of neighbour are like the two wings of a bird.  As much as a bird cannot fly on only one wing so we cannot claim to love God while we hate our neighbour”.