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Tuesday 12 December 2017 Our Lady of Guadalupe

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Zec 14: 5, 7

Behold, the Lord will come, and all his holy ones with him;and on that day there will be a great light.

Collect

O God, who have shown forth your salvationto all the ends of the earth,grant, we pray,that we may look forward in joyto the glorious Nativity of Christ.Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First reading: Isaiah 40:1-11

‘Console my people, console them’says your God.‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalemand call to herthat her time of service is ended,that her sin is atoned for,that she has received from the hand of the Lorddouble punishment for all her crimes.’A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wildernessa way for the Lord.Make a straight highway for our Godacross 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 revealedand all mankind shall see it;for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’A voice commands, ‘Cry!’and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’”– ‘All flesh is grassand its beauty like the wild flower’s.The grass withers, the flower fadeswhen the breath of the Lord blows on them.(The grass is without doubt the people.)The grass withers, the flower fades,but the word of our God remains for ever.’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 breastand leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Psalm: Psalm 95:1-3,10-13

Here is our God coming with power.

  1. O sing a new song to the Lord,sing to the Lord all the earth.O sing to the Lord, bless his name.Proclaim his help day by day..
  2. Tell among the nations his gloryand his wonders among all the peoples.Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’He will judge the peoples in fairness.
  3. 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..
  4. With justice he will rule the world,he will judge the peoples with his truth.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!Come, Lord! Do not delay.Forgive the sins of your people.Alleluia!

Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings, and, since we have no merits to plead our cause,come, we pray, to our rescuewith the protection of your mercy.Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon

Cf. 2 Tm 4: 8

The Just Judge will bestow a crown of righteousnesson those who eagerly await his coming.

Prayer after Communion

Replenished by the food of spiritual nourishment,we humbly beseech you, O Lord,that, through our partaking in this mystery,you may teach us to judge wisely the things of earthand hold firm to the things of heaven.Through Christ our Lord.

The readings of today present a different picture in our striving for holiness. Not a few of us have been burdened by the weight of our sins. Not a few of us have labored in vain to be holy. Not a few have been having sleepless nights thinking of how to do away with one vice or the other. Most especially, there are those who cannot bring themselves to accept that God has forgiven them their past sins. If you belong to any of these categories, then the message of today is for you. The prophet proclaims God’s message of consolation and of forgiveness. Your sins have been paid for, expiated. God takes the initiative when your strength fails you. He looks for the missing sheep himself. No one is lost in this search except the one who chooses to be lost. God makes available the routes where he can find you: his word and his sacraments. Are you still following these routes or are you hiding in your weaknesses? 

Monday 11 December 2017 Saint Damasus I, Pope

Entrance AntiphonCf. 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.

 

Collect

May our prayer of petitionrise before you, we pray, O Lord,that, with purity unblemished,we, your servants, may come, as we desire,to celebrate the great mysteryof the Incarnation of your Only Begotten Son.Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading : Isaiah 35:1-10

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom, let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil, let it rejoice and sing for joy. The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God. Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to all faint hearts, ‘Courage! Do not be afraid. ‘Look, your God is coming, vengeance is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy; for water gushes in the desert, streams in the wasteland, the scorched earth becomes a lake, the parched land springs of water. The lairs where the jackals used to live become thickets of reed and papyrus. And through it will run a highway undefiled which shall be called the Sacred Way; the unclean may not travel by it, nor fools stray along it. No lion will be there nor any fierce beast roam about it, but the redeemed will walk there, for those whom the Lord has ransomed shall return. They will come to Zion shouting for joy, everlasting joy on their faces; joy and gladness will go with them and sorrow and lament be ended.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 84:9-14

R/Look, our God is coming to save us.

  1. 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.
  2. Mercy and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have embraced. Faithfulness shall spring from the earth and justice look down from heaven.
  3. The Lord will make us prosper and our earth shall yield its fruit. Justice shall march before him and peace shall follow his steps.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION : Lk 3:4.6

Alleluia, alleluia! Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. And all mankind shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia!

GOSPEL : Luke 5:17-26

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing. Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’, - he said to the paralysed man - ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God. They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

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.

 

Sin is a type of paralysis. It deadens our relationship with others and with God. Jesus reconciled us to each other and to God; Jesus forgave our sins. He removed our paralysis, just like he healed the paralytic and sent him home. The scribes and the Pharisees who were questioning Jesus' motive, were also offered the possibility to be healed of their spiritual paralysis. They had already concluded that Jesus could not be the promised Messiah, because he performed miracles and proclaimed forgiveness; actions reserved only for God. Through the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of the ability to walk, Jesus offered a non-paralyzed way of life to everyone. What type of paralysis have we most recently experienced? Have we been reconciled to others, ourselves and to God? Our God is a forgiving God. Through the suffering and death of His Son, Jesus, He has set us free from the paralysis of sin. Let us never cease to glorify Him.

Saturday 9 December 2017 Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

Entrance AntiphonCf. Ps 79: 4, 2

Come and show us your face, O Lord,who are seated upon the Cherubim, and we will be saved.

Collect

O God, who sent your Only Begotten Son into this worldto free the human race from its ancient enslavement,bestow on those who devoutly await himthe grace of your compassion from on high,that we may attain the prize of true freedom.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 30:19-21,23-26

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter – like the light of seven days in one – on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.

Psalm: Psalm 146:1-6

R/ Happy are all who hope in the Lord.

  1. Praise the Lord for he is good;sing to our God for he is loving:to him our praise is due.The Lord builds up Jerusalem .and brings back Israel’s exiles.
  2. 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.

  1. Our Lord is great and almighty;his wisdom can never be measured.The Lord raises the lowly;he humbles the wicked to the dust.

Gospel Acclamation: Is55:6

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

Gospel Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’

Prayer over the Offerings

May the sacrifice of our worship, Lord, we pray,be offered to you unceasingly,to complete what was begun in sacred mysteryand powerfully accomplish for us your saving work. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion AntiphonCf. Rv 22: 12

Behold, I am coming soonand my recompense is with me, says the Lord,to bestow a reward according to the deeds of each.

Prayer after Communion

We implore your mercy, Lord,that this divine sustenancemay cleanse us of our faultsand prepare us for the coming feasts.Through Christ our Lord.

“You received without charge, give without charge.!” What have you received? What do you have to give? The answer to both questions is: everything. And the two go together, like breathing in and breathing out. Eckhart wrote, “When God wishes to give us Himself and all things in free possession, He wishes to take from us, once and for all, all possessiveness.... We should hold all things as if they were lent to us and not given, without possessiveness, whether it be body or soul, senses, powers, outward goods or honors, friends, relations, hearth and home, or anything at all.” Our deepest fulfillment would be to be entirely empty for God (see May 30). Like all the Christian mysteries, this isn’t only for talking about; we can do it! The first and most important way is to pour out our life in loving service to others. There is another way too: you can sit in meditation, just breathing. As you breathe in, know that everything you have is received as a gift; and as you breathe out, know that everything you have is for giving away.

Sunday 10 December 2017SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Is 30: 19, 30

O people of Sion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations,and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart.

Collect

Almighty and merciful God,may no earthly undertaking hinder thosewho set out in haste to meet your Son,but may our learning of heavenly wisdomgain us admittance to his company.Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First readingIsaiah 40:1-5,9-11

‘Console my people, console them’says your God.‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalemand call to herthat her time of service is ended,that her sin is atoned for,that she has received from the hand of the Lorddouble punishment for all her crimes.’A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wildernessa way for the Lord.Make a straight highway for our Godacross 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 revealedand 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 breastand leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Psalm 84:9-14

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.

  1. 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 himand his glory will dwell in our land.

  1. Mercy and faithfulness have met;justice and peace have embraced.Faithfulness shall spring from the earthand justice look down from heaven.
  2. The Lord will make us prosperand our earth shall yield its fruit.Justice shall march before himand peace shall follow his steps.

Second reading2 Peter 3:8-14

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

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.’

 

Prayer over the Offerings

Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings,and, since we have no merits to plead our cause,come, we pray, to our rescuewith the protection of your mercy.Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion Antiphon : Bar 5: 5; 4: 36

Jerusalem, arise and stand upon the heights,and behold the joy which comes to you from God.

Prayer after Communion

Replenished by the food of spiritual nourishment,we humbly beseech you, O Lord,that, through our partaking in this mystery,you may teach us to judge wisely the things of earthand hold firm to the things of heaven.Through Christ our Lord.

John the Baptist portrays himself like a true herald of the Lords Coming. He tells the people to “prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight his paths.” For four centuries, the voice of true prophecy had fallen silent in Israel; at last, in John, prophecy was heard once more. Jesus himself says, John was a prophet and more than a prophet (Lk 7.26), through whom the Holy Spirit completes the mission of the prophets.  In effect, John the Baptist, is an extra ordinary “agent” sent by God to speak on behalf of His Son. As Christians, we can also be God’s agents in the present time.

Friday 8 December Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity) White.- The Joyful Mysteries

Entrance Antiphon : Is 61: 10

I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bride adorned with her jewels.

Collect

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling  for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and  admitted to your presence. 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 : Genesis 3:9-15. 20

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him, ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden.’ he replied. ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked. ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’ The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

Responsorial Psalm : Ps 97

R/Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.

  1. Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation.

2.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.

  1. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord all the earth,ring out your joy.

Second Reading : Ephesians 1:3-6.11-12

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. And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things as he decides by his own will; chosen to be, for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.

 

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION : Lk 1:28

Alleluia, alleluia! Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among Alleluia!

GOSPEL : Luke 1:26-38

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 virgins 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.

Prayer over the Offerings

Graciously accept the saving sacrifice which we offer you, O Lord, on the Solemnity of the  Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grant that, as we profess her, on account of your prevenient grace, to be untouched by any stain of sin, so, through her intercession, we may be delivered from all our faults. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon

Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary for from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.

Prayer after Communion

May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord our God,heal in us the wounds of that fault from which in a singular way you preserved Blessed Mary in her Immaculate Conception. Through Christ our Lord.

 

If today’s feast is to be about more than the ‘privileges’ of Mary, we need to see it in the light of the second reading of the Mass: God chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,” (Eph 1:4). God’s great project: a humanity that doesn’t flee from his presence, full of shame like Adam and Eve, but which he can draw to himself in Christ, through the Spirit. Mary is God’s “sign of favor to the Church at its beginning, and the promise of its perfection as the bride of Christ, radiant in beauty....” (Preface of today’s Mass). She is a model of the Church as it is going to be in God’s time. “In her there shines out already the future splendor of the Church, just as the entire blue vault of heaven is reflected in a drop of morning dew”