The Word of God

February 28, 2021


Second Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 26

Reading I – Gn 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, 
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust 
on a height that I will point out to you.”

When they came to the place of which God had told him, 
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven, 
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God, 
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about, 
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram 
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: 
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD, 
that because you acted as you did 
in not withholding from me your beloved son, 
I will bless you abundantly 
and make your descendants as countless 
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; 
your descendants shall take possession 
of the gates of their enemies, 
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Responsorial Psalm – 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19

R. (116:9) I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted.”
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
    is the death of his faithful ones.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
O LORD, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
    you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
    in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
    in your midst, O Jerusalem.
R. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.

Reading II – Rom 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son 
but handed him over for us all, 
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised— 
who also is at the right hand of God, 
who indeed intercedes for us.

Verse Before the Gospel – Cf. Mt 17:5

From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.

Gospel – Mk 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John 
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them, 
and his clothes became dazzling white, 
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, 
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, 
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents: 
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; 
from the cloud came a voice, 
“This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, 
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Leave a comment

February 27, 2021


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 229

Reading I – Dt 26:16-19

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised.”

Responsorial Psalm – 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8

R.    (1B)  Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
    who seek him with all their heart.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
    be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
    of keeping your statutes!
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
I will give you thanks with an upright heart,
    when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Verse before the Gospel – 2 Cor 6:2B

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Gospel – Mt 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Leave a comment

February 26, 2021


Friday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 228

Reading I – Ez 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, 
    if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
    he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
    he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. 
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
    says the Lord GOD. 
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
    that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
    the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
    can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
    because he has broken faith and committed sin;
    because of this, he shall die. 
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” 
Hear now, house of Israel:
    Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
    it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
    does what is right and just,
    he shall preserve his life;
    since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, 
    he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm – 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7A, 7BC-8

R.    (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
    LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
    LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
    that you may be revered. 
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
    my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
    more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
    Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
    and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
    from all their iniquities.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Verse before the Gospel – Ez 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Gospel – Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“I tell you, 
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Leave a comment

February 25, 2021


Thursday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 227

Reading I – Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, 
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. 
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

“And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.”

Responsorial Psalm – 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R.    (3A)  Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
    for you have heard the words of my mouth;
    in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name.
R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
    for you have made great above all things
    your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
    you built up strength within me.
R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
    your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
    forsake not the work of your hands.
R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse before the Gospel – Ps 51:12A, 14A

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel – Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. 
This is the law and the prophets.”

Leave a comment

February 24, 2021


Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 226

Reading I – Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm – 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

R.    (19B) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
    and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
    and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
    a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse before the Gospel – Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel – Jl 2:12-13

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah. 
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment 
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation 
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here. 
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Leave a comment

February 23, 2021


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr, please go here.

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 225

Reading I – Is 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
    the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
    till they have watered the earth,
    making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
    and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
    that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
    but shall do my will,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm – 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

R.    (18B)  From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
    let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears. 
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
    and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
    and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
    to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
    and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
    and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
 

Verse before the Gospel – Mt 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel – Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

    Our Father who art in heaven,
        hallowed be thy name,
        thy Kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
        as we forgive those who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Leave a comment

February 23, 2021 – Optional Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr


For the readings of the Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, please go here.

Lectionary: 225

Reading I – Is 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
    the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
    till they have watered the earth,
    making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
    and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
    that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
    but shall do my will,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm – 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

R.    (18B)  From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
    let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears. 
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
    and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
    and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
    to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
    and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
    and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
 

Verse before the Gospel – Mt 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel – Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

    Our Father who art in heaven,
        hallowed be thy name,
        thy Kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
        as we forgive those who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Leave a comment

February 22, 2021


Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
Lectionary: 535

Reading I – 1 Pt 5:1-4

Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm – 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia – Mt 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;
the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, 
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Leave a comment

February 21, 2021


First Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 23

Reading I – Gn 9:8-15

God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 
“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you 
and your descendants after you 
and with every living creature that was with you: 
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals 
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you, 
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood; 
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.”
God added:
“This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, 
of the covenant between me and you 
and every living creature with you: 
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth, 
and the bow appears in the clouds, 
I will recall the covenant I have made
between me and you and all living beings, 
so that the waters shall never again become a flood 
to destroy all mortal beings.”
 

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (CF. 10) Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
    teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my savior.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
    and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
    because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Good and upright is the LORD,
    thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
    and he teaches the humble his way.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
 

Reading II – 1 Pt 3:18-22

Beloved:
Christ suffered for sins once, 
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, 
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh, 
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 
who had once been disobedient 
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah 
during the building of the ark, 
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body 
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God, 
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Verse Before the Gospel – Mt 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel – Mk 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, 
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, 
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Leave a comment

February 20, 2021


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 222

Reading I – Is 58:9B-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
    false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
    and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
    and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
    and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
    and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
    and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
    “Restorer of ruined homesteads.”

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
    from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
    and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
    seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial Psalm – 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    (11AB)  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
    for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you. 
    You are my God.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
    for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
    and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
 

Verse before the Gospel – Ez 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

Gospel – Lk 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

Leave a comment

February 19, 2021


Friday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 221

Reading I – Is 58:1-9A

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
    lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; 
Tell my people their wickedness,
    and the house of Jacob their sins. 
They seek me day after day,
    and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
    and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
    pleased to gain access to God.
“Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
    afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?”

Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
    and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
    striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
    so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
    of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
    and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
    a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
    releasing those bound unjustly,
    untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
    breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
    sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
    and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
    and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
    you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
 

Responsorial Psalm – 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 18-19

R.    (19B) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For I acknowledge my offense,
    and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
    and done what is evil in your sight.”
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
    a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse before the Gospel – See Am 5:14

Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the Lord will be with you.

Gospel – Mt 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.”

Leave a comment

February 18, 2021


Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 220

Reading I – Dt 30:15-20

Moses said to the people:
“Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
 

Responsorial Psalm – 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R.    (40:5A)  Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
    the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
    and meditates on his law day and night.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
    planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
    and whose leaves never fade.
    Whatever he does, prospers.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
    they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
    but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse before the Gospel – Mt 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Gospel – Lk 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
 “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”

Leave a comment

February 17, 2021


Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 219

Reading I – Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
    return to me with your whole heart,
    with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
    and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
    slow to anger, rich in kindness,
    and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
    and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
    for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
    proclaim a fast,
    call an assembly;
Gather the people,
    notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
    gather the children
    and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
    and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
    and make not your heritage a reproach,
    with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
    and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm – 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 12-13, 14 and 17

R.    (see 3A)  Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
    and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
    and done what is evil in your sight.”
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
    and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
    and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
    and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R.    Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
 

Reading II – 2 Cor 5:20—6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, 
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

    In an acceptable time I heard you,
        and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
 

Verse Before the Gospel – See Ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel – Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Leave a comment

February 16, 2021


Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 336

Reading I – Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.

So the LORD said:
“I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them.”
But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Then the LORD said to Noah:
“Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made.”
Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.

As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Responsorial Psalm – 29:1A and 2, 3AC-4, 3B and 9C-10

R.    (11B)  The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
    give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
    adore the LORD in holy attire. 
R.    The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
    the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
    the voice of the LORD is majestic. 
R.    The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
    and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
    the LORD is enthroned as king forever. 
R.    The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Alleluia – Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – Mk 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.” 
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Leave a comment

February 15, 2021


Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 335

Reading I – Gn 4:1-15, 25

The man had relations with his wife Eve,
and she conceived and bore Cain, saying,
“I have produced a man with the help of the LORD.”
Next she bore his brother Abel.
Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil.
In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD
from the fruit of the soil,
while Abel, for his part,
brought one of the best firstlings of his flock.
The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
but on Cain and his offering he did not.
Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.
So the LORD said to Cain:
“Why are you so resentful and crestfallen.
If you do well, you can hold up your head;
but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door:
his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.”
When they were in the field,
Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
He answered, “I do not know. 
Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The LORD then said: “What have you done!
Listen: your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil!
Therefore you shall be banned from the soil
that opened its mouth to receive
your brother’s blood from your hand.
If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce.
You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth.”
Cain said to the LORD: “My punishment is too great to bear.
Since you have now banished me from the soil,
and I must avoid your presence
and become a restless wanderer on the earth,
anyone may kill me at sight.”
“Not so!” the LORD said to him.
“If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold.”
So the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest anyone should kill him at sight.

Adam again had relations with his wife,
and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth.
“God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel,” she said,
“because Cain slew him.”

Responsorial Psalm – 50:1 and 8, 16BC-17, 20-21

R.    (14A)  Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
    for your burnt offerings are before me always.”
R.    Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
    and profess my covenant with your mouth
Though you hate discipline
    and cast my words behind you?”
R.    Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“You sit speaking against your brother;
    against your mother’s son you spread rumors.
When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
    Or do you think that I am like yourself?
    I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.”
R.    Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Alleluia – Jn 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.

Leave a comment

February 14, 2021


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 77

Reading I – Lv 13:1-2, 44-46

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
“If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch
which appears to be the sore of leprosy,
he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest,
or to one of the priests among his descendants.
If the man is leprous and unclean,
the priest shall declare him unclean
by reason of the sore on his head.

“The one who bears the sore of leprosy
shall keep his garments rent and his head bare,
and shall muffle his beard;
he shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’
As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean,
since he is in fact unclean.
He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11

R. (7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
    in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
    my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
    and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
    exult, all you upright of heart.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Reading II – 1 Cor 10:31—11:1

Brothers and sisters,
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for the glory of God.
Avoid giving offense, whether to the Jews or Greeks or 
the church of God,
just as I try to please everyone in every way,
not seeking my own benefit but that of the many,
that they may be saved.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Alleluia – Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst,
God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, 
touched him, and said to him, 
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 

He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest 
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Leave a comment

February 13, 2021


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 334

Reading I – Gn 3:9-24

The LORD God called to Adam and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me 
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:

    “Because you have done this, you shall be banned
        from all the animals
        and from all the wild creatures;
    On your belly shall you crawl,
        and dirt shall you eat
        all the days of your life.
    I will put enmity between you and the woman,
        and between your offspring and hers;
    He will strike at your head,
        while you strike at his heel.” 

To the woman he said:

    “I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing;
        in pain shall you bring forth children.
    Yet your urge shall be for your husband,
        and he shall be your master.”

To the man he said: “Because you listened to your wife
and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,

    “Cursed be the ground because of you!
        In toil shall you eat its yield
        all the days of your life.
    Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you,
        as you eat of the plants of the field.
    By the sweat of your face
        shall you get bread to eat,
    Until you return to the ground,
        from which you were taken;
    For you are dirt,
        and to dirt you shall return.”

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

For the man and his wife the LORD God made leather garments,
with which he clothed them.
Then the LORD God said: “See!  The man has become like one of us,
knowing what is good and what is evil!
Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand
to take fruit from the tree of life also,
and thus eat of it and live forever.”
The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden,
to till the ground from which he had been taken.
When he expelled the man,
he settled him east of the garden of Eden;
and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword,
to guard the way to the tree of life.

Responsorial Psalm – 90:2, 3-4ABC, 5-6, 12-13

R.    (1)  In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten
    and the earth and the world were brought forth,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
    saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
    are as yesterday, now that it is past,
    or as a watch of the night. 
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
    the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
    but by evening wilts and fades. 
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
    that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants! 
R.    In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia – Mt 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – Mk 8:1-10

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat,
Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
because they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
If I send them away hungry to their homes,
they will collapse on the way,
and some of them have come a great distance.”
His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread
to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
They replied, “Seven.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them,
and gave them to his disciples to distribute,
and they distributed them to the crowd.
They also had a few fish.
He said the blessing over them
and ordered them distributed also.
They ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets.
There were about four thousand people.

He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples
and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Leave a comment

February 12, 2021


Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 333

Reading I – Gn 3:1-8

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.

Responsorial Psalm – 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R.    (1A) Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
    in whose spirit there is no guile. 
R.    Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
    my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
    and you took away the guilt of my sin. 
R.    Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven. 
For this shall every faithful man pray to you 
    in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
    they shall not reach him. 
R.    Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
    with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round. 
R.    Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
 

Alleluia – See Acts 16:14B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis. 
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd. 
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly. 
He ordered them not to tell anyone. 
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it. 
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well. 
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Leave a comment

February 11, 2021


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, please go here.

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 332

Reading I – Gn 2:18-25

The LORD God said:  
“It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs
and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman
the rib that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:

    “This one, at last, is bone of my bones
        and flesh of my flesh;
    this one shall be called ‘woman,’
        for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Responsorial Psalm – 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R.    (see 1A) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
    who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
    blessed shall you be, and favored. 
R.    Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
    in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
    around your table. 
R.    Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
    who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
    may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
    all the days of your life.
R.    Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia – Jas 1:21BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.

Leave a comment

February 11, 2021 – Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, please go here.

Lectionary: 531

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, #707-712.

Reading 1 – Is 66:10-14C

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
Exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
That you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like
an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
The LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.

Responsorial Psalm – Jdt 13:18BCDE, 19

R.    (15:9)  You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R.    You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R.    You are the highest honor of our race.

Alleluia – See Lk 1:45

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
(although they who had drawn the water knew),
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

Leave a comment

February 10, 2021


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin
Lectionary: 331

Reading I – Gn 2:4B-9, 15-17

At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens 
while as yet there was no field shrub on earth
and no grass of the field had sprouted,
for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth
and there was no man to till the soil, 
but a stream was welling up out of the earth
and was watering all the surface of the ground
the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and he placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The LORD God then took the man
and settled him in the garden of Eden,
to cultivate and care for it.
The LORD God gave man this order:
“You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden
except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 
From that tree you shall not eat;
the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”

Responsorial Psalm – 104:1-2A, 27-28, 29BC-30

R.    (1A)  O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
    robed in light as with a cloak.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
All creatures look to you
    to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
If you take away their breath, they perish
    and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the earth. 
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia – See Jn 17:17B, 17A

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

Gospel – Mk 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.” 

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
“Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?”
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Leave a comment

February 10, 2021 – Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin, please go here.

Lectionary: 331

Reading I – Gn 2:4B-9, 15-17

At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens 
while as yet there was no field shrub on earth
and no grass of the field had sprouted,
for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth
and there was no man to till the soil, 
but a stream was welling up out of the earth
and was watering all the surface of the ground
the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and he placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The LORD God then took the man
and settled him in the garden of Eden,
to cultivate and care for it.
The LORD God gave man this order:
“You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden
except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 
From that tree you shall not eat;
the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”

Responsorial Psalm – 104:1-2A, 27-28, 29BC-30

R.    (1A)  O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
    robed in light as with a cloak.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
All creatures look to you
    to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
If you take away their breath, they perish
    and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the earth. 
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia – See Jn 17:17B, 17A

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

Gospel – Mk 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.” 

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
“Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?”
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Leave a comment

February 9, 2021


Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 330

Reading I – Gn 1:20—2:4A

God said,
“Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.”
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
“Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
Evening came, and morning followed–the fifth day.

Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.”
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”

    God created man in his image;
        in the divine image he created him;
        male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God also said:
“See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food.”
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,

he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R.    (2AB)  O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
    or the son of man that you should care for him?
R.    O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
    putting all things under his feet.
R.    O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
    yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
    and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R.    O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Alleluia – Ps 119:36, 29B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
And favor me with your law.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”  
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

    This people honors me with their lips,
        but their hearts are far from me;
    in vain do they worship me,
        teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
    Honor your father and your mother,
    and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
‘If someone says to father or mother,
“Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things.” 

Leave a comment

February 8, 2021


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin, please go here.
For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest, please go here.

Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 329

Reading I – Gn 1:1-19

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Then God said,
“Let there be light,” and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”
Thus evening came, and morning followed–the first day.

Then God said,
“Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other.”
And so it happened:
God made the dome,
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome “the sky.”
Evening came, and morning followed–the second day.

Then God said,
“Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear.” 
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land “the earth,”
and the basin of the water he called “the sea.”
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.”
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth that
bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed–the third day.

Then God said:
“Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,

and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth.”
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights,
the greater one to govern the day,
and the lesser one to govern the night;
and he made the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed–the fourth day.

Responsorial Psalm – 104:1-2B, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35C

R.    (31B)  May the Lord be glad in his works.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
    robed in light as with a cloak.
R.    May the Lord be glad in his works.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
    not to be moved forever;
With the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
    above the mountains the waters stood.
R.    May the Lord be glad in his works.
You send forth springs into the watercourses
    that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
    from among the branches they send forth their song.
R.    May the Lord be glad in his works.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
    In wisdom you have wrought them all—
    the earth is full of your creatures;
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia. 
R.    May the Lord be glad in his works.
 

Alleluia – See Mt 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 6:53-56

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,
Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret
and tied up there.
As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.
They scurried about the surrounding country
and began to bring in the sick on mats
to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed.

Leave a comment

February 8, 2021 – Optional Memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin


For the readings of the Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 529A

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins (vol. II, III, or IV, nos. 731-736).

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 7:25-35

Brothers and sisters:
In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord,
but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
So this is what I think best because of the present distress:
that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation.
Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife.
If you marry, however, you do not sin,
nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;
but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,
and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R. (11) Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, and you must worship him.  
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters;
her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king;
behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.  
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
The place of your fathers your sons shall have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.  
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

Alleluia

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the wise virgin, whom the Lord found waiting;
at his coming, she went in with him to the wedding feast.  
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Leave a comment

February 8, 2021 – Optional Memorial of Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest


For the readings of the Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 529

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Teachers, #737-742.

Reading 1 – Tb 12:6-13

The angel Raphael said to Tobit and his son:
“Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory.
Before all the living,
acknowledge the many good things he has done for you,
by blessing and extolling his name in song.
Honor and proclaim God’s deeds,
and do not be slack in praising him.
A king’s secret it is prudent to keep,
but the works of God are to be declared and made known.
Praise them with due honor.
Do good, and evil will not find its way to you.
Prayer and fasting are good,
but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness.
A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness.
It is better to give alms than to store up gold;
for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin.
Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life;
but those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies.

“I will now tell you the whole truth;
I will conceal nothing at all from you.
I have already said to you,
‘A king’s secret it is prudent to keep,
but the works of God are to be made known with due honor.’
I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed,
it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer
before the Glory of the Lord;
and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead.
When you did not hesitate to get up
and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead,
I was sent to put you to the test.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (2)  I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    (9)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear and be glad.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.
R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – Mt 5:3

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 10:17-30

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;

honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him,  loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Peter began to say to him,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

 Or

Mk 10:17-27


As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran u
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”

Leave a comment

February 7, 2021


Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 74

Reading I – Jb 7:1-4, 6-7

Job spoke, saying:
Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?
    Are not his days those of hirelings?
He is a slave who longs for the shade,
    a hireling who waits for his wages.
So I have been assigned months of misery,
    and troubled nights have been allotted to me.
If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?”
    then the night drags on;
    I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
    they come to an end without hope.
Remember that my life is like the wind;
    I shall not see happiness again.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (CF. 3A) Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, for he is good;
    sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
    it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
    the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
    he calls each by name.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    to his wisdom there is no limit.
The LORD sustains the lowly;
    the wicked he casts to the ground.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
or:
R. Alleluia.
 

Reading II – 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23

Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach,
I offer the gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.

Alleluia – Mt 8:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left 
and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues,
preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Leave a comment

February 6, 2021


Sunday Vigil Mass

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Paul Miki, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 328

Reading I – Heb 13:15-17, 20-21

Brothers and sisters:
Through Jesus, let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise,
that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have;
God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

Obey your leaders and defer to them,
for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account,
that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow,
for that would be of no advantage to you.

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead
the great shepherd of the sheep
by the Blood of the eternal covenant, 
furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will.
May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Responsorial Psalm – 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows. 
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia – Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 6:30-34

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” 
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.

Leave a comment

February 6, 2021 – Memorial of Saint Paul Miki, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs, please go here.

Lectionary: 528

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718.

Reading 1 – Gal 2:19-20

Brothers and sisters:
Through the law I died to the law,
that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ;
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God
who has loved me and given himself up for me.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 126:1BC-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R.    (5)  Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R.    Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R.    Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R.    Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R.    Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.

Alleluia – Mt 28:19A, 20B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 28:16-20

The Eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
c. 1562-1597; late Sixteenth Century

Native Japanese priests and laity die nobly for a new faith

The words of the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier capture the pathos of today’s memorial: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been!” The swift rise, and sudden fall, of Catholicism in Japan is one of the great “might-have-beens” in human history. Portuguese and Spanish priests, mostly Jesuits and Franciscans, brought the Catholic religion to the highly cultured island of Japan in the late 1500s with great success. Tens of thousands of people converted, two seminaries were opened, native Japanese were ordained as priests, and Japan ceased to be mission territory, being elevated to a diocese. But the rising arc of missionary success just as quickly curved downward. In waves of persecutions from the 1590s through the 1640s, thousands of Catholics were persecuted, tortured and executed until the Catholic religion, and indeed any outward expression of Christianity, was totally eradicated. Japan almost became a Catholic nation, coming close to joining the Philippines as the only thoroughly Catholic society in Asia. Japan might have done for Asia in the 1600s what Ireland did for Europe in the early Middle Ages. It could have sent scholars, monks, and missionary priests to convert nations far larger than itself, including China. It was not to be.

Paul Miki was a native Japanese who became a Jesuit. The Jesuits would not accept into their seminary men from India or other nations they considered to be of inferior education and culture. But the Jesuits had immense respect for the Japanese, whose culture was equal to, or even exceeded, that of Western Europe. Paul Miki was among those who, after being educated in the faith, evangelized their own people in their own language. He and others blazed a new pathway forward, allowing the Japanese to not only understand but to see, in flesh and blood, that they could retain the best of their native culture while being faithful to the newfound God of Jesus Christ.

Paul, a Jesuit brother, and his companions were the first group to suffer mass martyrdom in Japan. A military leader and adviser to the Emperor feared Spanish and Portuguese conquest of the island and ordered the arrest of six Franciscan priests and brothers, three Japanese Jesuits, sixteen other Japanese, and one Korean. The captured had their left ears mutilated and were then forced to march, bloodied, hundreds of miles to Nagasaki. On February 5, 1597, Paul and his companions were bound to crosses on a hill, like Christ, and pierced with lances. An eyewitness described the scene:

Our brother, Paul Miki, saw himself standing in the noblest pulpit he had ever filled. To his “congregation” he began by proclaiming himself a Japanese and a Jesuit… “My religion teaches me to pardon my enemies and all who have offended me. I do gladly pardon the Emperor and all who have sought my death. I beg them to seek baptism and be Christians themselves.” Then he looked at his comrades and began to encourage them in their final struggle…Then, according to Japanese custom, the four executioners began to unsheath their spears…The executioners killed them one by one. One thrust of the spear, then a second blow. It was over in a short time.

The executions did nothing to stop the Church. Persecution only fanned the flames of faith. By 1614 about 300,000 Japanese were Catholics. So more intense persecutions followed. Japanese leaders eventually chose to seal off their ports and borders from virtually all foreign penetration, a policy that would last until the nineteenth century. Only in 1854 was Japan forcibly opened to foreign trade and Western visitors. Then, thousands of Japanese Catholics suddenly came out of hiding, mostly near Nagasaki. They bore the names of the Japanese martyrs, spoke some Latin and Portuguese, asked their new guests for statues of Jesus and Mary, and sought to verify if a French priest was legitimate with two questions: 1) Are you celibate?; and 2) Do you come from the Pope in Rome?  These hidden Christians also opened their palms to show the priest something else—relics of the martyrs who their remote ancestors had known and honored centuries before. Their memory had never died.

Saint Paul Miki, you accepted martyrdom rather than abandon your faith. You chose to serve those closest to you rather than to flee. Inspire in us the same love of God and man so that we too can know, love, and serve God in the heroic fashion that made you so brave and composed in the face of intense suffering.

Leave a comment

February 5, 2021


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Lectionary: 327

Reading I – Heb 13:1-8

Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled,
for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.
Let your life be free from love of money
but be content with what you have,
for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence:

    The Lord is my helper,
    and I will not be afraid.
    What can anyone do to me?

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Responsorial Psalm – 27:1, 3, 5, 8b-9ABC

R.    (1A)  The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
    of whom should I be afraid? 
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
    even then will I trust.
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
For he will hide me in his abode
    in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me in the shelter of his tent,
    he will set me high upon a rock.
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
    do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Alleluia – See Lk 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart,
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 6:14-29

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
“John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
That is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Others were saying, “He is Elijah”;
still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
“It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”

Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias, 
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” 
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”

She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Leave a comment

February 5, 2021 – Memorial of Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr, please go here.

Lectionary: 527

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718
or the Common of Virgins, #731-736.

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 1:26-31

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 31:3CD-4, 6 and 8AB, 16BC and 17

R.    (6)  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R.    Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Alleluia – 1 Pt 4:14

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 9:23-26

Jesus said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory
and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Saint Agatha, Virgin, Martyr
c. Third Century

Of all the men drawn to her, she desired only one

Pope Saint Gregory the Great reigned as the Supreme Pontiff of the Church from 590–604. His family loved Sicily and had property there, so the young Gregory was familiar with that beautiful island’s saints and traditions. When he became Pope, Saint Gregory inserted the names of two of Sicily’s most revered martyrs, Agatha and Lucy, into the heart of the Mass, the Roman Canon. Saint Gregory even placed these two Sicilians just before the city of Rome’s own two female martyrs, Agnes and Cecilia, who had been part of the Roman Canon for many centuries prior. It was this papal decision that has preserved Saint Agatha’s memory more effectively than anything else. Liturgy is inherently conservative and protects the Church’s oldest memories. So on the lips of thousands of priests every day are the names of some of the Church’s most revered female martyrs: “Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and all the saints.”

Not much is known for certain about the life and death of Saint Agatha, but long tradition supplies what primary documents lack.  Pope Damasus, who reigned from 366–384, may have composed a poem in her honor, indicating how widespread her reputation was by that early date. Saint Agatha was from a well-off family in Sicily in Roman times, probably in the third century. After dedicating her life to Christ, her beauty drew powerful men to her like a magnet. But she refused all suitors in favor of the Lord. Perhaps during the persecution of the Emperor Decius around 250, she was arrested, interrogated, tortured, and martyred. She refused to renounce her faith or to give in to the powerful men who desired her. An ancient homily relates: “A true virgin, she wore the glow of a pure conscience and the crimson of the lamb’s blood for her cosmetics.”

It is also the constant tradition that her torture included sexual mutilation. Whereas Saint Lucy is shone in art with her eyeballs on a platter, Saint Agatha is normally shown holding a plate on which rest her own breasts, as they were cut off by her pagan tormentors before her execution. This peculiar image is, in fact, carved into the wall over the entrance to the sixth century church of Saint Agatha in Rome, a church re-dedicated by Pope Saint Gregory himself so long ago.

Men commit most of the physical violence in the world. And when their victims are women, that violence can be particularly vicious because their victims are so defenseless. The stories of the early male martyrs of the Church relate tales of extreme torture by their Roman captors. But the stories of the women martyrs often relate something more—sexual humiliation. No male martyrs are known to have suffered similar indignities. Saint Agatha and others were not only physically tough to endure the pain they did, but also mentally and spiritually powerful to have resisted to the death the public embarrassment and degradation particular to them as women. They were the strong ones. It was their male captors who looked weak.

It was Christianity’s exaltation of women, children, slaves, prisoners, the old, the sick, the foreigner, and the outcast that caused the vast leaven of the Church to slowly rise in the Mediterranean world. The Church did not create a victim class who complained about a privileged class. The Church preached the dignity of persons. The Church did not even preach equality of individuals or teach that governments must enact laws protecting the unprotected. That is all so modern. The Church spoke in theological language and taught that every man, woman, and child was made in God’s image and likeness and so deserved respect. It taught that Jesus Christ died for every person on the cross. The Church gave, and gives, total answers to total questions, and those answers were, and are, compelling. The Feast of Saint Agatha is still massively celebrated on February 5 in Catania, Sicily. Hundreds of thousands of faithful process through the streets in honor of that island’s patron saint. The ancient traditions carry on.

Saint Agatha, you were a virgin espoused to Christ himself, a bride of the Lord who preserved herself for Him alone. Your vow to love God above all else hardened you to endure temptation, torture, and degradation. May we be as resolute as you when any type of persecution, however mild, seeks us out.

Leave a comment

February 4, 2021


Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 326

Reading I – Heb 12:18-19, 21-24

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said,
“I am terrified and trembling.”
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently
than that of Abel.

Responsorial Psalm – 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 9, 10-11

R.    (see 10)  O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
    in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
    is the joy of all the earth. 
R.    O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
    the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
    renowned is he as a stronghold.
R.    O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
As we had heard, so have we seen
    in the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God;
    God makes it firm forever.
R.    O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
O God, we ponder your mercy
    within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
    reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.
R.    O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.

Alleluia – Mk 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
–no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Leave a comment

February 3, 2021


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, please go here.
For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Ansgar, bishop, please go here.

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 325

Reading I – Heb 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:

    My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
        or lose heart when reproved by him;
    for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
        he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as his sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.

Responsorial Psalm – 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a

R.    (see 17)  The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
    and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits.
R.    The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
    he remembers that we are dust.
R.    The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
    to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children’s children
    among those who keep his covenant.
R.    The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Alleluia – Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished. 
They said, “Where did this man get all this? 
What kind of wisdom has been given him? 
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! 
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? 
And are not his sisters here with us?” 
And they took offense at him. 
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.” 
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Leave a comment

February 3, 2021 – Optional Memorial of Saint Ansgar, bishop


For the readings of the Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 526

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724.

Reading 1 – Is 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”

Hark!  Your sentinels raise a cry,
together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
the LORD restoring Zion.
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD comforts his people,
he redeems Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth will behold
the salvation of our God.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8, 10

R.    (3)  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia – Mk 1:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
 they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Saint Ansgar, Bishop
801–865

He sowed the frozen turf of the north, though nothing bloomed

Today’s saint walked the forests of Northern Europe during that stretch of history later known, prejudicially, as the “Dark Ages.” He lived three hundred years after the fall of Rome and yet three hundred years before the soaring gothic spires of the High Middle Ages pierced the blue sky. “Ansgar” is a grunt or a mere sound to modern ears. It seems fit for a remote, cold, and brutal age. It is difficult to imagine a child running into the warm embrace of a sunny Ansgar. But the real Saint Ansgar broke bread with Northern Vikings and rough warriors of the forest with names just like his own: Horik, Drogo, Gudmund, and Vedast. Ansgar was one of them, with one big difference—he was a Catholic.

The one thing, a very big thing, that links such long-ago saints, priests, and bishops to us moderns is the Catholic faith. We share the exact same faith as Saint Ansgar! If Saint Ansgar were to step out of the pages of a book today, in his bear fur covering and deerskin boots, and walk through the front doors of a twenty-first-century Catholic church, he would be at home. His eyes would search for the burning flame of the sanctuary lamp, and upon spotting it, he would know. He would bend his knee before a tabernacle housing the Blessed Sacrament, just as he did thousands of times in the past. He would walk past statues of Mary and the saints and know their stories. He would hear the same Gospel, make the same sign of the cross, and feel the same drops of blessed water on his forehead. Nothing would be unusual. Our faith unites what time and culture divide. The Church is the world’s only multicultural, transnational, timeless family. There is nothing else like Her.  

Saint Ansgar left his native region in Northern France, after receiving a good Christian education, to become an apostle monk to Northern Germany. He was named by the Pope as Archbishop of Hamburg and, from that post, organized the first systematic evangelization of Scandinavia. These regions were far, far away from the more developed civilizations of Italy, Spain, and France. Yet Saint Ansgar and his helpers traveled that far, and risked that much, to plant the Catholic faith in the frozen ground of what is today Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.   

Yet nearly all the seeds of faith that Saint Ansgar planted were to die in the ground shortly after his own death. Sadly, his missionary efforts produced no long-lasting fruit. The age of the Vikings dawned, and it would be two centuries before Christianity would again flourish and spread across the northern arc of Europe. Yet even that second evangelization would come to a bitter end! In the sixteenth century, Scandinavia abandoned Catholicism for its shadow under the influence of Fr. Luther and his followers.

What a lesson to be learned! As Saint Paul wrote, one plants, one waters, and God gives the growth: “He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor” (1 Cor. 3:8). Saint Ansgar carried out God’s will. He labored for the Lord and for the faith. What happened after that was up to God in His providence. Carrying out God’s will should be enough for us, as it was for our saint today. We must plant and till, even though harvest time may never come.

Saint Ansgar, you persevered in difficult times to bring the faith to a pagan land. You saw success and then failure, glory and then disappointment. Your work did not outlast you, but pleased God nonetheless. May we see our work as our duty, and our vocation as God’s will, even when the fruit of our labor is harvested by someone else, or not at all.

Leave a comment

February 3, 2021 – Optional Memorial of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr


For the readings of the Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 525

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718
or the Common of Pastors, #719-724.

Reading 1 – Rom 5:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 117:1bc, 2

R.  (Mark 16:15)  Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R.    Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R.    Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – Mt 28:19A, 20A

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 16:15-20

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Saint Blase, Bishop and Martyr
c. early Fourth Century

The obscure memory of an early bishop-martyr endures

A secularist does not evaluate religion on its own terms but on its practical benefits. Is a religion true? It doesn’t matter. But if you can prove that empty stomachs are now full, that malarial fevers are cooled, and that formerly dusty roads are now paved due to religion, then religion is indeed useful and good, all truth claims aside. Religion’s role in physical healing would be another proof of its great good, if not its truth. For all the incontestable progress of medicine, cancers still spread, tumors still grow, and infections still poison. Even the most modern of moderns, in a state of total vulnerability, understands in his deepest of deeps that physical healings surge from sources other than modern science. PhDs wash in the River Ganges, rocket scientists lower their bodies into the cool baths of Lourdes, and surgeons spread sacred oil on their skin hoping against hope for a cure that has eluded them.

The memory of Saint Blaise, a man of obscure origins, stands behind one of the most enduring healing traditions in all of Christianity. In the holy name of Blaise, two candles are crossed, X-shaped, and pressed against the neck to ward off and cure diseases of the throat. Oil and ashes, candles and flames, bread and wine, words and blessings. God’s face does not appear in the ash cloud of a volcanic eruption or in a golden pile at the end of a rainbow. The Christian believes that God’s salvation and healing power come through His Holy Mother, through His saints, and through the creation He molded in His own hands.

A believer doesn’t believe in belief, any more than a soldier loves patriotism. A soldier loves his country, and a believer loves God. And because the believer loves God, he loves a someone, not a something, and waits in line and shuffles forward, step by step, to the priest holding those X-shaped candles on today’s feast. Saint Blaise is primarily a “northern” saint called upon to remedy mostly cold climate ills. Because it is usually winter, then, the believer adjusts his jacket collar, feels the milky wax candle against his tender throat, closes his eyes, and prays that the cough disappear, that his voice remain strong, or that the faintest lump turn out to be nothing at all.

Details of Saint Blaise’s life are difficult to verify. Some traditions, dating from centuries after he lived, state that he was a bishop in Armenia, east of modern day Turkey. His reputation for holiness drew people to him in search of a cure for their infirmities. It is said that Blaise was tortured and murdered in an anti-Christian persecution. Every saint, no matter how remote his life or obscure his story, casts some light on the truths of our faith. The life of Saint Blaise and the tradition of throat healing that still surrounds him tell us that holy lives have power. His life tells us that holy people intercede for less holy people, and that the less powerful, the less wise, and the less good depend on the strong, the intelligent, and the good in order to leave their state of dependence, ignorance, and sin.  In the same way that salvation is mediated, healing is as well. Whether through the skilled hands of a surgeon, the chemicals of a drug, or the intercession of a saint, healing comes. The many channels branch out from the one source who is God. We, the faithful, when fragile and afraid, patiently sit in the doctor’s office for our name to be called, wait at the pharmacy counter for the prescription to be filled, or line up in church for the candles to rest softly on our clavicles. Healing is an offer, we are ripe to be cured, and any sacred intervention is welcome, no matter whence it comes.

Saint Blaise, many centuries ago you suffered for the same faith we now share with you. May we be ever united to you in our common Church, and may we be healed of all infirmities of the throat through your heavenly intercession.

Leave a comment

February 2, 2021


Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Lectionary: 524

Reading I – Mal 3:1-4

    Thus says the Lord God:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
    to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
    the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
    Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
    And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
    or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
    and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
    that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
    will please the LORD,
    as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 24:7, 8, 9, 10

R.    (8) Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
    reach up, you ancient portals,
    that the king of glory may come in!
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
    The LORD, strong and mighty,
    the LORD, mighty in battle.
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
    reach up, you ancient portals,
    that the king of glory may come in!
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
    The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
 

Reading II – Heb 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters
in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Alleluia – Lk 2:32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

    “Now, Master, you may let your servant go 
        in peace, according to your word,
    for my eyes have seen your salvation,
        which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
    a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
        and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
-and you yourself a sword will pierce-
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

Or:

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

    “Now, Master, you may let your servant go 
        in peace, according to your word,
    for my eyes have seen your salvation,
        which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
    a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
        and glory for your people Israel.”

Leave a comment

February 1, 2021


Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 323

Reading I – Heb 11:32-40

Brothers and sisters:
What more shall I say?
I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah,
of David and Samuel and the prophets,
who by faith conquered kingdoms, 
did what was righteous, obtained the promises;
they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires,
escaped the devouring sword;
out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle,
and turned back foreign invaders.
Women received back their dead through resurrection.
Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance,
in order to obtain a better resurrection.
Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point;
they went about in skins of sheep or goats,
needy, afflicted, tormented.
The world was not worthy of them.
They wandered about in deserts and on mountains,
in caves and in crevices in the earth.

Yet all these, though approved because of their faith,
did not receive what had been promised.
God had foreseen something better for us,
so that without us they should not be made perfect.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24

R.    (25)  Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
    which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
    you show in the sight of the children of men.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
    from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
    from the strife of tongues.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Blessed be the LORD whose wondrous mercy
    he has shown me in a fortified city. 
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Once I said in my anguish,
    “I am cut off from your sight”;
Yet you heard the sound of my pleading
    when I cried out to you.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
    The LORD keeps those who are constant,
    but more than requites those who act proudly.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Alleluia – Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – Mk 5:1-20

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”
(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)
He asked him, “What is your name?”

He  replied, “Legion is my name.  There are many of us.”
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him,
“Send us into the swine.  Let us enter them.”
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them 
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Leave a comment