St. John Neumann,
This American saint was born in Bohemia in 1811. John was appointed bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. Fluent in many languages, he was dedicated to helping the poor and most abandoned. John died on January 5, 1860 at the age of 48.
Entrance Antiphon: Gal 4: 4-5
God sent his Son, born of a woman, so that we might receive adoption as children.
Almighty ever-living God, who were pleased to shine forth with new light through the coming of your Only Begotten Son, grant, we pray, that, just as he was pleased to share our bodily form through the child-bearing of the Virgin Mary, so we, too, may one day merit to become companions in his kingdom of grace. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading 1 John 3:11-21
This is the message as you heard it from the beginning: that we are to love one another; not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat; cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life. You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you; we have passed out of death and into life, and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers. If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them. This has taught us love –that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers. If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence, whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything. My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence.
Psalm 99 100:1-5
R/ Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
1. Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy.
2. Know that he, the Lord, is God. He made us, we belong to him, we are his people, the sheep of his flock.
3. Go within his gates, giving thanks. Enter his courts with songs of praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.
4. Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb 1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 1:43-51
After Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me.’ Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who give us the gift of true prayer and of peace, graciously grant that, through this offering, we may do fitting homage to your divine majesty and, by partaking of the sacred mystery, we may be faithfully united in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn. 1: 16
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Prayer after Communion
May your people, O Lord, whom you guide and sustain in many ways, experience, both now and in the future, the remedies which you bestow, that, with the needed solace of things that pass away, they may strive with ever deepened trust for things eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
After Andrew and Simon, Philip and Nathanael are the next to become followers of Jesus. They respond to Jesus’ invitation: “Follow me.” They are able to see in Jesus something that they do not see in others. After meeting Jesus, Andrew told his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah.” Philip realises that Jesus is the one Moses and the prophets wrote about. Nathanael recognises Jesus as the Son of God and the king of Israel. Jesus invites us, just as he invited them, to follow him. And following Jesus means taking on a new life, a life driven by love. When we hate, when we are jealous, when we exploit, we destroy our brothers, just like Cain killed his brother. However, when we love, when we show concern and sympathy, when we show mercy and seek justice, we give life, just as Jesus gave life to us. Let us become followers of Jesus; let us love one another.