St Raymond of Peñafort
(c.1175 – 1275)
Psalter Week II
St Raymond of Peñafort (c.1175 – 1275) was a Spanish Dominican friar in the 13th-century, who compiled a collection of canon laws that remained a major part of Church law until the 20th century. He is the patron saint of lawyers, especially canon lawyers.
A holy day has dawned upon us: Come, you nations, and adore the Lord, for a great light has come down upon the earth.
O God, whose eternal Word adorns the face of the heavens yet accepted from the Virgin Mary the frailty of our flesh, grant, we pray, that he who appeared among us as the splendour of truth may go forth in the fullness of power for the redemption of the world. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 John 3:22-4:6
Whatever we ask God, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments and live the kind of life that he wants. His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another as he told us to. Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him. We know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us. It is not every spirit, my dear people, that you can trust; test them, to see if they come from God, there are many false prophets, now, in the world. You can tell the spirits that come from God by this: every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus the Christ has come in the flesh is from God; but any spirit which will not say this of Jesus is not from God, but is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you were warned about. Well, now he is here, in the world. Children, you have already overcome these false prophets, because you are from God and you have in you one who is greater than anyone in this world; as for them, they are of the world, and so they speak the language of the world and the world listens to them. But we are children of God, and those who know God listen to us; those who are not of God refuse to listen to us. This is how we can tell the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.
R/ I will give you the nations for your heritage.
1. The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day. Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession.’
2. Now, O kings, understand, take warning, rulers of the earth; serve the Lord with awe and trembling, pay him your homage.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt4:16
Alleluia, alleluia!The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light; on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death a light has dawned. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17,23-25
Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled: ‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali! Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan, Galilee of the nations! The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light; on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death a light has dawned.’ From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people. His fame spread throughout Syria, and those who were suffering from diseases and painful complaints of one kind or another, the possessed, epileptics, the paralysed, were all brought to him, and he cured them. Large crowds followed him, coming from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea and Transjordania.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive our oblation, O Lord, by which is brought about a glorious exchange, that, by offering what you have given, we may merit to receive your very self. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon Jn. 1: 14
We have seen his glory, the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with grace and truth.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, by the power of these holy mysteries, our life may be constantly sustained. Through Christ our Lord.
Why did Jesus not begin his ministry in Nazareth, his hometown? Charity begins at home, we often say. But he left his hometown. Moreover, he went to begin his ministry in Galilee, which was a Gentile town. He left his family, he left the Jews who were his fellow people and who were convinced that they were the Chosen People, and he went to those whom the Jews despised and rejected. Herein lies an important lesson; Jesus’ message of conversion concerns our attitudes towards the people we meet. Jesus wants us to change the way we look at and relate to the people we meet. He is inviting us to stop paying attention only to the people we get along with, who belong to the same social or professional milieu as us. He wants us to leave these comfort zones and to reach out, like him, to those whom society rejects, to those we would rather avoid. He invites us to reach out to these people, so that through us they too can experience his light.