St. William of Bourges
He was Archbishop of Bourges from 1200 until 1209. He was given to a life of exercises of piety and to the acquisition of knowledge. Saint William was canonized on May 17, 1218.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 111: 4
A light has risen in the darkness for the upright of heart; the Lord is generous, merciful and just.
Grant, we ask, almighty God, that the Nativity of the Saviour of the world, made known by the guidance of a star, may be revealed ever more fully to our minds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 John 5:5-13
Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God: Jesus Christ who came by water and blood, not with water only, but with water and blood; with the Spirit as another witness – since the Spirit is the truth – so that there are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and all three of them agree. We accept the testimony of human witnesses, but God’s testimony is much greater, and this is God’s testimony, given as evidence for his Son. Everybody who believes in the Son of God has this testimony inside him; and anyone who will not believe God is making God out to be a liar, because he has not trusted the testimony God has given about his Son. This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son; anyone who has the Son has life, anyone who does not have the Son does not have life. I have written all this to you so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God may be sure that you have eternal life.
R/ O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
- O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! Zion, praise your God! He has strengthened the bars of your gates he has blessed the children within you.
- He established peace on your borders, he feeds you with finest wheat. He sends out his word to the earth and swiftly runs his command.
- He makes his word known to Jacob, to Israel his laws and decrees. He has not dealt thus with other nations; he has not taught them his decrees.
Gospel Acclamation: cf.1 Tim3:16
Alleluia, alleluia! Glory to you, O Christ, proclaimed to the pagans; glory to you, O Christ, believed in by the world. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 5:12-16
Jesus was in one of the towns when a man appeared, covered with leprosy. Seeing Jesus he fell on his face and implored him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once. He ordered him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your healing as Moses prescribed it, as evidence for them.’ His reputation continued to grow, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their sickness cured, but he would always go off to some place where he could be alone and pray.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive with favour, O Lord, we pray, the offerings of your people, that what they profess with devotion and faith may be theirs through these heavenly mysteries. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : 1 Jn 4: 9
By this the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who touch us through our partaking of your Sacrament, work, we pray, the effects of its power in our hearts, that we may be made fit to receive your gift through this very gift itself. Through Christ our Lord.
Leprosy was considered to be a sign of God’s punishment. A person infected by this disease was cut off from God’s people and had to stay away from other people (Lev 13: 45 – 46). Leprosy is thus a symbol of sin in our lives. Sin separates us from God and destroys our relationship with those around us. Jesus has the power to heal us of the leprosy of sin. He has come to give us God’s forgiveness and restore our union with him and with our brothers and sisters. St. John in the first reading, gives us three ways in which we receive the divine mercy which Jesus brings: through the water of baptism, which washes our sins away; through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice, which we receive in the Eucharist; and through the Spirit of God, who makes us a new creation and whom we receive in confirmation. Let us rediscover the saving power of Jesus in the sacraments.