MONDAY 21 JANUARY 2019

SAINT AGNES, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

As with so many of the early Roman martyrs, very little is now known about Agnes’ life. Agnes was filled with the love of God from an early age, vowed herself to celibacy, and when the opportunity of martyrdom arose, she did not hide away but stepped forward and took it.

Red

Entrance Antiphon

Behold, now she follows the Lamb who was crucified for us, powerful in virginity, modesty her offering, a sacrifice on the altar of chastity.

 

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, who choose what is weak in the world to confound the strong, mercifully grant, that we, who celebrate the heavenly birthday of your Martyr Saint Agnes, may follow her constancy in the faith. 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: Hebrews 5:1-10

Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.

 

Psalm 109 (110) :1-4

R/ You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.

 

1.The Lord’s revelation to my Master: ‘Sit on my right: your foes I will put beneath your feet.’

 

2.The Lord will wield from Zion your sceptre of power: rule in the midst of all your foes.

 

3.A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains; from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

 

4.The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change. ‘You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.’

 

Gospel Acclamation : cf. 1 Th 2:13

Alleluia, alleluia!Accept God’s message for what it really is: God’s message, and not some human thinking. Alleluia!

 

Gospel : Mark 2:18-22

One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

 

Prayer over the Offerings

May the offerings we bring in celebration of saint Agnes win your gracious acceptance, O Lord, we pray, just as the struggle of her suffering and passion was pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion Antiphon : Rv 7: 17

The Lamb who is at the center of the throne will lead them to the springs of the waters of life.

 

Prayer after Communion

O God, who bestowed on saint Agnes a crown among the Saints for her twofold triumph of virginity and martyrdom, grant, we pray, through the power of this Sacrament, that, bravely overcoming every evil, we may attain the glory of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

 

 

Meditation

Christianity is a religion of joy. We Christians should be joyful people, because we have been saved from sin and death and made children of God. We therefore have no reason to be sad. We are united to God through Jesus; why then should we be sad? This is why Jesus says that the guests at a wedding feast do not fast when the groom is with them. Jesus, our groom is with us! But our groom is no longer physically present with us in this world. He has been taken away from us; he is with us in spirit, not in the body. We long for the day when he will come again and we will be united to him forever. For this reason, during our earthly lives we fast. Our fasting and other acts of piety should therefore take on a new meaning; they should help us to overcome all that separate us from God and make us love our neighbour more and more. They should take us closer to Jesus and hasten the coming of his kingdom, so that when he comes again our happiness will be complete.

Vous pouvez aussi aimer