ST OSWALD (D. 992)
In 972 he became Archbishop of York. He had a special love of the poor; in Lent he would wash the feet of twelve poor men every day. He died at Worcester on 28 February 992.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 12: 6
O Lord, I trust in your merciful love. My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord who has been bountiful with me.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, always pondering spiritual things, we may carry out in both word and deed that which is pleasing to you. 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: Ecclesiasticus 5:1-8
Do not give your heart to your money, or say, ‘With this I am self-sufficient.’ Do not be led by your appetites and energy to follow the passions of your heart. And do not say, ‘Who has authority over me?’ for the Lord will certainly be avenged on you. Do not say, ‘I sinned, and what happened to me?’ for the Lord’s forbearance is long. Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin. And do not say, ‘His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins’; for with him are both mercy and wrath, and his rage bears heavy on sinners. Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, and at the time of vengeance you will be utterly destroyed. Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster.
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
R) Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
1)Happy indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked; nor lingers in the way of sinners nor sits in the company of scorners, but whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders his law day and night.
2) He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves shall never fade; and all that he does shall prosper.
3) Not so are the wicked, not so! For they like winnowed chaff shall be driven away by the wind. for the Lord guards the way of the just but the way of the wicked leads to doom.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Lk 8:15
Alleluia, alleluia!Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart, take the word of God to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 9:41-50
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward. ‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you season it again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’
Prayer over the Offerings
As we celebrate your mysteries, O Lord, with the observance that is your due, we humbly ask you, that what we offer to the honour of your majesty may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 9: 2-3
I will recount all your wonders, I will rejoice in you and be glad, and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we may experience the effects of the salvation which is pledged to us by these mysteries. Through Christ our Lord.
On scandals. The Lord speaks strongly against scandal. He says: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin [whoever “scandalises” them], it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” The “inconsistent Christian” does great harm to the Church. The life of a Christian is found on the way of consistency, and so we have to steer clear of the temptation to be inconsistent. Inconsistency can cause great scandal, and scandal kills! Today’s readings help us to pray for Christian consistency, in order that we may act, feel and think as Christians. We need to pray in order to live a consistent Christian life, for Christian consistency is a gift of God. It is a gift we should strive to ask for, saying: “Lord, may I be consistent! Lord, may I never cause scandal! May I be a person who thinks like a Christian, who feels like a Christian, who acts like a Christian!.” This is a prayer for all of us today; we need to be consistent!