St Casimir (1458 – 1484)
He was the second son of King Casimir IV of Poland. He assiduously cultivated the Christian virtues, especially chastity and generosity to the poor. He died of tuberculosis on 4 March 1484.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 17: 19-20
The Lord became my protector. He brought me out to a place of freedom; he saved me because he delighted in me.
Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that the course of our world may be directed by your peaceful rule and that your Church may rejoice, untroubled in her devotion. 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 17:20-28
To those who repent, God permits return, and he encourages those who were losing hope. Return to the Lord and leave sin behind, plead before his face and lessen your offence. Come back to the Most High and turn away from iniquity, and hold in abhorrence all that is foul. Who will praise the Most High in Sheol, if the living do not do so by giving glory to him? To the dead, as to those who do not exist, praise is unknown, only those with life and health can praise the Lord. How great is the mercy of the Lord, his pardon on all those who turn towards him!
Psalm 31 (32):1-2, 5-7
R) Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you just!
1)Happy the man whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is remitted. O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile.
2) But now I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide. I said: ‘I will confess my offence to the Lord.’ And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.
3) So let every good man pray to you in the time of need. The floods of water may reach high but him they shall not reach.
4) You are my hiding place, O Lord; you save me from distress. You surround me with cries of deliverance.
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 10:17-27
Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who provide gifts to be offered to your name and count our oblations as signs of our desire to serve you with devotion, we ask of your mercy that what you grant as the source of merit may also help us to attain merit’s reward. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 12: 6
I will sing to the Lord who has been bountiful with me, sing psalms to the name of the Lord Most High.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by your saving gifts, we beseech your mercy, Lord, that by this same Sacrament with which you feed us in the present age, you may make us partakers of life eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
The unnamed man appears before Jesus with all respect and sincerity, wanting to know what a faithful, sincere and respectful Christian would want to know from Jesus: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He is confident that he has done everything that is required, since in his heart he knows that he has kept all the commandments; however, since he acknowledges Jesus as the “Good Master”, he wants his approval. Surprisingly, Jesus points out that keeping commandments is not enough for one to inherit eternal life. The conversation reaches an anticlimax instead of a climax, because the man can’t remove the only barrier that stands between him and eternal life: wealth. As Christians, we are often barred by things which do not matter much in our lives because we can’t differentiate between things we want and things we need.