Blessed Agnello of Pissa
He was admitted into the Franciscan Order by St. Francis himself. His reputation for sanctity and prudence stood high amongst his fellows.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 24: 6, 2, 22
Remember your compassion, O Lord, and your merciful love, for they are from of old. Let not our enemies exult over us. Redeem us, O God of Israel, from all our distress.
Look kindly, Lord, we pray, on the devotion of your people, that those who by self-denial are restrained in body may by the fruit of good works be renewed in mind. 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: Jonah 3:1-10
The word of the Lord was addressed a second time to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.
Psalm 50 (51):3-4, 12-13, 18-19
R/ A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.
1)Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
2) A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
3) For in sacrifice you take no delight, burnt offering from me you would refuse, my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.
Gospel Acclamation: Ezk 33:11
Glory and praise to you, O Christ! I take pleasure, not in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – but in the turning back of a wicked man who changes his ways to win life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them: ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer to you, O Lord, what you have given to be dedicated to your name, that, just as for our benefit you make these gifts a Sacrament, so you may let them become for us an eternal remedy. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 5: 12
All who take refuge in you shall be glad, O Lord, and ever cry out their joy, and you shall dwell among them.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who never cease to nourish us by your Sacrament, grant that the refreshment you give us through it may bring us unending life. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Watch over your people, Lord, and in your kindness cleanse them from all sins, for if evil has no dominion over them, no trial can do them harm. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
When you watch different television channels today, you marvel at the multitude of broadcasted incidents which seem to be miraculous signs of deliverance and healings. The desire for miraculous signs has prompted many Catholics to leave the Church to go to those assemblies where such signs are performed. This is indeed “the wicked generation” of Christians – Catholics. We have to be aware that Jesus performed miracles because he is compassionate, and not to compel faith in him. In fact Jonah himself did not perform miracles, but he preached the Word of God and the people were compelled to repent. We do not go to Church mainly for miraculous signs, but to listen to the Word of God and be transformed in the process.