Born in Ireland, Abban resided in Abingdon, England before the era of St. Patrick. Abban is part of the great panorama of early Irish Christians who served as models for European monasticism and faith.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 18: 8
The law of the Lord is perfect; it revives the soul. The decrees of the Lord are steadfast; they give wisdom to the simple.
Turn our hearts to you, eternal Father, and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary and carrying out works of charity, we may be dedicated to your worship. 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: Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. ‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’
Psalm 118 (119):1-2, 4-5, 7-8
R They are happy who follow God’s law!
1)They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law! They are happy who do his will, seeking him with all their hearts.
2) You have laid down your precepts to be obeyed with care. May my footsteps be firm to obey your statutes.
3) I will thank you with an upright heart as I learn your decrees. I will obey your statutes; do not forsake me.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Lk 8:15
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart, take the word of God to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May these blessed mysteries by which we are restored, O Lord, we pray, make us worthy of the gift they bestow. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt. 5: 48
Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Show unceasing favour, O Lord, to those you refresh with this divine mystery, and accompany with salutary consolations those you have imbued with heavenly teaching. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
May the blessing for which they have longed strengthen your faithful, O God, so that, never straying from your will, they may always rejoice in your benefits. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Torah states in the book of Leviticus, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself…” (19:18). This text urged the Israelites to love their fellow countrymen. This could mean that love is limited to only those within the community of worshipers. But Jesus extends this commandment beyond the boundaries of a particular community when he says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Just as we have Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) here in Africa, so we can have love or charity without frontiers, which goes beyond racial and ethnic frontiers. Jesus appeals for inclusive love which can be summarised by this saying: “To love only when it pays off, or to greet only our own kind, is to love as the world loves. But to love without limit, offering peace even to those who threaten and oppose us, is to love as God loves.”