St Cyril of Jerusalem (315 – 386)
He was born in 315 and became bishop of Jerusalem in 348. He was active during the Arian controversy. He is respected by both the Catholics and the Orthodox, and he was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Pope in 1883.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 25: 11-12
Redeem me, O Lord, and have mercy on me. My foot stands on level ground; I will bless the Lord in the assembly.
O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies for the healing of our souls, enable us, we pray, to abstain from all sins, and strengthen our hearts to carry out your loving commands. 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: Daniel 9:4-10
O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.
Psalm 78 (79):8-9, 11, 13
R/ Do not treat us according to our sins, O Lord.
1)Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us. Let your compassion hasten to meet us; we are left in the depths of distress.
2) God our saviour, come to our help. Come for the sake of the glory of your name. O Lord our God, forgive us our sins; rescue us for the sake of your name.
3) Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; let your strong arm reprieve those condemned to die. But we, your people, the flock of your pasture, will give you thanks for ever and ever. We will tell your praise from age to age.
Gospel Acclamation; Jn 6:63, 68
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower; whoever finds this seed will remain for ever. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Gospel Luke: 6:36-38
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept in your goodness these our prayers, O Lord, and set free from worldly attractions those you allow to serve the heavenly mysteries. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lk. 6: 36
Be merciful, as your Father is merciful, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
May this Communion, O Lord, cleanse us of wrongdoing and make us heirs to the joy of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Confirm the hearts of your faithful, O Lord, we pray, and strengthen them by the power of your grace, that they may be constant in making supplication to you and sincere in love for one another. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
We all have different models, that is, religious or civil figures we admire because of their outstanding behaviour. But when it comes to being compassionate towards others, God is the model per excellence, and his compassionate nature and character was shown when he gave his son to expiate our sins. This same Son teaches about the need not only to be compassionate but also to avoid being judgmental towards others. To be judgmental is a human habit and weakness, but today Jesus is encouraging us to replace this habit and weakness with compassion and generosity.