Saint Benignus, Martyr
Martyred in the city of Tomis or Tomois on the Black Sea, near the mouths of the Danube. His name is joined with that of a Saint Evagrius, and in some manuscripts with several others.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 68: 14
I pray to you, O Lord, for a time of your favour. In your great mercy, answer me, O God, with your salvation that never fails.
O God, who reward the merits of the just and offer pardon to sinners who do penance, have mercy, we pray, on those who call upon you, that the admission of our guilt may serve to obtain your pardon for our sins. 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: Isaiah 49:8-15
Thus says the Lord: At the favourable time I will answer you, on the day of salvation I will help you. (I have formed you and have appointed you as covenant of the people.) I will restore the land and assign you the estates that lie waste. I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out’, to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ On every roadway they will graze, and each bare height shall be their pasture. They will never hunger or thirst, scorching wind and sun shall never plague them; for he who pities them will lead them and guide them to springs of water. I will make a highway of all the mountains, and the high roads shall be banked up. Some are on their way from afar, others from the north and the west, others from the land of Sinim. Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth! You mountains, break into happy cries! For the Lord consoles his people and takes pity on those who are afflicted. For Zion was saying, ‘The Lord has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.’ Does a woman forget her baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son of her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you.
Psalm 144 (145):8-9, 13b-14, 17-18
R/ The Lord is kind and full of compassion.
1) The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love. How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.
2) The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. The Lord supports all who fall and raises all who are bowed down.
3) The Lord is just in all his ways and loving in all his deeds. He is close to all who call him, who call on him from their hearts.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 3:16
Glory and praise to you, O Christ! God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son: everyone who believes in him has eternal life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: John 5:17-30
Jesus said to the Jews, ‘My Father goes on working, and so do I.’ But that only made them even more intent on killing him, because, not content with breaking the sabbath, he spoke of God as his own Father, and so made himself God’s equal. To this accusation Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing: and whatever the Father does the Son does too. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does himself, and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you. Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses; for the Father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father. Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him. I tell you most solemnly, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgement he has passed from death to life. I tell you most solemnly, the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who hear it will live. For the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life; and, because he is the Son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge. Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice: those who did good will rise again to life; and those who did evil, to condemnation. I can do nothing by myself; I can only judge as I am told to judge, and my judging is just, because my aim is to do not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May the power of this sacrifice, O Lord, we pray, mercifully wipe away what is old in us, and increase in us grace of salvation and newness of life. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 3: 17
God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Prayer after Communion
May your heavenly gifts, O Lord, we pray, which you bestow as a heavenly remedy on your people, not bring judgement to those who receive them. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
May your servants be shielded, O Lord, by the protection of your loving-kindness, that, doing what is good in this world, they may reach you, their highest good. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In the gospel, Jesus expresses himself in the first person singular: “I”. This reminds us that Jesus himself is the centre of the mystery of salvation. In the shadow of the Holy Trinity, Jesus calls himself the Son of God and this annoys the Jews. It is a blasphemy for them and they do not tolerate it. The plot to kill Jesus for calling God his father is akin to the plot against the upright person of Wisdom 2:16. But how does calling God his father equate to making himself God’s equal? When he taught us to call God our Father, did that imply making ourselves equal to God? This filial relationship between God and humanity is a message that is yet to be understood. Calling God our Father means that we develop and maintain a close relationship with him. What is the nature of your relationship with God? Is God your Father?