Saint William of Eskilsoe
(1125 – 1203)
He was born in 1125 and was a French religious who willingly led a life with few comforts. He spent many hours in prayer and became a scholar of religious law. An account written after his death described him as “famous for his life and miracles.” He died in 1203.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 17: 5, 7
The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the netherworld surrounded me. In my anguish I called to the Lord, and from his holy temple he heard my voice.
May the working of your mercy, O Lord, we pray, direct our hearts aright, for without your grace we cannot find favour in your sight. 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: Jeremiah 11:18-20
The Lord revealed it to me; I was warned. O Lord, that was when you opened my eyes to their scheming. I for my part was like a trustful lamb being led to the slaughter-house, not knowing the schemes they were plotting against me, ‘Let us destroy the tree in its strength, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten!’ But you, the Lord of Hosts, who pronounce a just sentence, who probe the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.
Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12
R/ Lord God, I take refuge in you.
1) Lord God, I take refuge in you. From my pursuer save me and rescue me, lest he tear me to pieces like a lion and drag me off with no one to rescue me.
2) Give judgement for me, Lord; I am just and innocent of heart. Put an end to the evil of the wicked! Make the just stand firm, you who test mind and heart, O just God!
3) God is the shield that protects me, who saves the upright of heart. God is a just judge slow to anger; but he threatens the wicked every day.
Gospel Acclamation: Ezk 33:11
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! 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. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Gospel: John 7:40-52
Several people who had been listening to Jesus said, ‘Surely he must be the prophet’, and some said, ‘He is the Christ’, but others said, ‘Would the Christ be from Galilee? Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem?’ So the people could not agree about him. Some would have liked to arrest him, but no one actually laid hands on him. The police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The police replied, ‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.’ ‘So’ the Pharisees answered ‘you have been led astray as well? Have any of the authorities believed in him? Any of the Pharisees? This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned.’ One of them, Nicodemus – the same man who had come to Jesus earlier – said to them, ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’ To this they answered, ‘Are you a Galilean too? Go into the matter, and see for yourself: prophets do not come out of Galilee.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, we pray, with these oblations you receive from our hands, and, even when our wills are defiant, constrain them mercifully to turn to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. 1Pt 1: 18-19
By the precious Blood of Christ, the Blood of a spotless and unblemished Lamb, we have been redeemed.
Prayer after Communion
May your holy gifts purify us, O Lord, we pray, and by their working render us fully pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Look upon your people, O Lord, and, as they draw near to the coming festivities, bestow upon them abundance of heavenly grace, that, helped by the consolations of this world, they may be impelled more readily towards higher goods that cannot be seen. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
There is fierce confrontation between Jesus and the high priests and the Pharisees, who are full of hate. They want Jesus to die, although his popularity increases. Despite this, we notice the division among the leaders about the true identity of Jesus. Just like yesterday, there is still the fear of whether some of the leaders have accepted his teaching. The people are divided, as some say he is the Messiah while others say he is a bigot. The interpretations of the prophecies about him are as varied as the views about his personality. The elders are confused about whom he is and what to do with him. That confusion has not cleared until date. Many of us are still confused about what to do with Jesus in our lives. He says he stands at the door of our hearts knocking. Will you open today, or will you remain in this confusion and reject the Son of God?