St. Michael de Sanctis
He was born in Catalonia, Spain around 1591. He is noted in the Roman Martyrology as being “remarkable for innocence of life, wonderful penitence, and love for God.”
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 17: 48-49
My deliverer from angry nations, you set me above my assailants; you saved me from the violent man, O Lord.
Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion a gracious hearing when they cry out to you. 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 3:14-20,24-25,28
King Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have erected? When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you must be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace; and where is the god who could save you from my power?’ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question hardly requires an answer: if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, O king, he will save us; and even if he does not, then you must know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have erected.’ These words infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was very different now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual, and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’ Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue the servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’
Psalm Daniel 3:52-56
1. You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.
R/ To you glory and praise for evermore.
2. Blest your glorious holy name.
3. You are blest in the temple of your glory.
4. You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.
5. You are blest who gaze into the depths.
6. You are blest in the firmament of heaven.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt 4:4
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Gospel: John 8:31-42
To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: ‘If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free.’ They answered, ‘We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, everyone who commits sin is a slave. Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured, but the son’s place is assured. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descended from Abraham; but in spite of that you want to kill me because nothing I say has penetrated into you. What I, for my part, speak of is what I have seen with my Father; but you, you put into action the lessons learnt from your father.’ They repeated, ‘Our father is Abraham.’ Jesus said to them: ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did. As it is, you want to kill me when I tell you the truth as I have learnt it from God; that is not what Abraham did. What you are doing is what your father does.’ ‘We were not born of prostitution,’ they went on ‘we have one father: God.’ Jesus answered: ‘If God were your father, you would love me, since I have come here from God; yes, I have come from him; not that I came because I chose, no, I was sent, and by him.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive back, O Lord, these sacrificial offerings, which you have given to be offered to the honour of your name, and grant that they may become remedies for our healing. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Col 1: 13-14
God has brought us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption through his Blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Prayer after Communion
May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, bring us heavenly medicine, that they may purge all evil from our heart and strengthen us with eternal protection. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Attend, almighty God, to the prayers of your people, and, as you endow them with confident hope in your compassion, let them feel as ever the effects of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus’ dialogue with the Jewish crowd revolves around the unique sonship of Abraham’s sons. Jesus tells them that their identity as descendants of Abraham only has meaning if they acknowledge the truth about God’s message, and this truth lies in Jesus. Each one of us is called to know the truth about the Son of Man. Knowing the truth about Jesus brings liberation from ignorance and sin, because lies imprison man and make him a disciple of Evil. Let us take the side of truth and trust like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who refuse to disobey the Lord’s prescriptions. Remaining faithful to the truth leads us to a life that does not end.