ST CATHERINE OF SIENA (1347 – 1380)
Born in Siena, she entered Third Order of the Dominicans. She is remembered for her burning love of God and neighbour and contributions to doctrine. In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.
Here is a wise virgin, from among the number of the prudent, who went forth with lighted lamp to meet Christ, alleluia.
O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love in her contemplation of the Lord’s Passion and her service of your Church, grant, through her intercession, that your people, participating in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of his glory. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Acts 4:23-31
As soon as Peter and John were released they went to the community and told them everything the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard it they lifted up their voice to God all together. ‘Master,’ they prayed ‘it is you who made heaven and earth and sea, and everything in them; you it is who said through the Holy Spirit and speaking through our ancestor David, your servant: Why this arrogance among the nations, these futile plots among the peoples? Kings on earth setting out to war, princes making an alliance, against the Lord and against his Anointed. ‘This is what has come true: in this very city Herod and Pontius Pilate made an alliance with the pagan nations and the peoples of Israel, against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, but only to bring about the very thing that you in your strength and your wisdom had predetermined should happen. And now, Lord, take note of their threats and help your servants to proclaim your message with all boldness, by stretching out your hand to heal and to work miracles and marvels through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly.
R) Blessed are they who put their trust in God.
1) Why this tumult among nations, among peoples this useless murmuring? They arise, the kings of the earth, princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed. ‘Come, let us break their fetters, come, let us cast off their yoke.’
2) He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn. Then he will speak in his anger, his rage will strike them with terror. ‘It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’
3) I will announce the decree of the Lord: The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day. Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession. With a rod of iron you will break them, shatter them like a potter’s jar.’
Gospel Acclamation: Col 3:1
Alleluia, alleluia! Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 3:1-8
There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew, who came to Jesus by night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.’ Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said, ‘How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’ Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God: what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, the saving sacrifice we offer in commemoration of Saint Catherine, so that, instructed by her teaching, we may give ever more fervent thanks to you, the one true God. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. 1 Jn 1: 7
If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
May the heavenly table at which we have been fed, O Lord, confer eternal life upon us, as even in this world it nourished the life of Saint Catherine. Through Christ our Lord.
It is at night, under cover of darkness, that Nicodemus decided to meet Jesus. He was a “master in Israel” who had seen all the signs Jesus was accomplishing. What he heard and saw from Jesus intrigued him, and he set out in search of the light of truth. But the words of Jesus amazed him: you must be born again, and accept the Spirit that brings new life. It means taking a new road without knowing where it leads – “no one knows where he is going”. It means beginning a new life of total trust in God. In our moments of doubt and perplexity, let us open up to the breath of the Spirit.