Monday 30 December 2019
Martyr of Greece. She was a wealthy woman of Salonika, in Thessaly, who used her personal funds to aid the poor. A soldier accosted her in the street and tried to drag her to a pagan sacrifice. Anysia resisted and was killed when the soldier attacked her with his sword.
Entrance Antiphon: Wis 18: 14-15
When a profound silence covered all things and night was in the middle of its course, your all-powerful Word, O Lord, bounded from heaven’s royal throne.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the newness of the Nativity in the flesh of your Only Begotten Son may set us free, for ancient servitude holds us bound beneath the yoke of sin. 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: 1 John 2:12-17
I am writing to you, my own children, whose sins have already been forgiven through his name; I am writing to you, fathers, who have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning; I am writing to you, young men, who have already overcome the Evil One; I have written to you, children, because you already know the Father; I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning; I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and God’s word has made its home in you, and you have overcome the Evil One. You must not love this passing world or anything that is in the world. The love of the Father cannot be in any man who loves the world, because nothing the world has to offer – the sensual body, the lustful eye, pride in possessions – could ever come from the Father but only from the world; and the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains for ever.
Psalm 95 (96):7-10
R/ Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
1) Give the Lord, you families of peoples, give the Lord glory and power; give the Lord the glory of his name.
2) Bring an offering and enter his courts, worship the Lord in his temple. O earth, tremble before him.
3) Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’ The world he made firm in its place; he will judge the peoples in fairness.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb 1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia! At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 2:36-40
There was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem. When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive with favour, O Lord, we pray, the offerings of your people, that what they profess with devotion and faith may be theirs through these heavenly mysteries. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 1: 16
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who touch us through our partaking of your Sacrament, work, we pray, the effects of its power in our hearts, that we may be made fit to receive your gift through this very gift itself. Through Christ our Lord.
The birth of our Lord is revealed by three kinds of witnesses in three different ways. First, there are the shepherds, who are the first to hear of the birth of the Redeemer from the angel. Then there are the Three Wise men from the East, the Magi, who follow a star to Bethlehem; it is they who announce to an astonished king and his court the birth of the Messiah. Third, we have Simeon, the righteous and devout man, and the prophetess Anna, whom the Holy Spirit lead to the Lord. All these witnesses, no matter how insignificant their lives may seem in human eyes, become instruments the Holy Spirit uses to make Christ known to the world. In his plan of redemption God sometimes uses simple souls to do much good to mankind.