Tuesday 31 December 2019
Pope St Sylvester I (d. 335)
He was made Pope in 314 and ruled the Church during the reign of the newly-converted Emperor Constantine. His life has been so accredited with pious legends that very little else is known about him for certain, but his reign as Pope is the eighth longest on record.
Entrance Antiphon: Is 9: 5
A child is born for us, and a son is given to us; his sceptre of power rests upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Messenger of great counsel.
Almighty ever-living God, who in the Nativity of your Son established the beginning and fulfillment of all religion, grant, we pray, that we may be numbered among those who belong to him, in whom is the fullness of human salvation. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 John 2:18-21
Children, these are the last days; you were told that an Antichrist must come, and now several antichrists have already appeared; we know from this that these are the last days. Those rivals of Christ came out of our own number, but they had never really belonged; if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us; but they left us, to prove that not one of them ever belonged to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received the knowledge. It is not because you do not know the truth that I am writing to you but rather because you know it already and know that no lie can come from the truth.
Psalm 95 (96):1-2, 11-13
R/ Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
1) sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the earth. O sing to the Lord, bless his name. Proclaim his help day by day,.
2) Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad, let the sea and all within it thunder praise, let the land and all it bears rejoice, all the trees of the wood shout for joy at the presence of the Lord for he comes, he comes to rule the earth..
3) With justice he will rule the world, he will judge the peoples with his truth.
Alleluia, alleluia! A hallowed day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, worship the Lord, for today a great light has shone down upon the earth. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 1:1-18+
In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower. A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light. The Word was the true light that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself. The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John appears as his witness. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me ranks before me because he existed before me.’ Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who give us the gift of true prayer and of peace, graciously grant that, through this offering, we may do fitting homage to your divine majesty and, by partaking of the sacred mystery, we may be faithfully united in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 1 Jn 4: 9
God sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.
Prayer after Communion
May your people, O Lord, whom you guide and sustain in many ways, experience, both now and in the future, the remedies which you bestow, that, with the needed solace of things that pass away, they may strive with ever deepened trust for things eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
Today, the last day of the year, is a good day to take stock of the year now ending and to make resolutions for the year about to begin. This is the right moment to reflect on our actions over the past year and see if we have been, like John the Baptist, a light to others, or have been a source of darkness for them. We ask God for pardon for whatever sin of commission or of omission we might have committed, especially our failure to love one another and to share what we received freely from God with the poor and the needy around us. Let us make good use of the graces God has in store for us during this new year. Whenever we meet challenges, may we turn them into victories by turning to God always and starting anew with a good confession. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.