saturday 18 JANUARY 2020
He was bishop of Tours in France. A senator at Tours, he was initially married, supposedly to a most unpleasant wife. Named bishop of the city in 488, he was forced to leave the see in 496 by the Arian Visigoths, and went to Spain. He died perhaps in Toulouse, or in Spain, possibly as a martyr.
Upon a lofty throne, I saw a man seated, whom a host of angels adore, singing in unison: Behold him, the name of whose empire is eternal.
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen. 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 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19,10:1
Among the men of Benjamin there was a man named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah; a Benjaminite and a man of rank. He had a son named Saul, a handsome man in the prime of life. Of all the Israelites there was no one more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders taller than the rest of the people. Now some of the she-donkeys of Saul’s father Kish had strayed, so Kish said to Saul, ‘My son, take one of the servants with you and be off; go and look for the she-donkeys.’ They passed through the highlands of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but did not find them; they passed through the land of Shaalim, they were not there; they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them. When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, ‘That is the man of whom I told you; he shall rule my people.’ Saul accosted Samuel in the gateway and said, ‘Tell me, please, where the seer’s house is?’ Samuel replied to Saul, ‘I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place. You are to eat with me today. In the morning I shall take leave of you and tell you all that is in your heart. Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head; then he kissed him, saying, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you prince over his people Israel? You are the man who must rule the Lord’s people, and who must save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them.’
R/ O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.
- O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king; how your saving help makes him glad! You have granted him his heart’s desire; you have not refused the prayer of his lips.
- You came to meet him with the blessings of success, you have set on his head a crown of pure gold He asked you for life and this you have given, days that will last from age to age.
- Your saving help has given him glory. You have laid upon him majesty and splendour, you have granted your blessings to him forever. You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.
Gospel Acclamation Ps 118:36,29
Alleluia, alleluia! Bend my heart to your will, O Lord, and teach me your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 2:13-17
Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him. When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May your people’s oblation, O Lord, find favour with you, we pray, that it may restore them to holiness and obtain what they devoutly entreat. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 22: 5
With you, O Lord, is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.
Prayer after Communion
Humbly we ask you, almighty God, be graciously pleased to grant that those you renew with your Sacraments may also serve with lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
The choice of Saul as leader of Israel was not by accident. It was God’s response to the plea of the people of Israel. It was God who chose Saul as King. Saul is described as being outwardly more handsome and taller than any other Israelite. But behind his outward beauty lay character. God gave Saul ‘power’ to govern his people. How was Saul going to use this power? Time would tell. It is only God who knows why he chose Saul. His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. That is why when we pray that God may give us a leader in any sphere of life, we must trust that it is ultimately God who is in control. For his own divine purposes, he chooses certain persons to occupy certain positions in life.