friday 31 JANUARY 2020
St. John Bosco, Priest (1815 – 1888)
He was born in Piedmont of a peasant family, and he was brought up by his widowed mother. He became a priest, and his particular concern was for the young.
Entrance Antiphon Cf. Ps 131: 9
Your priests, O Lord, shall be clothed with justice; your holy ones shall ring out their joy.
O God, who raised up the Priest, St. John Bosco, as a father and teacher of the young, grant, we pray, that, aflame with the same fire of love, we may seek out souls and serve you alone. 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 : 2 Samuel 11:1-4,5-10,13-17
At the turn of the year, the time when kings go campaigning, David sent Joab and with him his own guards and the whole of Israel. They massacred the Ammonites and laid siege to Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. It happened towards evening when David had risen from his couch and was strolling on the palace roof, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David made inquiries about this woman and was told, ‘Why, that is Bathsheba, Eliam’s daughter, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers and had her brought. She came to him, and he slept with her. She then went home again. The woman conceived and sent word to David; ‘I am with child.’ Then David sent Joab a message, ‘Send me Uriah the Hittite’, whereupon Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came into his presence, David asked after Joab and the army and how the war was going. David then said to Uriah, ‘Go down to your house and enjoy yourself. Uriah left the palace, and was followed by a present from the king’s table. Uriah however slept by the palace door with his master’s bodyguard and did not go down to his house. This was reported to David; ‘Uriah’ they said ‘did not go down to his house.’ The next day David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk. In the evening Uriah went out and lay on his couch with his master’s bodyguard, but he did not go down to his house. Next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. In the letter he wrote, ‘Station Uriah in the thick of the fight and then fall back behind him so that he may be struck down and die.’ Joab, then besieging the town, posted Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce fighters. The men of the town sallied out and engaged Joab; the army suffered casualties, including some of David’s bodyguard; and Uriah the Hittite was killed too.
R/ Have mercy on us, Lord, for we have sinned.
- Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
- My offences truly I know them; my sin is always before me Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done.
- That you may be justified when you give sentence and be without reproach when you judge, O see, in guilt I was born, a sinner was I conceived.
- Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may thrill. From my sins turn away your face and blot out all my guilt.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps118:27
Alleluia, alleluia! Make me grasp the way of your precepts, and I will muse on your wonders. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’ He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’ Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we pray, the offerings placed on your altar in commemoration of St. John Bosco, so that, as you brought him glory, you may, through these sacred mysteries, grant to us your pardon. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon Cf. Mt 24: 46-47
Blessed is the servant whom the Lord finds watching when he comes. Amen I say to you: He will put that servant in charge of all his property.
Prayer after Communion
May partaking at the heavenly table, almighty God, confirm and increase strength from on high in all who celebrate the feast day of St. John Bosco, that we may preserve in integrity the gift of faith, and walk in the path of salvation you trace for us. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus speaks of the seed being planted and sprouting without further care, and He implies that this is how it is with us. We know that there is much more involved. Even if the farmer does not understand exactly how and why a plant grows, he does know that he needs to do more than simply throw the seed onto the ground. A farmer chooses his land and clears it, maybe fences it to keep out browsing animals. God has chosen us, has placed us in a Christian family, and has given us the rudiments of the faith. We must grow and be shelters for all the children of God.