friday 21 February 2020
St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor (1007 – 1072)
Born in Ravenna, he joined the hermitage of Fonte Avellana. He strongly promoted the religious life in many parts of Italy and the Popes in their efforts at reform. He died on 21 February 1072.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 30: 3-4
Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name.
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. 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 : James 2:14-24,26
Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead. This is the way to talk to people of that kind: ‘You say you have faith and I have good deeds; I will prove to you that I have faith by showing you my good deeds – now you prove to me that you have faith without any good deeds to show. You believe in the one God – that is creditable enough, but the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear. Do realise, you senseless man, that faith without good deeds is useless. You surely know that Abraham our father was justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar? There you see it: faith and deeds were working together; his faith became perfect by what he did. This is what scripture really means when it says: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was counted as making him justified; and that is why he was called ‘the friend of God.’ You see now that it is by doing something good, and not only by believing, that a man is justified. A body dies when it is separated from the spirit, and in the same way faith is dead if it is separated from good deeds.
Psalm 111 (112): 1-6
R/ Happy the man who takes delight in the commands of the Lord.
- Happy the man who fears the Lord, who takes delight in all his commands. His sons will be powerful on earth; the children of the upright are blessed.
- Riches and wealth are in his house; his justice stands firm for ever. He is a light in the darkness for the upright: he is generous, merciful and just.
- The good man takes pity and lends, he conducts his affairs with honour. The just man will never waver: he will be remembered for ever.
Gospel Acclamation : 1 Jn 2:5
Alleluia, alleluia! Whenever anyone obeys what Christ has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 8: 34-9:1
Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ And he said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May this oblation, O Lord, we pray, cleanse and renew us and may it become for those who do your will the source of eternal reward. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 77: 29-30
They ate and had their fill, and what they craved the Lord gave them; they were not disappointed in what they craved.
Prayer after Communion
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, so that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
In the first reading of today, Saint James stresses the link between faith and daily living. He says faith without works is dead. Many people go to church and pray on a daily basis, but they hardly to stop to find out what relationship there is between their going to church and prayer on the one hand and their thought, speech and action on the other hand. A person of faith is one who depends on God for guidance and protection. Such a person is open and docile enough to be led by God in his/her thought, speech and action. We pray today for the grace to allow our faith convictions to influence our day to day living.