wednesday 04 March 2020
St. Casimir (1458 – 1484)
He was the second son of King Casimir IV of Poland. He assiduously cultivated the Christian virtues, especially chastity and generosity to the poor. He died of tuberculosis on 4 March 1484.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 24: 6, 2, 22
Remember your compassion, O Lord, and your merciful love, for they are from of old. Let not our enemies exult over us. Redeem us, O God of Israel, from all our distress.
Look kindly, Lord, we pray, on the devotion of your people, that those who by self-denial are restrained in body may by the fruit of good works be renewed in mind. 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: Jonah 3:1-10
The word of the Lord was addressed a second time to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.
Psalm 50(51): 3-4, 12-13,18-19
R/ A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.
- 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.
- A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
- For in sacrifice you take no delight, burnt offering from me you would refuse, my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.
Gospel Acclamation: Ezk33:11
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
I take pleasure, not in the death of a wicked man– it is the Lord who speaks –but in the turning back of a wicked man who changes his ways to win life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them: ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is some-thing greater than Jonah here.’
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer to you, O Lord, what you have given to be dedicated to your name, that, just as for our benefit you make these gifts a Sacrament, so you may let them become for us an eternal remedy. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 5: 12
All who take refuge in you shall be glad, O Lord, and ever cry out their joy, and you shall dwell among them.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who never cease to nourish us by your Sacrament, grant that the refreshment you give us through it may bring us unending life. Through Christ our Lord.
In the Gospel today, Jesus criticises his generation for looking for a sign. In effect, Jesus addresses them as “a wicked generation” to whom only the sign of Jonah will be given. Our own generation is not just looking for a sign, but we are looking for Jonah before we can accept the message of repentance. We look outside for God’s signs forgetting that we are these signs. God is ever showing us new reasons to believe and confirm our faith. The changing seasons and the wonders around us are enough reasons to believe. Have you ever imagined how the flowers were made, or the animals? Have you ever used the mirror to ask how God made each of us different? What more signs do we need to be convinced of God’s love?