friday 27 March 2020
St John of Egypt (304 – 394)
A hermit in a cave, he lived a very strict life of prayer and manual work. People visited him, since he was able to perform miracles, heal the sick and read people’s hearts. He died in 394, at the age of 90.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 53: 3-4
O God, save me by your name; by your power, defend my cause. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.
O God, who have prepared fitting helps for us in our weakness, grant, we pray, that we may receive their healing effects with joy and reflect them in a holy way of life. 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: Wisdom 2:1,12-22
The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning: ‘Our life is short and dreary, nor is there any relief when man’s end comes, nor is anyone known who can give release from Hades. Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our breaches of the law and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing. He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a son of the Lord. Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down; his way of life is not like other men’s, the paths he treads are unfamiliar. In his opinion we are counterfeit; he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth; he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as happy and boasts of having God for his father. Let us see if what he says is true, let us observe what kind of end he himself will have. If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies. Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his endurance to the proof. Let us condemn him to a shameful death since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’ This is the way they reason, but they are misled, their malice makes them blind. They do not know the hidden things of God, they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded, they can see no reward for blameless souls.
R/ The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.
- The Lord turns his face against the wicked to destroy their remembrance from the earth. They call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress.
- The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save. Many are the trials of the just man but from them all the Lord will rescue him.
- He will keep guard over all his bones, not one of his bones shall be broken. The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.
Gospel Acclamation: Joel 2:12-13
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks – come back to me with all your heart, for I am all tenderness and compassion. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: John 7:1-2,10,25-30
Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea, because the Jews were out to kill him. As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself. Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.’ Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out: ‘Yes, you know me and you know where I came from. Yet I have not come of myself: no, there is one who sent me and I really come from him, and you do not know him,
but I know him because I have come from him and it was he who sent me. They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.
Prayer over the Offerings
May this sacrifice, almighty God, cleanse us by its mighty power and lead us to approach its source with ever greater purity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Eph 1: 7
In Christ, we have redemption by his Blood, and forgiveness of our sins, in accord with the riches of his grace.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, as we pass from old to new, so, with former ways left behind, we may be renewed in holiness of mind. Through Christ our Lord.
Even though Jesus was facing growing pressure to deny the truth about His existence, he did not flinch a bit. He insisted on His divine mandate as messiah. Even while He knew that He was about to be arrested and prosecuted by the Jews, He still did not bother. We are faced today with growing denial of the Word of God. This comes mainly in the form of anti-Christian messages that seek to dismiss the message of Jesus as baseless and unrealistic. Christians are ashamed to even mention the name of Jesus since the world makes us believe it is offensive to call this Holy Name. Jesus while on earth was going about doing good, we should not be pressured to deny a good man because the world is tormented by His goodness.