saturday 28 March 2020
St. Venturino of Bergamo
He was a Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. He is also known for helping to organize a crusade, at the behest of Pope Clement VI against the Turks who were then menacing Europe.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 17: 5, 7
The waves of death rose about me; the pains of the netherworld surrounded me. In my anguish I called to the Lord, and from his holy temple he heard my voice.
May the working of your mercy, O Lord, we pray, direct our hearts aright, for without your grace we cannot find favour in your sight. 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: Jeremiah 11:18-20
The Lord revealed it to me; I was warned. O Lord, that was when you opened my eyes to their scheming. I for my part was like a trustful lamb being led to the slaughter-house, not knowing the schemes they were plotting against me, ‘Let us destroy the tree in its strength, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten!’ But you, the Lord of Hosts, who pronounce a just sentence, who probe the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.
R/ Lord God, I take refuge in you.
- Lord God, I take refuge in you. From my pursuer save me and rescue me, lest he tear me to pieces like a lion and drag me off with no one to rescue me.
- Give judgement for me, Lord; I am just and innocent of heart. Put an end to the evil of the wicked! Make the just stand firm, you who test mind and heart, O just God!
- God is the shield that protects me, who saves the upright of heart. God is a just judge slow to anger; but he threatens the wicked every day.
Gospel Acclamation: Ezk 33:11
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! 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. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Gospel: John 7:40-52
Several people who had been listening to Jesus said, ‘Surely he must be the prophet’, and some said, ‘He is the Christ’, but others said, ‘Would the Christ be from Galilee? Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem?’ So the people could not agree about him. Some would have liked to arrest him, but no one actually laid hands on him. The police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The police replied, ‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.’ ‘So’ the Pharisees answered ‘you have been led astray as well? Have any of the authorities believed in him? Any of the Pharisees? This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned.’ One of them, Nicodemus – the same man who had come to Jesus earlier – said to them, ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’ To this they answered, ‘Are you a Galilean too? Go into the matter, and see for yourself: prophets do not come out of Galilee.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, we pray, with these oblations you receive from our hands, and, even when our wills are defiant, constrain them mercifully to turn to you.
Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 1 Pt 1: 18-19
By the precious Blood of Christ, the Blood of a spotless and unblemished Lamb, we have been redeemed.
Prayer after Communion
May your holy gifts purify us, O Lord, we pray, and by their working render us fully pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
We see a practical manifestation of how God chooses the weak to shame the strong. In a funny turn of events, the police sent to enforce the law came back to proclaim the glory of God to the Pharisees who in their spiritual blindness and jealousy have failed to acknowledge. In their desperation to stop Jesus from doing good, they have seen a rising number of people teaching and revealing to them the divinity and messianic nature of Jesus. No matter how persecutors try to stop the word of God from being proclaimed, they end up convincing more people of what they seek to cover up. We should stand strong in the midst of temptations and persecution, so that the glory of God may be revealed through our strength.