WEDNESDAY 01 APRIL 2020

Wednesday 01 April 2020

 

 

St Ceallach (1080 – 1129)

He became hereditary bishop of Armagh in 1105 and made many reforms; not least on his deathbed, when he abolished the hereditary principle by appointing St Malachy as his successor.

 

Violet

 

Entrance Antiphon: cf. Ps 17: 48-49

My deliverer from angry nations, you set me above my assailants; you saved me from the violent man, O Lord.

 

Collect

Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion a gracious hearing when they cry out 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: Daniel 3:14-20,24-25,28

King Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have erected? When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you must be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace; and where is the god who could save you from my power?’ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question hardly requires an answer: if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, O king, he will save us; and even if he does not, then you must know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have erected.’ These words infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was very different now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual, and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’ Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue the servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’

 

Canticle: Daniel 3:52-56

 

You are blest, Lord God of our fathers

To you glory and praise for evermore.

Blest your glorious holy name.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest in the temple of your glory.

To you glory and praise for evermore

You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest who gaze into the depths.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest in the firmament of heaven

 

 

Gospel Acclamation: Mt 4:4

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

 

Gospel: John 8:31-42

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: ‘If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free.’ They answered, ‘We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, everyone who commits sin is a slave. Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured, but the son’s place is assured. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descended from Abraham; but in spite of that you want to kill me because nothing I say has penetrated into you. What I, for my part, speak of is what I have seen with my Father; but you, you put into action the lessons learnt from your father.’ They repeated, ‘Our father is Abraham.’ Jesus said to them: ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do a Abraham did. As it is, you want to kill me when I tell you the truth as I have learnt it from God; that is not what Abraham did. What you are doing is what your father does.’ ‘We were not born of prostitution,’ they went on ‘we have one father: God.’ Jesus answered: ‘If God were your father, you would love me, since I have come here from God; yes, I have come from him; not that I came because I chose, no, I was sent, and by him.’

 

Prayer over the Offerings

Receive back, O Lord, these sacrificial offerings, which you have given to be offered to the honour of your name, and grant that they may become remedies for our healing.

 

Communion Antiphon: Col 1: 13-14

God has brought us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption through his Blood, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Prayer after Communion

May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, bring us heavenly medicine, that they may purge all evil from our heart and strengthen us with eternal protection. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Meditation

Dear brothers and sisters, today all over the world, we celebrate April Fool’s Day,  also called All Fools Day, an annual celebration when we are allowed to make practical jokes and deceive our friends from morning till midday. Although common to all countries, its origin is a source of great debate and it is not a public holiday in any country.  April Fool’s Day has been very popular since the 19th century. So, we watch out today so that no one fools us! In our First Reading, the King Nebuchadnezzer, known for his tyranny and unbending authority, is surprised that some young men dare to disobey his orders. But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were expressing their loyalty to Yahweh rather than to a human being. They were not scared by the threats of the King because they put their trust in God, who in the end vindicated them. Many of us know what is right to do, but we lack both the courage and trust in God to stand by the truth and defend it to the end. These three young men should act as role models for our youth today. In the midst of corruption, fear and godlessness, we find in these youngsters what we are called, as Christians, to do. We must be ready to face the ordeal if we are to become true witnesses of Christ. Many people will denounce Christ, as his own people did in the Gospel of today, but we must be ready to proclaim Him in and out of season, accepted or rejected. But we must be ready for the consequences of standing for Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

 

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