friday 03 April 2020
Of English Nationality, Richard was former Chancellor of the University of Oxford who died in 1253. Although a great and towering academic, St Richard was known for his great simplicity and readiness to mix with the lowest of people. A hallmark of a truly educated person is his downright simplicity and humility, because the more we learn, the more we discover how much we do not yet know, and the humbler we should become. It is usually the “empty calabashes” which make the loudest noise.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 30: 10, 16, 18
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress. Deliver me from the hands of my enemies and those who pursue me. O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.
Pardon the offences of your peoples, we pray, O Lord, and in your goodness set us free from the bonds of the sins we have committed in our weakness. 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 20:10-13
Jeremiah said: I hear so many disparaging me, ‘“Terror from every side!” Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’ All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error. Then we will master him and take our revenge!’ But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero; my opponents will stumble, mastered, confounded by their failure; everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs. But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice, who scrutinise the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men.
R/ In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.
- I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my saviour. My God is the rock where I take refuge; my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold. The Lord is worthy of all praise, when I call I am saved from my foes.
- The waves of death rose about me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the snares of the grave entangled me; the traps of death confronted me.
- In my anguish I called to the Lord; I cried to God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 6:63, 68
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: John 10:31-42
The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’ Jesus answered: ‘Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected. Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because he says, “I am the son of God.” If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them. He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’; and many of them believed in him.
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, O merciful God, that we may be worthy to serve ever fittingly at your altars, and there to be saved by constant participation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 1 Pt 2: 24
Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the cross, so that dead to sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds we have been healed.
Prayer after Communion
May the unfailing protection of the sacrifice we have received never leave us, O Lord, and may it always drive far from us all that would do us harm. Through Christ our Lord.
In our First Reading today, the Prophet Jeremiah sent by God to proclaim the Gospel to a people who were headstrong and apparently unrepentant, is aware of the animosity around him,, but that does not hinder him from carrying out his mission. Once we are sure of our stand and have God on our side, there is little to fear. People may intimidate, threaten and frighten us, but we need courage to stand all the time for what is correct. Jesus spoke the truth and that resulted in the Jews wanting to stone him to death. But He did not cow out of standing for the truth and that which was good. This contradicts very much the attitude and spirit of convenience by which many of us live. We are ready to go along with whoever and whatever, as long as that will be convenient for us. A Christian does not act on convenience, he operates on basic moral values which inspire us to do good and avoid evil.