thursday 25 June 2020
St. William of Vercelli (1085-1142)
Born in Vercelli Italy, he was brought up as an orphan and became a hermit. He attracted so many followers that a monastery was built. He founded monasteries throughout Naples, and died at the Guglielmo monastery near Nusco Italy.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 27: 8-9
The Lord is the strength of his people, a saving refuge for the one he has anointed. Save your people, Lord, and bless your heritage, and govern them forever.
Grant, O Lord, that we may always revere and love your holy name, for you never deprive of your guidance those you set firm on the foundation of your love. 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: 2 Kings 24:8-17
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan, from Jerusalem. He did what is displeasing to the Lord, just as his father had done. At that time the troops of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon himself came to attack the city while his troops were besieging it. Then Jehoiachin king of Judah surrendered to the king of Babylon, he, his mother, his officers, his nobles and his eunuchs, and the king of Babylon took them prisoner. This was in the eighth year of King Nebuchadnezzar. The latter carried off all the treasures of the Temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace, and broke up all the golden furnishings that Solomon king of Israel had made for the sanctuary of the Lord, as the Lord had foretold. He carried off all Jerusalem into exile, all the nobles and all the notables, ten thousand of these were exiled, with all the blacksmiths and metalworkers; only the poorest people in the country were left behind. He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, as also the king’s mother, his eunuchs and the nobility of the country; he made them all leave Jerusalem for exile in Babylon. All the men of distinction, seven thousand of them, the blacksmiths and metalworkers, one thousand of them, all of them men capable of bearing arms, were led into exile in Babylon by the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in succession to him, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
R/ Rescue us, O Lord, for the glory of your name.
- O God, the nations have invaded your land, they have profaned your holy temple. They have made Jerusalem a heap of ruins. They have handed over the bodies of your servants as food to feed the birds of heaven and the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
- They have poured out blood like water in Jerusalem; no one is left to bury the dead. We have become the taunt of our neighbours, the mockery and scorn of those who surround us. How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever; how long will your anger burn like fire?
- Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us. Let your compassion hasten to meet us; we are left in the depths of distress.
- O God our saviour, come to our help. Come for the sake of the glory of your name. O Lord our God, forgive us our sins; rescue us for the sake of your name.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb4:12
Alleluia, alleluia! The word of God is something alive and active: it can judge secret emotions and thoughts. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men! ‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’ Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, and not like their own scribes.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, the sacrifice of conciliation and praise and grant that, cleansed by its action, we may make offering of a heart pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 144: 15
The eyes of all look to you, Lord, and you give them their food in due season.
Prayer after Communion
Renewed and nourished by the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of your Son, we ask of your mercy, O Lord, that what we celebrate with constant devotion may be our sure pledge of redemption. Through Christ our Lord.
Today marks the last day of Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount and he spells out the essential quality of the true disciple. It is not enough just to say: “Lord, Lord…” A true disciple is someone who is totally united to God in heart, mind and soul. As we can remember, when someone in the crowd shouted, “happy the womb that bore you…” and Jesus replied: “Rather, blessed are those who listen to the word of God and put it into practice.” Jesus taught them with authority and not like the Pharisees. Jesus’ words made a deep impression on them because his words resulted from an experience of God and from his total dedication to do the will of the Father. The final part evokes the image of God as the rock as Psalm 18 says: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress…” Those who trust in God can be a rock for others on the journey through life amidst its trials and tribulations. Jesus builds his church on rock when he said to Peter, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church.” Those who listen to God’s voice, like in the first communities, become a living rock, they listen and practice the Word.