tuesday 02 June 2020
Sts Marcellinus and Peter (304), Martyrs
The exorcist Peter succeeded in converting his jailer and his family. All were baptized by St. Marcellinus. Both were beheaded in 304.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 24: 16, 18
Turn to me and have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my lowliness and suffering and take away all my sins, my God.
O God, whose providence never fails in its design, keep from us, we humbly beseech you, all that might harm us and grant all that works for our good. 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 Peter 3:11-15,17-18
You should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace. Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved. You have been warned about this, my friends; be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled people, from the firm ground that you are standing on. Instead, go on growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, in time and in eternity. Amen.
Psalm 89(90):2-4, 10, 14, 16
R/ O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.
- Before the mountains were born or the earth or the world brought forth, you are God, without beginning or end.
- You turn men back to dust and say: ‘Go back, sons of men.’ To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, no more than a watch in the night.
- Our span is seventy years, or eighty for those who are strong. And most of these are emptiness and pain. They pass swiftly and we are gone.
- In the morning, fill us with your love; we shall exult and rejoice all our days. Show forth your work to your servants; let your glory shine on their children.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb 4:12
Alleluia, alleluia! The word of God is something alive and active: it can judge secret emotions and thoughts. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 12:13-17
The chief priests and the scribes and the elders sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’ Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him. Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This reply took them completely by surprise.
Prayer over the Offerings
Trusting in your compassion, O Lord, we come eagerly with our offerings to your sacred altar, that, through the purifying action of your grace, we may be cleansed by the very mysteries we serve. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 16: 6
To you I call, for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Prayer after Communion
Govern by your Spirit, we pray, O Lord, those you feed with the Body and Blood of your Son, that, professing you not just in word or in speech, but also in works and in truth, we may merit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
The confrontation between Jesus and the authorities continues in today’s Gospel. They are determined to do everything in their power to discredit Jesus and set a trap for him. In the passage which we read yesterday, Jesus denounced priests and scribes in the parable of the vineyard. Two groups which have been enemies, the Pharisees and Herodians, get together to set a trap for Jesus in order to condemn him. The question concerning the paying of taxes was a tricky one and it was a topic that divided public opinion. A “Yes” would mean complicity with the Romans, and by saying “NO” he could be accused of being subversive to the authority of the Romans. This looked more like a dead end, but Jesus saw their hypocrisy. Jesus gives a direct and simple answer; they already did business using Caesar’s coin but what was lacking was the second part, “give to God what belongs to God”. To God belongs all honour and glory. In God there is justice and peace and no room for hypocrisy.