saturday 06 June 2020
St Norbert (1080 – 1134)
He was born in Xanten, Germany.. After a period of worldly life, at the age of 35 he had a narrow escape from death and his life changed. He became a priest. He founded a religious Order after the rule of St. Augustine. He died in 1134.
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 Timothy 4:1-8
Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I put this duty to you, in the name of his Appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching. The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service. As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.
Psalm 70(71):8-9, 14-17, 22
R/ My lips will tell of your justice, O Lord.
- My lips are filled with your praise, with your glory all the day long. Do not reject me now that I am old; when my strength fails do not forsake me.
- But as for me, I will always hope and praise you more and more. My lips will tell of your justice and day by day of your help (though I can never tell it all).
- I will declare the Lord’s mighty deeds proclaiming your justice, yours alone. O God, you have taught me from my youth and I proclaim your wonders still.
- So I will give you thanks on the lyre for your faithful love, my God. To you will I sing with the harp, to you, the Holy One of Israel.
Gospel Acclamation: Lk 8:15
Alleluia, alleluia! Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart, take the word of God to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 12:38-44+
In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’ He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’
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.
At the time of Jesus, the scribes played a very important role in the society as lawyers and theologians and were the professional interpreters of the religious Law. Jesus was not criticizing all the scribes but the ones who led an ostentatious lifestyle, seeking social privileges and defrauding the vulnerable members of society who were mainly the poor, the widows and orphans. They let the importance of their role to go into their heads. What initially was meant for the upkeep of the temple and Levites who owned no land became a show of riches and power. Thus ostentatious generosity quickly became a means to gain prestige. The poor widow drew Jesus’ attention and he contrasted her generosity with the disposition of the rich who gave “out of their abundance”. There was a form of religious oppression involved as well because pressure was put even on those who could not afford it. The biggest givers give from the heart just as the widow did. Her generosity was outstanding.