tuesday 16 June 2020
St Richard of Chichester (1197 – 1253)
Richard Wych was, born at Droitwich (then known as Wych) in about 1197. In 1252 the Pope appointed Richard to preach the Crusade. He died on 3rd April 1253. His body was brought back to Chichester, where he was immediately hailed as a saint.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 26: 7, 9
O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Saviour!
O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds. 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: 1 Kings 21:17-29
After the death of Naboth, the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it. You are to say this to him, “the Lord says this: You have committed murder; now you usurp as well. For this – and the Lord says this – in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.”’ Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me out, O my enemy!’ Elijah answered, ‘I have found you out. For your double dealing, and since you have done what is displeasing to the Lord, I will now bring disaster down on you; I will sweep away your descendants, and wipe out every male belonging to the family of Ahab, fettered or free in Israel. I will treat your House as I treated the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah, for provoking my anger and leading Israel into sin. (Against Jezebel the Lord spoke these words: The dogs will eat Jezebel in the Field of Jezreel.) Those of Ahab’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’ And indeed there never was anyone like Ahab for double dealing and for doing what is displeasing to the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the most abominable way, adhering to idols, just as the Amorites used to do whom the Lord had dispossessed for the sons of Israel. When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put sackcloth next his skin and fasted; he slept in the sackcloth; he walked with slow steps. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; I will bring the disaster down on his House in the days of his son.’
Psalm 50(51):3-6, 11, 16
R/ Have mercy on us, Lord, for we have sinned.
- Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
- My offences truly I know them; my sin is always before me Against you, you alone, have I sinned;what is evil in your sight I have done.
- From my sins turn away your face and blot out all my guilt. O rescue me, God, my helper, and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
Gospel Acclamation: 2 Co 5:19
Alleluia, alleluia! God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who in the offerings presented here provide for the twofold needs of human nature, nourishing us with food and renewing us with your Sacrament, grant, we pray, that the sustenance they provide may not fail us in body or in spirit. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 26: 4
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Prayer after Communion
As this reception of your Holy Communion, O Lord, foreshadows the union of the faithful in you, so may it bring about unity in your Church. Through Christ our Lord.
In today’s passage which is also based on the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus sets another higher level of observing the Law. He bases his teaching on love, which we can describe as “agape”, a selfless love which might not even be reciprocated and which reflects the love God himself has for humanity. Jesus showed on the cross the meaning of this true love, he forgave the same soldiers who tortured him and drilled heavy nails into his hands, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” The mentality of the time made it look so normal for people to hate their enemies and love those who loved them back. However, this makes no difference because even hardened criminals love those who love them. God lets rain fall on both the good and evil people. God’s love does not segregate or count on merits. The water that flowed from his side was full of love and was by far stronger than the hatred of those who accused him. He invites us there to be “perfect as your Father who is in heaven.”