friday 28 August 2020
St Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430)
He was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He had a brilliant legal and academic career. At length, through the prayers of his mother, and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity. He wrote an enormous number of works. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Boniface VIII in 1308.
Entrance Antiphon: Sir 15: 5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.
Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord, the spirit with which you endowed your Bishop Saint Augustine that, filled with the same spirit, we may thirst for you, the sole fount of true wisdom, and seek you, the author of heavenly 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: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Psalm 32(33):1-2, 4-5, 10-11
R/ The Lord fills the earth with his love.
- Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; for praise is fitting for loyal hearts. Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp, with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.
- For the word of the Lord is faithful and all his works to be trusted. The Lord loves justice and right and fills the earth with his love.
- He frustrates the designs of the nations, he defeats the plans of the peoples. His own designs shall stand for ever, the plans of his heart from age to age.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 129:5
Alleluia, alleluia! My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Celebrating the memorial of our salvation, we humbly beseech your mercy, O Lord, that this Sacrament of your loving kindness may be for us the sign of unity and the bond of charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 23: 10, 8
Thus says the Lord: You have but one teacher, the Christ, and you are all brothers.
Prayer after Communion
May partaking of Christ’s table sanctify us, we pray, O Lord, that, being made members of his Body, we may become what we have received. Through Christ our Lord.
Wedding ceremonies in the days of Jesus, took a longer period of celebration. It could even last for several days. It was also customary that the brides-maids waited for the groom. Sometimes too he would keep them waiting for longer hours, all in a bid to take the brides-maids by surprise. And so, Jesus uses this parable to tell us the shortness of our lives and how ready we should always be. Jesus’ coming will be in like manner. If the foolish virgins had known, they would have prepared whatever they needed for the groom’s coming and entered to enjoy the wedding with him. But see how they were taken unawares. Are we ready to meet the Christ now? What are we waiting to get prepared? Keep your ways and heats pure, so that death will not take us unawares and be not ready to enter the kingdom of God.