St. Adrian of Canterbury (d. 710)
Feeling called to the monastic life, Adrian left his native North Africa and joined the Benedictines in Italy. Renowned for his scholarship and holiness, he was elected abbot of his monastery and later nominated as archbishop of Canterbury. Out of humility he declined the appointment to archbishop, but volunteered to go to England as a missionary. He endured various trials and even imprisonment on his journey to Canterbury, since he was taken for a spy. Once in England, he was appointed abbot of the monastery of Sts Peter and Paul where he lived for 39 years, actively involved in preaching and education. He died in 710.
Entrance Antiphon : Gal 4: 4-5
God sent his Son, born of a woman, so that we might receive adoption as children.
Almighty ever-living God, who through your Only Begotten Son have made us a new creation for yourself, grant, we pray, that by your grace we may be found in the likeness of him, in whom our nature is united to you. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : 1 John 5:14-21
We are quite confident that if we ask the Son of God for anything, and it is in accordance with his will,
he will hear us; and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us, we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him. If anybody sees his brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner – not those who commit a deadly sin; for there is a sin that is death, and I will not say that you must pray about that. Every kind of wrong-doing is sin, but not all sin is deadly. We know that anyone who has been begotten by God does not sin, because the begotten Son of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him. We know that we belong to God, but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One. We know, too, that the Son of God has come, and has given us the power to know the true God.
We are in the true God, as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, this is eternal life. Children, be on your guard against false gods.
R/ The Lord takes delight in his people.
- Sing a new song to the Lord, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel rejoice in its Maker, let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
- Let them praise his name with dancing and make music with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people. He crowns the poor with salvation.
- Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, shout for joy and take their rest. Let the praise of God be on their lips: this honour is for all his faithful.
Gospel Acclamation Lk7:16
Alleluia, alleluia! A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people. Alleluia!
Gospel : John 3:22-30
Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised. At the same time John was baptising at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water, and people were going there to be baptised. This was before John had been put in prison. Now some of John’s disciples had opened a discussion with a Jew about purification, so they went to John and said, ‘Rabbi, the man who was with you on the far side of the Jordan, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptising now; and everyone is going to him.’ John replied: ‘A man can lay claim only to what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can bear me out: I said: I myself am not the Christ; I am the one who has been sent in front of him. The bride is only for the bridegroom; and yet the bridegroom’s friend, who stands there and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This same joy I feel, and now it is complete. He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who give us the gift of true prayer and of peace, graciously grant that, through this offering, we may do fitting homage to your divine majesty and, by partaking of the sacred mystery, we may be faithfully united in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Jn 1: 16
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Prayer after Communion
May your people, O Lord, whom you guide and sustain in many ways, experience, both now and in the future, the remedies which you bestow, that, with the needed solace of things that pass away, they may strive with ever deepened trust for things eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
The disciples of John bring a case against Jesus to him. For them, Jesus was becoming a rival, operating just as John did. In his humility, John reminds them of his testimony of the Christ, and tells of how he (John) must grow smaller, while Christ grows bigger. How humble are we when we hand over to others, be it in the public service or in the Church? Do we allow those who have taken over from us a free hand to do their work to the best of their ability? How humble are we when we take over from our predecessors? The humble words of John should be ours, “He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.”