THURSDAY 14 JANUARY

St. Athanasius (295 – 373)

Athanasius was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.

 

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Entrance Antiphon

Upon a lofty throne, I saw a man seated, whom a host of angels adore, singing in unison: Behold him, the name of whose empire is eternal.

 

Collect

Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen. 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 : Hebrews 3:7-14

The Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways! And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.

 

Psalm: 94(95):6-11

R/     that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

 

  1. Come in; let us bow and bend low; let us kneel before the God who made us: for he is our God and we the people who belong to his pasture, the flock that is led by his hand.
  2. O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in the desert when your fathers put me to the test; when they tried me, though they saw my work.
  3. For forty years I was wearied of these people and I said: “Their hearts are astray, these people do not know my ways.” Then I took an oath in my anger: “Never shall they enter my rest.”’

 

Gospel Acclamation Ps 118:88

Alleluia, alleluia! Because of your love give me life, and I will do your will. Alleluia!

 

Gospel : Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said, ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

 

Prayer over the Offerings

May your people’s oblation, O Lord, find favour with you, we pray, that it may restore them to holiness and obtain what they devoutly entreat. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Communion Antiphon  : Ps 35: 10

With you, O Lord, is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.

 

Prayer after Communion

Humbly we ask you, almighty God, be graciously pleased to grant that those you renew with your Sacraments may also serve with lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

Meditation

Weddings are joyful ceremonies. We do not go to weddings to fast. We go to celebrate the joy and the love uniting the bride and the bridegroom. In today’s Gospel, Jesus referred to himself as the bridegroom in a wedding celebration. So long as the celebration was on, the guests had no cause to fast. Jesus is not condemning or playing down on fasting. Fasting is a biblical discipline that can be defended from both the Old and the New Testament. Christ expected his disciples to fast (Mt 9:14-15) and issued instructions for how they should do so (Mt 6:16-18). Jesus wants those who fast to place its purpose in perspective or else he or she would miss the point. In the light of the new dispensation, old practices must be re-evaluated.

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