Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)
He was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Sir 45: 30
Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation!
O God, who never allow the gates of hell to prevail against your Church, firmly founded on the apostolic rock, grant her, we pray, that through the intercession of Pope Saint Leo, she may stand firm in your truth and know the protection of lasting peace. 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: Philippians 4:10-19
It is a great joy to me, in the Lord, that at last you have shown some concern for me again; though of course you were concerned before, and only lacked an opportunity. I am not talking about shortage of money: I have learnt to manage on whatever I have, I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships. In the early days of the Good News, as you people of Philippi well know, when I left Macedonia, no other Church helped me with gifts of money. You were the only ones; and twice since my stay in Thessalonika you have sent me what I needed. It is not your gift that I value; what is valuable to me is the interest that is mounting up in your account. Now for the time being I have everything that I need and more: I am fully provided now that I have received from Epaphroditus the offering that you sent, a sweet fragrance – the sacrifice that God accepts and finds pleasing. In return my God will fulfil all your needs, in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can.
R/ Happy the man who fears the Lord.
- Happy the man who fears the Lord, who takes delight in all his commands. His sons will be powerful on earth; the children of the upright are blessed.
- The good man takes pity and lends, he conducts his affairs with honour. The just man will never waver: he will be remembered for ever.
- With a steadfast heart he will not fear. Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm for ever. His head will be raised in glory.
Gospel Acclamation : cf.Ac16:14
Alleluia, alleluia! Open our heart, O Lord, to accept the words of your Son. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 16:9-15
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win your friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own? ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’ The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him. He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Through the offerings made here, we pray, O Lord, graciously shed light on your Church, so that your flock may everywhere prosper and that under your governance the shepherds may become pleasing to your name. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Mt 16: 16,18
Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus replied: You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.
Prayer after Communion
Be pleased, O Lord, we pray, to govern the Church you have nourished by this holy meal, so that, firmly directed, she may enjoy ever greater freedom and persevere in integrity of religion. Through Christ our Lord.
In our day-to-day living, we notice that money plays a very important role in our success. In the first reading, St. Paul thanks the Philippians for money sent to him. He is even happier when he recognises the love with which the Philippians send their offering. Having learnt to be contented with little as well as with much, Paul is fully detached from money. From the readings of today, we learn that money is there to facilitate our relationship with God and with one another. We do not worship money, but we use it to worship in God and assist our brothers and sisters in a way that is worthy and respectful.