November 3

St Martin de Porres (1579 – 1639)

He was born in Lima in Peru, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a black ex-slave. He entered the Dominican Order and spent his life working for the sick and the poor. He had a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. He has been named as a patron saint of those of mixed race.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 104: 3-4

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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 1:18-26

Christ is proclaimed; and that makes me happy; and I shall continue being happy, because I know this will help to save me, thanks to your prayers and to the help which will be given to me by the Spirit of Jesus. My one hope and trust is that I shall never have to admit defeat, but that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results-I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake. This weighs with me so much that I feel sure I shall survive and stay with you all, and help you to progress in the faith and even increase your joy in it; and so you will have another reason to give praise to Christ Jesus on my account when I am with you again.

Psalm 41:2-3,5

R/ My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.

  1. Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
  2. My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life; when can I enter and see the face of God?
  3. I would lead the rejoicing crowd into the house of God, amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving.

Gospel Acclamation: cf.Col3:16a,17

Alleluia, alleluia! Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you; through him give thanks to God the Father. Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 14:1,7-11

On a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 19: 6

We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.

Prayer after Communion

May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

Jesus advises that we take the lowest place at banquets to show a sense of humility. At the time of Jesus, seats may have been laid out per importance. Nowadays, seats are not only laid out per importance; they are effectively labelled, such that you may not go looking for the lowest place, with the hope of being asked later to move up higher. You just have to look for your own labelled seat or wait to be ushered to your proper seat. Looking for the lowest seat nowadays may entail chaos instead of humility. Whatever the case, the advice of Jesus invites us to show consideration and respect for others. We are reminded of the necessity to always put the other person first. Today, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican monk, who was well known for his vegetarian lifestyle, social work and healing powers, yet quite exemplary in humility