November 4

St Charles Borromeo (1538 – 1584)

Charles Borromeo was a leading figure of the Catholic Reformation. He worked on the catechism, the Missal and the Breviary, and reformed his own diocese as well as he could from a distance through trusted deputies. Charles died on 3 November 1584 at the age of 46.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 37: 22-23

Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help,  O Lord, my strong salvation!

Collect

Almighty and merciful God, by whose gift your faithful offer you right and praiseworthy service, grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised. 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: Deuteronomy 6:2-6

Moses said to the people: ‘If you fear the Lord your God all the days of your life and if you keep all his laws and commandments which I lay on you, you will have a long life, you and your son and your grandson. Listen then, Israel, keep and observe what will make you prosper and give you great increase, as the Lord the God of your fathers has promised you, giving you a land where milk and honey flow. ‘Listen, Israel: the Lord our God is the one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Let these words I urge on you today be written on your heart.’

Psalm 17:2-4,47,51

R/ I love you, Lord, my strength.

  1. I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my Saviour. My God is the rock where I take refuge; my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold. The Lord is worthy of all praise, when I call I am saved from my foes.
  2. Long life to the Lord, my rock! Praised be the God who saves me, He has given great victories to his king and shown his love for his anointed.

Second reading: Hebrews 7:23-28

There used to be a great number of priests under the former covenant, because death put an end to each one of them; but this one, because he remains for ever, can never lose his priesthood. It follows, then, that his power to save is utterly certain, since he is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him. To suit us, the ideal high priest would have to be holy, innocent and uncontaminated, beyond the influence of sinners, and raised up above the heavens; one who would not need to offer sacrifices every day, as the other high priests do for their own sins and then for those of the people, because he has done this once and for all by offering himself. The Law appoints high priests who are men subject to weakness; but the promise on oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son who is made perfect for ever.

Gospel Acclamation: cf.Jn6:63,68

Alleluia, alleluia! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia!

Gospel:Mark 12:28-34

One of the Scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The Scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

Prayer over the Offerings

May these sacrificial offerings, O Lord, become for you a pure oblation, and for us a holy outpouring of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 15: 11

You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord.

Prayer after Communion

May the working of your power, O Lord, increase in us, we pray, so that, renewed by these heavenly Sacraments, we may be prepared by your gift for receiving what they promise. Through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

The Psalmist says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The first reading of today says that the fear of the Lord guarantees long life. In the Gospel passage, Jesus says that a wholehearted and focused love of God and of one’s neighbour is the condition for gaining eternal life. The fear of the Lord unites us with God and directs our lives towards eternity. United with God, our life, whether on earth or in heaven, is for God. In God, therefore, our life is one, long and continuous. Today, we pray for the grace to live in the fear of the Lord and love of our neighbour, be truly united with God, so as to enjoy one, long and continuous life in Him.