St Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, was the mother of John the Baptist. She has the distinction of being one of the first to know about Mary’s great blessing as the Mother of God.
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!
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: Philippians 2:1-4
If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, So that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.
R/ Keep my soul in peace before you, O Lord.
- O Lord, my heart is not proud nor haughty my eyes. I have not gone after things too great nor marvels beyond me.
- Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace. A weaned child on its mother’s breast, even so is my soul.
- O Israel, hope in the Lord both now and forever.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:18
Alleluia, alleluia! Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may consider the wonders of your law. Alleluia!
Gospel Luke 14:12-14
Jesus said to his host, one of the leading Pharisees, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’
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.
In ordinary life, people tend to invite their friends and relations to events that they cherish. This practice goes with the expectation to be invited in return. In the Gospel passage of today, Jesus states the exact opposite: “… invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.” In these words, Jesus does not intend to turn us against our friends and relations. He simply draws our attention to the fact that have-nots of our society need be invited as well to our parties. He also points out to us that when we give without counting the cost and without expecting anything in return, God reserves a special blessing for us.