November 6

All Saints of Africa

Today we celebrate the feast of all the Saints of Africa who, down through the ages, have followed the Lord with courage, love and dedication. Many of these saints are unknown to us, while others are remembered in various countries on account of their exemplary life of discipleship.

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: Philippians 2:5-11

In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus: His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are; and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Psalm 21:26-32

R/ You are my praise, O Lord, in the great assembly.

  1. My vows I will pay before those who fear the Lord. The poor shall eat and shall have their fill. They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him. May their hearts live for ever and ever!
  2. All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord, all families of the nations worship before him; for the kingdom is the Lord’s, he is ruler of the nations. They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth.
  3. And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him. They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come, declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn: ‘These things the Lord has done.’

Gospel Acclamation: cf.Ep1:17,18

Alleluia, alleluia! May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us. Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 14:15-24

One of those gathered round the table said to him, ‘Happy the man who will be at the feast in the kingdom of God!’ But he said to him, ‘There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people. When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come along: everything is ready now.” But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.” Yet another said, “I have just got married and so am unable to come.” ‘The servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the householder, in a rage, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” “Sir” said the servant “your orders have been carried out and there is still room.” Then the master said to his servant, “Go to the open roads and the hedgerows and force people to come in to make sure my house is full; because, I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet.”’

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

It could be very embarrassing to find oneself in the shoes of the man who organised a big party and practically all those he deemed deserving of his company and invited turned down his invitation, giving one or another excuse. Instead of giving in to the impact of the embarrassment, the man seeks to fill his banquet hall with the poor and needy of his society. God chooses the Israelites to be his special people, but somewhere along the line, they turn against him and he decides to extend the invitation to other nations. We are part of these other nations. Are we going to turn down God’s invitation too?