October 11

Pope John XXIII (1881 – 1963)

He was ordained priest in 1904. He served the Holy See directly in various posts, both in Rome and in Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, culminating as Apostolic Nuncio to France from 1944 until 1953. He was elected Pope in 1958. He convoked the Roman Synod, instituted the revision of Canon Law, and called the Second Vatican Council, which opened on 11 October 1962.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Est 4: 17

Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask. 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: Galatians 3:1-5

Are you people in Galatia mad? Has someone put a spell on you, in spite of the plain explanation you have had of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Let me ask you one question: was it because you practised the Law that you received the Spirit, or because you believed what was preached to you? Are you foolish enough to end in outward observances what you began in the Spirit? Have all the favours you received been wasted? And if this were so, they would most certainly have been wasted. Does God give you the Spirit so freely and work miracles among you because you practise Law, or because you believed what was preached to you?

Canticle: Luke 1:69-75

R/ Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them.

  1. He has raised up for us a mighty savior in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy men, those who were his prophets from of old.
  2. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our fathers is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered.
  3. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence.

Gospel Acclamation: Jn14:6

Alleluia, alleluia! I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord; No one can come to the Father except through me. Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”; and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants. ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Prayer over the Offerings

Accept, O Lord, we pray, the sacrifices instituted by your commands and, through the sacred mysteries, which we celebrate with dutiful service, graciously complete the sanctifying work by which you are pleased to redeem us. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Lam 3: 25

The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him.

Prayer after Communion

Grant us, almighty God, that we may be refreshed and nourished by the Sacrament which we have received, so as to be transformed into what we consume. Through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

Jesus continues to teach his disciples about prayer and today he focuses on the aspect of perseverance. He makes use of the parable of a man coming to a neighbour in the middle of the night. The man needs food for a friend, an unexpected visitor. The neighbour is already in bed and does not want to bed disturbed, but the his friend’s persistence forced  him to get up and give him what he wanted. How much more will God, who is a loving Father, give to those who ask Him? But why must we ask at all? God does not need to be persuaded or convinced, persistence in prayer is actually for our own good and benefits. What we ask for in prayer is for the gift of God’s Spirit: “how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” This is the Spirit that inspired Jesus in his life and work; a Spirit which is totally at one with the will of the Father. May God’s will be done, not ours.