September 20

 

St Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and companions

17th century Korea fought to stop Christianity by executions. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest, who secretly trained in Macao, was executed in 1846. A lay apostle, St Paul Chong Hasang, and many others perished at the same time.

Entrance Antiphon

The blood of the holy Martyrs was poured out for Christ upon the earth; therefore they have gained everlasting rewards.

Collect

O God, who have been pleased to increase your adopted children in all the world, and who made the blood of the Martyrs Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon and his companions a most fruitful seed of Christians, grant that we may be defended by their help and profit always from their example. 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 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, the Gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the Gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything. Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it. I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others; but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.

 Psalm 117:1-2,15-17,28

R/Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.

  1. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end. Let the sons of Israel say: ‘His love has no end. ’
  2. The Lord’s right hand has triumphed; his right hand raised me up. I shall not die, I shall live and recount his deeds.
  3. You are my God, I thank you. My God, I praise you. I will thank you for you have given answer and you are my Saviour.

Gospel Acclamation: 2Co5:19

Alleluia, alleluia! God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.  Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 7:36-50

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’ Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Look with favour, almighty God, on the offerings of your people and, through the intercession of the blessed Martyrs,grant that we ourselves may become a sacrifice acceptable to you for the salvation of all the world. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon:  Mt 10: 32

Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father, says the Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Nourished with the food of the valiant as we celebrate the blessed Martyrs, we humbly ask you, O Lord, that, clinging faithfully to Christ, we may labour in the Church for the salvation of all. Through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

The host of Jesus seems to be scandalised by the act of this woman regarded to be sinful. Surely with a sinister look to the woman, the Pharisee held on to her past mistakes and found her unworthy, not only to be around the Master, but also to even touch him. Through this parable Jesus opened the eyes of all those in the dinner, prompting Simon to confess that in fact no matter how sinful that woman was, she will be pardoned just as the creditor  pardoned both men, even the one owing him much. They thought that Jesus didn’t know or understand the behaviour of that woman, while in fact it was them who didn’t understand the love of that woman and her burning desire to be forgiven. The Gospel says, “she had heard…” (7:37) where Jesus was, meaning perhaps that she had been longing to find him and be pardoned.