saturday 24 October 2020
Saint Antony Mary Claret (1807 – 1870)
He was born in 1807 and ordained priest in 1835. His uncompromising preaching raised hostility against him. In 1849 he founded a missionary institute of priests: Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretian Missionaries). He antagonized the slave owners, and attempts were made on his life. In 1868, revolution caused him to go into exile in France, where he died in 1870.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 16: 6, 8
To you I call; for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me.
Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. 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: Ephesians 4:7-16
Each one of us has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. It was said that he would: When he ascended to the height, he captured prisoners, he gave gifts to men. When it says, ‘he ascended’, what can it mean if not that he descended right down to the lower regions of the earth? The one who rose higher than all the heavens to fill all things is none other than the one who descended. And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself. Then we shall not be children any longer, or tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine, at the mercy of all the tricks men play and their cleverness in practising deceit. If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ, who is the head by whom the whole body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up, in love.
R/ I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’
- I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’ And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem is built as a city strongly compact. It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord.
- For Israel’s law it is, there to praise the Lord’s name. There were set the thrones of judgement of the house of David.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps 144:13
Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 13:1-9
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’ He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant us, Lord, we pray, a sincere respect for your gifts, that, through the purifying action of your grace, we may be cleansed by the very mysteries we serve. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 32: 18-19
Behold, the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, who hope in his merciful love, to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, O Lord, we pray, that, benefiting from participation in heavenly things, we may be helped by what you give in this present age and prepared for the gifts that are eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
The gospel offers the parable of the fig tree. The owner saw the tree as useless since it hadn’t produced fruit. But the gardener begged him to spare the tree so that he could spend more time to attend to the tree’s needs of nourishment and care. Is this not how God views us? Perhaps in others’ or our own view, we are discouraged…we give up hope of growing into God’s spirit and we are ready to throw in the towel. We are tired – we don’t know where to turn for hope as we struggle with our worries of the day. But God says, ‘…no wait…perhaps with more care… you will bear fruit…become more of who you are and can be.’ We are in God’s spirit and God’s spirit is within us. But how do we work with the spirit of God? By not turning our back on the living/dynamic presence of the spirit? How do we assist others and ourselves to see that spirit Within? Of course, this is by breathing life into our sagging spirit to burn with God’s life.