friday 30 October 2020
St Marcellus (d. 300)
A centurion from Tingis (Morocco), he not only refused to worship Roman gods but also threw down his soldier’s insignia in front of the legion’s standards. As he did this, he proclaimed his Christian identity, his allegiance to the Lord and rejected the worship of gods made of stone and wood. He was put to death by the sword around the year 300.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 104: 3-4
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.
Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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 1:1-11
From Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, together with their presiding elders and deacons. We wish you the grace and peace of God our Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God whenever I think of you; and every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present. I am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes. It is only natural that I should feel like this towards you all, since you have shared the privileges which have been mine: both my chains and my work defending and establishing the gospel. You have a permanent place in my heart, and God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you. My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ, when you will reach the perfect goodness which Jesus Christ produces in us for the glory and praise of God.
R/ Great are the works of the Lord.
- I will thank the Lord with all my heart in the meeting of the just and their assembly. Great are the works of the Lord, to be pondered by all who love them.
- Majestic and glorious his work, his justice stands firm for ever. He makes us remember his wonders. The Lord is compassion and love.
- He gives food to those who fear him; keeps his covenant ever in mind. He has shown his might to his people by giving them the lands of the nations.
Gospel Acclamation: 1 Th 2:13
Alleluia, alleluia! Accept God’s message for what it really is: God’s message, and not some human thinking. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 14:1-6
Now on a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. There in front of him was a man with dropsy, and Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees. ‘Is it against the law’ he asked ‘to cure a man on the sabbath, or not?’ But they remained silent, so he took the man and cured him and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘Which of you here, if his son falls into a well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a sabbath day without hesitation?’ And to this they could find no answer.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 19: 6
We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.
Prayer after Communion
May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs, we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.
The point of the story narrated in today’s gospel is that compassion and mercy transcend the law and fulfill it. By His action, Jesus declares this to be the standard underlying the very purpose of the law. In contrast to the Pharisaic vision of subservience to it, our Lord provides an entirely different vision, giving priority over the law to the compassion and mercy which He gave and asked others to give throughout His public ministry. Like Jesus did with the man with dropsy, we need to see the suffering with compassionate eyes and creatively develop ways to help them as much as we can with God’s merciful hand. Today’s gospel, finally, doesn’t ask whether something is legal or illegal. It speaks to us as obedient sons and daughters of God who is love, who want to follow in our Lord’s footsteps, and who therefore want to be loving, caring, merciful, and forgiving. That is what God’s law in both the Old and New Testament is all about.