Wednesday 08 th June 2022
Blessed James Berthieu
(1838 – 1896)
Born in France, he was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1864. In 1875 he left for Madagascar where he spent the rest of his life. On the night of 8 June 1896, while he was praying, he was shot dead and his body thrown in the river Mananara.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 26: 1-2
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread? When those who do evil draw near, they stumble and fall.
O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting, discern what is right, and by your guidance do it. 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 Kings 18:20-39
Ahab called all Israel together and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah stepped out in front of all the people. ‘How long’ he said ‘do you mean to hobble first on one leg then on the other? If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.’ But the people never said a word. Elijah then said to them, ‘I, I alone, am left as a prophet of the Lord, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty. Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one for themselves, dismember it and lay it on the wood, but not set fire to it. I in my turn will prepare the other bull, but not set fire to it. You must call on the name of your god, and I shall call on the name of mine; the god who answers with fire, is God indeed.’ The people all answered, ‘Agreed!’ Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one bull and begin, for there are more of you. Call on the name of your god but light no fire.’ They took the bull and prepared it, and from morning to midday they called on the name of Baal. ‘O Baal, answer us!’ they cried, but there was no voice, no answer, as they performed their hobbling dance round the altar they had made. Midday came, and Elijah mocked them. ‘Call louder,’ he said ‘for he is a god: he is preoccupied or he is busy, or he has gone on a journey; perhaps he is asleep and will wake up.’ So they shouted louder and gashed themselves, as their custom was, with swords and spears until the blood flowed down them. Midday passed, and they ranted on until the time the offering is presented; but there was no voice, no answer, no attention given to them. Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come closer to me’, and all the people came closer to him. He repaired the altar of the Lord which had been broken down. Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob to whom the word of the Lord had come, ‘Israel shall be your name’, and built an altar in the name of the Lord. Round the altar he dug a trench of a size to hold two measures of seed. He then arranged the wood, dismembered the bull, and laid it on the wood. Then he said, ‘Fill four jars with water and pour it on the holocaust and on the wood’; this they did. He said, ‘Do it a second time’; they did it a second time. He said, ‘Do it a third time’; they did it a third time. The water flowed round the altar and the trench itself was full of water. At the time when the offering is presented, Elijah the prophet stepped forward. ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,’ he said ‘let them know today that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, that I have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, the Lord, are God and are winning back their hearts.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the holocaust and wood and licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this they fell on their faces. ‘The Lord is God,’ they cried, ‘the Lord is God.’
R/ Save me, Lord, I take refuge in you.
- Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God. ’
- Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows. Never will I offer their offerings of blood. Never will I take their name upon my lips.
- O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize. I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
- You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness for ever.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps118:27
Alleluia, alleluia! Make me grasp the way of your precepts, and I will muse on your wonders. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 5:17-19
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look kindly upon our service, O Lord, we pray, that what we offer may be an acceptable oblation to you and lead us to grow in charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Ps 17: 3
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my saving strength.
Prayer after Communion
May your healing work, O Lord, free us, we pray, from doing evil and lead us to what is right. Through Christ our Lord.
The Scriptures in their entirety are fulfilled in the person of Christ. He is the one whom they announced from the beginning. Thus, the teaching of the prophets and the law of Moses are not in contradiction with Christ, who is their perfect fulfilment. The observance of the law is therefore the way to the kingdom of heaven. He who keeps the commandments of God and teaches men to do the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. If we have forgotten the 10 commandments, let us take the trouble to revisit them on this day and to talk about them in our family.