Thursday 11 th august 2022
(1193/4 – 1253)
She was born at Assisi and came under the influence of Saint Francis. She left home at the age of 18 and, under Francis’s guidance, began a community that grew to become the order of the Poor Clares. Clare was a noted contemplative and a caring mother to her nuns. She died at Assisi in 1253.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 148:12-14
Let the virgins praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendour is above heaven and earth.
O God, who in your mercy, led Saint Clare to a love of poverty; grant, through her intercession, that, following Christ in poverty of spirit, we may merit to contemplate you one day in the heavenly Kingdom. 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 : Ezekiel 12:1-12
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’ I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched. The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country.’
R/ Never forget the deeds of the Lord.
- They put God to the proof and defied him; they refused to obey the Most High. They strayed, as faithless as their fathers, like a bow on which the archer cannot count.
- With their mountain shrines they angered him; made him jealous with the idols they served. God saw this and was filled with fury: he utterly rejected Israel.
- He gave his ark into captivity, his glorious ark into the hands of the foe. He gave up his people to the sword, in his anger against his chosen ones.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps118:88
Alleluia, alleluia! Because of your love give me life, and I will do your will. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 18:21-19:1
Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times. ‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’ Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the part of Judaea which is on the far side of the Jordan.
Prayer over the Offerings
As we proclaim your wonders, O Lord, in the commemoration of the holy Virgin St. Clare, we bring you these offerings and prayers; grant, we ask, that, as her merits are pleasing to you, so, too, our dutiful service may find favour in your sight. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Mt 25: 10
The bridegroom has come, and the virgins who were ready have gone with him into the wedding feast.
Prayer after Communion
May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, on this feast day of the Virgin St. Clare constantly bestir and enlighten us, we pray, so that we may stand ready for the coming of your Son and be admitted to his wedding feast on high. Through Christ our Lord.
Our refusal to forgive our neighbours shows above all that we do not measure the weight of the forgiveness we have received from God. If I do not forgive others their faults, it is because I have not understood how serious my own faults are before God and how much I myself have been forgiven. This is the main theme of the Gospel parable. We must forgive because we have been forgiven so much ourselves. We have no right to hold on to our bitterness, resentment and anger against our brother because God has not held on to his anger against us. Forgiveness comes from love – God’s love for us, our love for others. The servant who does not understand this will pay dearly for his lack of understanding.