Friday 12 th august 2022
St. Jane Frances
(1572 – 1641)
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 73: 20, 19, 22, 23
Look to your covenant, O Lord, and forget not the life of your poor ones for ever. Arise, O God, and defend your cause, and forget not the cries of those who seek you.
Almighty ever-living God, whom, taught by the Holy Spirit, we dare to call our Father; bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts, the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters, that we may merit to enter into the inheritance which you have promised. 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 16:1-15,60,63
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born. ‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord who speaks – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord who speaks. ‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
Canticle : Isaiah 12
R/ Your anger has passed, O Lord, and you give me comfort.
- Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
- Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name.
- Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds; make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps110:7,8
Alleluia, alleluia! Your precepts, O Lord, are all of them sure; they stand firm for ever and ever. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 19:3-12
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’ The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, to accept the offerings of your Church, for in your mercy you have given them to be offered and by your power you transform them into the mystery of our salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Ps 147: 12, 14
O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord, who gives you your fill of finest wheat.
Prayer after Communion
May the communion in your Sacrament that we have consumed, save us, O Lord, and confirm us in the light of your truth. Through Christ our Lord.
Celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” is a mystery that is not too easy for the people of our time to understand. Those who achieve it are those “to whom God has revealed it”. This is a revelation that is necessarily intimate and profound. However, the fact that some are chosen does not mean that others are excluded. God calls each one according to what is good for that person. Christ also adapts the radicality of his discourse to his interlocutors. To the Pharisees who questioned Him about repudiation, he reminded them of the indissolubility of marriage. Only to His disciples does he then propose the contemplation of another radical way of life, that of celibacy. Later, He takes the trouble to differentiate between those who “cannot” marry and those who decide not to. Thus Christ makes celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom a vocation in its own right, not a second-best option.