Wednesday 17 th august 2022
Saint Clare of Montefalco (1268 – 1308), also called Saint Clare of the Cross, was an Augustinian nun and abbess. Before becoming a nun, St. Clare was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis (Secular).She was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on December 8, 1881.
Entrance Antiphon : Ps 83: 10-11
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield; and look on the face of your anointed one; one day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
O God, who have prepared for those who love you, good things which no eye can see; fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of your love, so that, loving you in all things and above all things, we may attain your promises which surpass every human desire. 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 34:1-11
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:
‘“Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them. ‘“Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live, I swear it – it is the Lord who speaks – since my flock has been looted and for lack of a shepherd is now the prey of any wild animal, since my shepherds have stopped bothering about my flock, since my shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock, in view of all this, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this: I am going to call the shepherds to account. I am going to take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. I shall rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will not prey on them any more.” ‘For the Lord says this: “I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.”’
R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
- The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
- He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
- You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
- Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps118:135
Alleluia, alleluia! Let your face shine on your servant, and teach me your decrees. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive our oblation, O Lord, by which is brought about a glorious exchange, that, by offering what you have given, we may merit to receive your very self. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Ps 129: 7
With the Lord there is mercy; in him is plentiful redemption.
Prayer after Communion
Made partakers of Christ through these Sacraments, we humbly implore your mercy, Lord, that, conformed to his image on earth, we may merit also to be his coheirs in heaven. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever
Jesus, by giving the same salary to the one who could not find work until late afternoon and to the one who was hired in the morning, is in fact addressing the difficult connection between justice and solidarity. He wants to show that the old Greek principle, “To each according to his merit”, does not translate the virtues of the Kingdom of God. Ahead of his time, Jesus shows here that strict, well-oiled justice cannot lead to the happiness of all, to a fraternal society, because it neglects those who are not in a position to deserve what they need. Indeed, it is probably because those of the eleventh hour were not very strong, or not very attractive, that they could only be hired so late. Here Jesus challenges the principles of justice of his time. These principles must, according to him, be challenged by the solidarity we owe to those who have not found enough work to live decently.