Monday 21 st november 2022
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In unity with Eastern Christianity, and commemorating the dedication in 543 of the New Basilica of Saint Mary, this feast celebrates Mary’s “dedication” of herself to God from her infancy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, whose grace had filled her ever since her immaculate conception.
Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King who rules heaven and earth for ever.
As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace. 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 : Apocalypse 14:1-5
In my vision I, John, saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps. There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb. They never allowed a lie to pass their lips and no fault can be found in them.
R/ Such are the men who seek your face, O Lord.
- The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, the world and all its peoples. It is he who set it on the seas; on the waters he made it firm.
- Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place? The man with clean hands and pure heart, who desires not worthless things.
- He shall receive blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saves him. Such are the men who seek him, seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gospel Acclamation : Rv2:10
Alleluia, alleluia! Even if you have to die, says the Lord, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 21:1-4
As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we ask, the prayers of your people with the sacrificial offerings, that, through the intercession of Blessed Mary, the Mother of your Son, no petition may go unanswered, no request be made in vain. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Lk 11: 27
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father.
Prayer after Communion
As we receive this heavenly Sacrament, we beseech, O Lord, your mercy, that we, who rejoice in commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary, may by imitating her serve worthily the mystery of our redemption. Through Christ our Lord.
Biblical numbering is much more about symbolism than arithmetic precision. A hundred and forty-four thousand with twelve thousand from each of the tribes of Israel points more to the universality and uniformity of salvation given to God’s new Israel, the new people of God spread throughout the world, than to the tribes within the geographical Israel we know. The important point here is that these redeemed people of God are those who follow the lamb wherever he goes; they cling to Jesus and remain faithful to him whatever be the situation. These people who follow the lamb do not hold back anything he asks of them, not even their very lives. Like the poor widow they can stake everything they own for the love of Christ.