Friday 25 th november 2022
St. Catherine was very outspoken at the time of the persecutions of Christians. She even protested openly to the emperor Maxentius who had her arrested, tortured on the wheel and decapitated in 305. St Catherine’s courage is a great challenge to all African Christians in their struggle for justice and peace.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 84: 9
The Lord speaks of peace to his people and his holy ones and to those who turn to him.
Stir up the will of your faithful, we pray, O Lord, that, striving more eagerly to bring your divine work to fruitful completion, they may receive in greater measure the healing remedies your kindness bestows. 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 20:1-4,11-21:2
I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven with the key of the Abyss in his hand and an enormous chain. He overpowered the dragon, that primeval serpent which is the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and shut the entrance and sealed it over him, to make sure he would not deceive the nations again until the thousand years had passed. At the end of that time he must be released, but only for a short while. Then I saw some thrones, and I saw those who are given the power to be judges take their seats on them. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God’s word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not have the brand-mark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the book of life was opened, and other books opened which were the record of what they had done in their lives, by which the dead were judged. The sea gave up all the dead who were in it; Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged according to the way in which he had lived. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death; and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was thrown into the burning lake. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.
R/ Here God lives among men.
- My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my soul ring out their joy to God, the living God.
- The sparrow herself finds a home and the swallow a nest for her brood; she lays her young by your altars, Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
- They are happy, who dwell in your house, for ever singing your praise. They are happy, whose strength is in you: they walk with ever-growing strength.
Gospel Acclamation: Lk21:28
Alleluia, alleluia! Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, the sacred offerings which at your bidding we dedicate to your name and, in order that through these gifts we may become worthy of your love, grant us unfailing obedience to your commands. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Ps 116: 1, 2
O praise the Lord, all you nations, for his merciful love towards us is great.
Prayer after Communion
We pray, almighty God, that those to whom you give the joy of participating in divine mysteries may never be parted from you. Through Christ our Lord.
The Kingdom of God is not a reality that is entirely futuristic; earlier on in this same gospel of Luke (17:21), Jesus says that “the kingdom of God is among you.” This kingdom is already beginning to flower in the hearts of those who accept and live the gospel of Jesus. With the incarnation, the life of God has been opened up to man; when we listen to Jesus we listen to God, and when we walk with him we are already walking the path of the Kingdom of God. The incarnation was not a reduction of God, but rather an enhancement of man. Thus in Jesus, God brings his kingdom closer to us, and while still on earth true Christians have a foretaste of the joy of the world to come.