Tuesday 06 th december 2022
He was bishop of Myra, in Lycia (now part of Turkey) and died about the middle of the fourth century. He is the patron saint of pawnbrokers, whose insignia of three golden balls represent the three purses of gold he is said to have given secretly to a poor man who could not afford dowries for his three daughters.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Zec 14: 5, 7
Behold, the Lord will come, and all his holy ones with him; and on that day there will be a great light.
O God, who have shown forth your salvation to all the ends of the earth, grant, we pray, that we may look forward in joy to the glorious Nativity of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : Isaiah 40:1-11
‘Console my people, console them’ says your God. ‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.’ A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low. Let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ A voice commands, ‘Cry!’ and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’” – ‘All flesh is grass and its beauty like the wild flower’s. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on them. (The grass is without doubt the people.) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.’ Go up on a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion. Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem. Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’ Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him. The prize of his victory is with him, his trophies all go before him. He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.
R/ Here is our God coming with power.
- O sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the earth. O sing to the Lord, bless his name. Proclaim his help day by day.
- Tell among the nations his glory and his wonders among all the peoples. Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’ He will judge the peoples in fairness.
- Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad, let the sea and all within it thunder praise, let the land and all it bears rejoice, all the trees of the wood shout for joy at the presence of the Lord for he comes, he comes to rule the earth..
- With justice he will rule the world, he will judge the peoples with his truth.
Alleluia, alleluia! Come, Lord! Do not delay. Forgive the sins of your people. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 18:12-14
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings, and since we have no merits to plead our cause, come, we pray, to our rescue with the protection of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. 2 Tm 4: 8
The Just Judge will bestow a crown of righteousness on those who eagerly await his coming.
Prayer after Communion
Replenished by the food of spiritual nourishment, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, through our partaking in this mystery, you may teach us to judge wisely the things of earth, and hold firm to the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Our lives are a wilderness characterised by intense activity and the quest to satisfy multiple desires: material success, justice, self-fulfilment and happiness. God wants us to prepare, in this wilderness, a way for him to travel. He wants us to make a place for him in our lives. He desires to come to us because he does not want us to be lost; he knows that the world makes us many offers that can lead us astray, and cannot give us the happiness we seek. Let us turn to him and allow him to renew us. Let us also allow him to use us to reach out to those around us who are lost, in order to bring them back to the fold.