Wednesday 14 th december 2022
St. John of the Cross,
(1542 – 1591)
He was born in Spain in 1542. He spent some time as a Carmelite friar before, in 1568, Saint Teresa of Ávila persuaded him to pioneer the reform of the Carmelite order. He is considered one of the great mystics of the church. He was canonized in 1726 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1926.
Entrance Antiphon : Gal 6: 14
May I never boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
O God, who gave the Priest Saint John an outstanding dedication to perfect self-denial and love of the Cross, grant that, by imitating him closely at all times, we may come to contemplate eternally your glory. 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 : Isaiah 45:6-8,18,21-25
Apart from me, all is nothing. I am the Lord, unrivalled, I form the light and create the dark. I make good fortune and create calamity, it is I, the Lord, who do all this. Send victory like a dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain it down. Let the earth open for salvation to spring up. Let deliverance, too, bud forth which I, the Lord, shall create. Yes, thus says the Lord, creator of the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who set it firm, created it no chaos, but a place to be lived in: ‘I am the Lord, unrivalled: there is no other god besides me. A God of integrity and a saviour: there is none apart from me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God unrivalled. ‘By my own self I swear it; what comes from my mouth is truth, a word irrevocable: before me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear, saying, “From the Lord alone come victory and strength.” To him shall come, ashamed, all who raged against him. Victorious and glorious through the Lord shall be all the descendants of Israel.’
R/ Send victory like a dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain it down.
- I will hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace, peace for his people. His help is near for those who fear him and his glory will dwell in our land.
- Mercy and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have embraced. Faithfulness shall spring from the earth and justice look down from heaven.
- The Lord will make us prosper and our earth shall yield its fruit. Justice shall march before him and peace shall follow his steps.
Gospel Acclamation : Is 55:6
Alleluia, alleluia! Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 7:19-23
John, summoning two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or must we wait for someone else?’ When the men reached Jesus they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you, to ask, “Are you the one who is to come or have we to wait for someone else?”’ It was just then that he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and of evil spirits, and gave the gift of sight to many who were blind. Then he gave the messengers their answer, ‘Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the Good News is proclaimed to the poor and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look upon the sacrificial gifts we offer, almighty God, in commemoration of Saint John of the Cross and grant that we, who celebrate the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion, may imitate what we now enact. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Mt 16: 24
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who in Saint John have wonderfully made known the mystery of the Cross, graciously grant that, drawing strength from this sacrifice, we may cling faithfully to Christ and labour in the Church for the salvation of all. Through Christ our Lord.
Today God tells us: “I am the Lord, unrivalled: there is no other god besides me. Turn to me and be saved.” We have invented so many false gods: wealth, honour, position, power, work, social media, sex etc. None of these things can give us lasting happiness; to find fulfillment, we must turn to God. God manifests his saving power in Jesus, whose teaching and sacrifice on the cross liberate us from the bondage of sin and death and our attachment to the ephemeral things of this world, and give us eternal life. Happy are those who have no doubts about Jesus. Happy are those who turn to him; they shall have life, and life to the full.