Thursday 29 th december 2022
St. Thomas Becket
(1118 – 1170)
He was born in London and became a close friend of King Henry II. When he was ordained as archbishop of Canterbury, he underwent an abrupt conversion of life and began to defend the Church’s rights against the king. This led to his assassination in his cathedral on 29 December 1170.
Entrance Antiphon : Jn 3: 16
God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.
Almighty and invisible God, who dispersed the darkness of this world by the coming of your light, look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us, that we may acclaim with fitting praise, the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : 1John 2:3-11
We can be sure that we know Jesus only by keeping his commandments. Anyone who says, ‘I know him’, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, refusing to admit the truth. But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived. My dear people, this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you, but an old commandment that you were given from the beginning, the original commandment which was the message brought to you. Yet in another way, what I am writing to you, and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his, is a new commandment; because the night is over and the real light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the dark. But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and need not be afraid of stumbling; unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness, not knowing where he is going, because it is too dark to see.
R/ Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
- 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.
- It was the Lord who made the heavens, his are majesty and state and power and splendour in his holy place.
Alleluia, alleluia! A light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 2:22-35
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man called Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said: ‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’ As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
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 : Lk 1: 78
Through the tender mercy of our God, the Dawn from on high will visit us.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by the power of these holy mysteries, our life may be constantly sustained. Through Christ our Lord.
We can only say we know God if we obey his commandments. Remember what Jesus says in Mt 7:12: “Not everybody who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father.” Calling ourselves Christians means little; we have to keep his Word and let it transform our lives. When we keep the Word of God, we become more and more like Jesus, and when we resemble Jesus, we become a sign of contradiction, a sign that is rejected because our way of life lays bare the evil that men do. May God give us the strength and courage to abide by his Word against all odds.