THURSday 05 January
SAINT John Neumann
This American saint was born in Bohemia in 1811. John was appointed bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. Fluent in many languages, he was dedicated to helping the poor and most abandoned. John died on January 5, 1860 at the age of 48.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Jn 1: 1
In the beginning and before all ages, the Word was God and he humbled himself to be born the Saviour of the world.
O God, who by the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son wondrously began for your people the work of redemption, grant, we pray, to your servants such firmness of faith, that by his guidance they may attain the glorious prize you have promised. 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 : 1 John 3: 11-21 This is the message as you heard it from the beginning: that we are to love one another; not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat; cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life. You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you; we have passed out of death and into life, and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers. If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them. This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers. If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence, whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything. My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence.
R/ Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy.
Know that he, the Lord, is God. He made us, we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Go within his gates, giving thanks. Enter his courts with songs of praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.
Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb1:1-2
Alléluia, alléluia! alleluia! At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. Alléluia.
Gospel: John 1:43-51
After Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, “Follow me.” Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” “From Nazareth?” said Nathanael. “Can anything good come from that place?” “Come and see”, replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, “There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.” “How do you know me?” said Nathanael. “Before Philip came to call you,” said Jesus “I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.” Jesus replied, “You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” And then he added “I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.”
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.
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.
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.
The Word of God on this day distinguishes between two realities: being a disciple of Christ and becoming a disciple of Christ. To be a disciple of Christ is to accept to follow him as Philip did, beyond geographical movement; it is to introduce Christ to those with whom we live and work, and help others find him. To become a disciple of Christ, like Nathanael, is to go to the Lord as we are and to believe in him who knows us long before we are conceived. Let us strive every day to be among those who believe and follow the Lord who assures us of eternal life.