SATURDAY 14 January
SAINT FELIX OF NOLA
Saint Felix of Nola (d. ca. 250) was a Christian presbyter at Nola near Naples in Italy. He sold off his possessions in order to give to the poor. He was believed to have died a martyr’s death.
Upon a lofty throne, I saw a man seated, whom a host of angels adore, singing in unison: Behold him, the name of whose empire is eternal.
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen. 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: Hebrews 4:12-16
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves. Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.
R/ Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.
The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, it gives wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding forever. The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.
May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favour in your sight, O Lord, my rescuer, my rock!
Alleluia, alleluia! Bend my heart to your will, O Lord, and teach me your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 2:13-17
Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this he said to them, “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May your people’s oblation, O Lord, find favour with you, we pray, that it may restore them to holiness and obtain what they devoutly entreat. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 35: 10
With you, O Lord, is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.
Prayer after Communion
Humbly we ask you, almighty God, be graciously pleased to grant that those you renew with your Sacraments may also serve with lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus knows our sins, yet he calls each of us to follow him. It is for us that came to the world. He associates with us, sinners, not to expose our sins or reflect them as the Scribes think, but rather to cleanse us and associate us with his harvest. Therefore, our Christian vocation comes from Jesus himself and not from the opinions of others. His view of us is different from that of the society we live in. So, we must acknowledge that it is always Jesus who takes the first step and enables us to follow him, no matter how hard the path may be. To each one of us, he still says, “follow me”. Let us respond to him generously and join him for a more just world.