MONDAY 16 January
He was an Irish monk who did much to establish Christianity throughout the British Isles and particularly in East Anglia, at a time when a high Christian civilization existed in Ireland but had been largely wiped out elsewhere.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 65: 4
All the earth shall bow down before you, O God, and shall sing to you, shall sing to your name, O Most High!
Almighty ever-living God, who govern all things, both in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the pleading of your people and bestow your peace on our times. 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 5:1-10
Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.
Psalm 109(110): 1-4
R/ You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.
The Lord’s revelation to my Master: ‘Sit on my right: your foes I will put beneath your feet.’
The Lord will wield from Zion your sceptre of power: rule in the midst of all your foes.
A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains; from the womb before the dawn, I begot you.
The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change. ‘You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.’
Gospel Acclamation: cf. 1Th 2: 13
Alleluia, alleluia! Accept God’s message for what it really is: God’s message, and not some human thinking. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22
One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, “Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?” Jesus replied, “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!”
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that we may participate worthily in these mysteries, for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is accomplished. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 22: 5
You have prepared a table before me, and how precious is the chalice that quenches my thirst.
Prayer after Communion
Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love, and in your kindness make those you have nourished by this one heavenly Bread one in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Change is not always easy and sometimes is resistant to time. Often the fear of change makes us cling to our customs, traditions and social laws that determine our worldview and actions. However, Jesus once again confronts the Pharisees with new teaching about the non-observance of fasting by his disciples. He calls us to do something new instead of living according to our old ways. What are the important changes to make in our lives? What are the old habits we need to drop? May the Lord give us the grace to become guests at His wedding.