TUESDAY 24 January
SAINT FranCis de Sales
St Francis is the patron saint of writers and journalists, who would do well to imitate his love and his moderation: as he said, “whoever wants to preach effectively must preach with love.”
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Sir 15: 5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.
O God, who for the salvation of souls willed that the Bishop Saint Francis de Sales become all things to all, graciously grant that, following his example, we may always display the gentleness of your charity in the service of our neighbour. 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 10:1-10
Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world: You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin; then I said, just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book, ‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’ Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.
Psalm 39(40): 2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
R/ Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me; he heard my cry. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God.
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I.
Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord.
I have not hidden your justice in my heart but declared your faithful help. I have not hidden your love and your truth from the great assembly.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 118: 135
Alleluia, alleluia! Let your face shine on your servant, and teach me your decrees. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 3: 31-35
The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, “Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.” He replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Through this saving sacrifice which we offer you, O Lord, kindle in our hearts that divine fire of the Holy Spirit with which you wonderfully inflamed the most gentle soul of Saint Francis de Sales. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Lk 12: 42
Behold a faithful and prudent steward to give them their allowance of food at the proper time.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that through the Sacrament we have received, we may imitate on earth the charity and meekness of Saint Francis de Sales and so attain like him the glory of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Today’s Gospel speaks to us of the condition of our belonging as brothers and sisters of Christ. If it is true that through Baptism, we become children of God, then Jesus tells us that it is by doing the Father’s will that we remain his brothers and sisters. Jesus reveals to us everything about the Father, what we must do to remain united without prejudice or discrimination, so that we can be called “brothers and sisters in Christ”. How can we recognise this will of the Father? By listening to him through the Holy Scriptures and prayer. We know that we are truly doing his will when we obey what he commands us, even without fully understanding. “Teach me, Lord, to do your will” (Ps 143:10).