FRIDAY 27 January
SAINT Angela Merici,
She was born in Desenziano, in Lombardy, in about 1470. In 1535 she founded the Ursulines, an order of nuns devoted to giving a Christian education to girls from poor families. She died in 1540.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 95: 1, 6
O sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth. In his presence are majesty and splendour, strength and honour in his holy place.
Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. 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: 32-39
Remember all the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days; sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to insults and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way. For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you happily accepted being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting. Be as confident now, then, since the reward is so great. You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised. Only a little while now, a very little while, and the one that is coming will have come; he will not delay. The righteous man will live by faith, but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him. You and I are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faithful until our souls are saved.
Psalm 36(37): 3-6, 23-24, 39-40
R/ The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure. If you find your delight in the Lord, he will grant your heart’s desire.
Commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act, so that your justice breaks forth like the light, your cause like the noon-day sun.
The Lord guides the steps of a man and makes safe the path of one he loves. Though he stumble he shall never fall for the Lord holds him by the hand.
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord, their stronghold in time of distress. The Lord helps them and delivers them and saves them: for their refuge is in him.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:27
Alleluia, alleluia! Make me grasp the way of your precepts, and I will muse on your wonders. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.” He also said, “What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.” Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept our offerings, O Lord, we pray, and in sanctifying them grant that they may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 33: 6
Look toward the Lord and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, receiving the grace by which you bring us to new life, we may always glory in your gift. Through Christ our Lord.
The Reign of God or the Kingdom of God is not a human work but a divine initiative. Its growth is a mystery to us; it does not spread or produce fruit by our talents but by the power of God himself. Instead of being compared to an impressive reality, Jesus compares him to a tiny mustard seed. God always chooses the little to accomplish a remarkable work beyond our expectations.