SATURday 04 febRuary
SAINT GIBLBERT OF SEPRIGHAM
He was born at Sempringham, he founded an order of monks and nuns, known as the GIlbertines. He died at Sempringham in 1190, at the age of 106.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 105: 47
Save us, O Lord our God! And gather us from the nations, to give thanks to your holy name, and make it our glory to praise you.
Grant us, Lord our God, that we may honour you with all our mind, and love everyone in truth of heart. 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 13: 15-17, 20-21
Through Christ, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name. Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are sacrifices that please God. Obey your leaders and do as they tell you, because they must give an account of the way they look after your souls; make this a joy for them to do, and not a grief – you yourselves would be the losers. I pray that the God of peace, who brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead to become the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant, may make you ready to do his will in any kind of good action; and turn us all into whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn10: 27
Alleluia, alleluia! The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 6: 30-34
The apostles re-joined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while” for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, we bring to your altar these offerings of our service: be pleased to receive them, we pray, and transform them into the Sacrament of our redemption. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 30: 17-18
Let your face shine on your servant. Save me in your merciful love. O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by these redeeming gifts, we pray, O Lord, that through this help to eternal salvation true faith may ever increase. Through Christ our Lord.
Shepherding was one of the oldest callings in Israel, even before farming; the Chosen People travelled from place to place, living in tents and driving their flocks from one pasture to another. Looking after sheep was not an easy calling. It required great skill and courage. Herds were quite large, in thousands or even tens of thousands. Strayed sheep had to be found and brought back to the flock. Since hyenas, jackals, wolves, and even bears frequently attacked and fed on the sheep, shepherds had to fight these wild and dangerous beasts. A shepherd put his life at risk to defend his sheep. The harassed and dejected people who came to Jesus were a manifestation of how Church and political leaders had neglected their duty of sanctifying and administering to them; they could easily go astray or be devoured by those who proposed death traps in the guise of “better lives”. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, willing to lay down his life for his sheep (Mt 18:12, Lk 15:4, Jn 10). Listen keenly to his voice, and do not be afraid of following him.