SUNDAY 27 febRuary
SAINT LEANDER OF SEVILE
Leander was born in the year 534 in Carthage. Leander became a Benedictine monk and in 579 was made Bishop of Seville. Leander is responsible for introducing the Nicene Creed at Mass. Leander died around the year 600 and was succeeded by his brother, Isidore.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 122: 2-3
Like the eyes of slaves on the hand of their lords, so our eyes are on the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Convert us, O God our Saviour, and instruct our minds by heavenly teaching, that we may benefit from the works of Lent. 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: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 11-18
The Lord spoke to Moses. He said: “Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.’ You must not steal nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour. You must not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. You must not exploit or rob your neighbour. You must not keep back the labourer’s wage until next morning. You must not curse the dumb, nor put an obstacle in the blind man’s way, but you must fear your God. I am the Lord. You must not be guilty of unjust verdicts. You must neither be partial to the little man nor overawed by the great; you must pass judgement on your neighbour according to justice. You must not slander your own people, and you must not jeopardise your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord. You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.’”
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 for ever. 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!
Gospel Acclamation: Ezk 18: 31
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord who speaks – and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: Matthew 25: 31-46
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’ Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?’ And the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’ Next he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.’ Then it will be their turn to ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?’ Then he will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.’ ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May this devout oblation be acceptable to you, O Lord, that by your power it may sanctify our manner of life and gain for us your conciliation and pardon. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 25: 40, 34
Amen, I say to you: Whatever you did for one of the least of my brethren, you did it for me, says the Lord. Come, you blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Prayer after Communion
We pray, O Lord, that, in receiving your Sacrament, we may experience help in mind and body so that, kept safe in both, we may glory in the fullness of heavenly healing. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Enlighten the minds of your people, Lord, we pray, with the light of your glory, that they may see what must be done and have the strength to do what is right. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The word “holy” has an important root meaning; “to be separate”. Used in a religious context, “holy” denotes divinity. It was used for the divinity of God, emphasizing the unbridgeable difference between God and his creatures. God tells his people: “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy”. In effect, God is telling us to be like him, and rightly so, because we are made to be like him; we are made in his image and we belong to him. Hence to be holy is not about being pious or just being spiritual; it implies the moral obligations to keep the Commandments. Jesus equally states the moral obligation of holiness in very basic terms and very practical deeds. Sharing food and drink and helping those in need, welcoming strangers and respecting the dignity of others; caring for the sick and lonely. God became man in Jesus to show the real meaning of holiness. To be holy is as basic and practical as doing small acts with great love; bringing relief to those critically in need. In Jesus, the holy became human, so that we humans can become holy. Are you walking the paths of holiness?