WEDNESday 15 MARCH
Blessed John Anne
He was born at Wakefield in Yorkshire, where he married and had a family: on his wife’s death he divided his property among his children and left for the Continent to become a priest.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 118: 133
Let my steps be guided by your promise; may evil never rule me.
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, schooled through Lenten observance and nourished by your word, through holy restraint, we may be devoted to you with all our heart and be ever united in prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
First reading: Deuteronomy 4: 1, 5-9
Moses said to the people: “Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you. See, as the Lord my God has commanded me, I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, ‘No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation. And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today?’ But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life; rather, tell them to your children and to your children’s children.”
Psalm 147: 12-13, 15-16, 19-20
R/ O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! Zion, praise your God! He has strengthened the bars of your gates, He has blessed the children within you.
He sends out his word to the earth and swiftly runs his command. He showers down snow white as wool, He scatters hoar-frost like ashes.
He makes his word known to Jacob, To Israel his laws and decrees. He has not dealt thus with other nations; He has not taught them his decrees.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 8: 12
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; anyone who follows me will have the light of life. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: Matthew 5: 17-19
Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, we pray, the prayers of your people along with these sacrificial offerings, and defend those who celebrate your mysteries from every kind of danger. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 15: 11
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord.
Prayer after Communion
May the heavenly banquet, at which we have been fed, sanctify us, O Lord, and, cleansing us of all errors, make us worthy of your promises from on high. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Give to your people, our God, a resolve that is pleasing to you, for, by conforming them to your teachings, you bestow on them every favour. Through Christ our Lord.
Beloved of the Lord, given the tense relationship between the chief priests had Jesus, one could rightly believe that they considered him as a disruptive element who had come to abolish the established order or the law. It is the same feeling that we often have when we do not understand a brother who exposes our wrong way of living. This was the point of contention between the chief priests and Jesus, and this is what often sets us off against anyone who tries to correct us on our bad practices. Jesus does not abolish anything in our lives. He is there to invite us to perfect the law by making it more human. The law is there to make man free and happy. To add or subtract one iota of it is a serious sin. The heart of the law is love. And any law without love is detestable in the eyes of God. So let us beware of the misuse of the law.