AND PETER Martyrs
The exorcist Peter succeeded in converting his jailer and his family. All were baptized by St. Marcellinus. Both were beheaded in 304..
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 17: 19-20
The Lord became my protector. He brought me out to a place of freedom; he saved me because he delighted in me.
Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that the course of our world may be directed by your peaceful rule and that your Church may rejoice, untroubled in her devotion. 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: Ecclesiasticus 44: 1, 9-13
Let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive generations. Some have left no memory, and disappeared as though they had not existed, they are now as though they had never been, and so too, their children after them. But here is a list of generous men whose good works have not been forgotten. In their descendants there remains a rich inheritance born of them. Their descendants stand by the covenants and, thanks to them, so do their children’s children. Their offspring will last for ever, their glory will not fade.
Psalm 149: 1-6, 9
R/ The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing a new song to the Lord, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel rejoice in its Maker, let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing and make music with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people. He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, shout for joy and take their rest. Let the praise of God be on their lips: this honour is for all his faithful.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:36,29
Alleluia, alleluia! Bend my heart to your will, O Lord, and teach me your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 11: 11-26
After he had been acclaimed by the crowds, Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. And he addressed the fig tree. “May no one ever eat fruit from you again”, he said. And his disciples heard him say this. ,So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons. Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. And he taught them and said, “Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples? But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.” This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching. And when evening came, he went out of the city. Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots. Peter remembered. “Look, Rabbi,” he said to Jesus, “the fig tree you cursed has withered away.” Jesus answered, “Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Get up and throw yourself into the sea,’ with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too. But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.”
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who provide gifts to be offered to your name and count our oblations as signs of our desire to serve you with devotion, we ask of your mercy that what you grant as the source of merit may also help us to attain merit’s reward. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 12: 6
I will sing to the Lord who has been bountiful with me, sing psalms to the name of the Lord Most High.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by your saving gifts, we beseech your mercy, Lord, that by this same Sacrament with which you feed us in the present age, you may make us partakers of life eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus arrives in Jerusalem amidst acclamations. Let us remember that this is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem celebrated on Palm Sunday. The scene is beautiful. But the story is surprising and strange: in anger, Jesus curses a fig tree and expels the vendors from the Temple. Looking closely at this Gospel, it is not the fig tree that Jesus seemed to be targeting. His act of cursing the fig tree was meant to turn the focus to the Temple which no longer meets God’s expectations. This arouses his anger and the Temple is destroyed: “You see these great buildings! Not one stone will be left standing; it will all be destroyed” (Mk 13:2). How do we treat our bodies today, the Temple of the Holy Spirit? Has it become a place of lies, deceit, selfishness, greed, resentment and the like? May this word be useful to us today.