Born in England about 680, St. Boniface became a Benedictine monk. He was appointed the first bishop of Germany by Pope Gregory II. Together with thirty companions, he died a martyrs dead in 754.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Phil 2: 30
This Saint went as far as death, handing over his life to destruction for the work of Christ.
May the Martyr Saint Boniface be our advocate, O Lord, that we may firmly hold the faith he taught with his lips and sealed in his blood and confidently profess it by our deeds. 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: Tobit 1:3, 2: 1-8
I, Tobit, have walked in paths of truth and in good works all the days of my life. I have given much in alms to my brothers and fellow countrymen, exiled like me to Nineveh in the country of Assyria. In the reign of Esarhaddon I returned home, and my wife Anna was restored to me with my son Tobias. At our feast of Pentecost (the feast of Weeks) there was a good dinner. I took my place for the meal; the table was brought to me and various dishes were brought. Then I said to my son Tobias, “Go, my child, and seek out some poor, loyal-hearted man among our brothers exiled in Nineveh, and bring him to share my meal. I will wait until you come back, my child.” So Tobias went out to look for some poor man among our brothers, but he came back again and said, “Father!” I answered, “What is it, my child?” He went on, “Father, one of our nation has just been murdered; he has been strangled and then thrown down in the market place; he is there still.” I sprang up at once, left my meal untouched, took the man from the market place and laid him in one of my rooms, waiting until sunset to bury him. I came in again and washed myself and ate my bread in sorrow, remembering the words of the prophet Amos concerning Bethel: Your feasts will be turned to mourning, and all your songs to lamentation. And I wept. When the sun was down, I went and dug a grave and buried him. My neighbours laughed and said, “See! He is not afraid anymore.” (You must remember that a price had been set on my head earlier for this very thing.) “The time before this he had to flee, yet here he is, beginning to bury the dead again.”
R/ Happy the man who fears the Lord.
Happy the man who fears the Lord, who takes delight in all his commands. His sons will be powerful on earth; the children of the upright are blessed.
Riches and wealth are in his house; his justice stands firm for ever. He is a light in the darkness for the upright: he is generous, merciful and just.
The good man takes pity and lends, he conducts his affairs with honour. The just man will never waver: he will be remembered for ever.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Col 3: 16a, 17
Alleluia, alleluia! Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you; through him give thanks to God the Father. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes and the elders in parables: “A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed. Next, he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. ‘They will respect my son’ he said. But those tenants said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture: ‘It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?’” And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.
Prayer over the Offerings
As we commemorate the martyrdom of blessed N., O Lord, we make our offerings at your altar, praying that we, who celebrate the mysteries of our Lord’s Passion, may imitate what we now do. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mk 8: 35
Whoever loses his life for the sake of the Gospel will save it, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
As we celebrate the heavenly banquet, we beseech you, Lord, that, in following such a great example of faith, we may be encouraged by the remembrance of the blessed Martyr N. and led on by his (her) gracious intercession. Through Christ our Lord.
In the Temple, Jesus confronts the chief priests, the elders and the scribes. He does not want to explicitly reveal to them where his authority comes from (Mk 11:28). But he is a man who does everything for his vineyard… The vineyard of the Lord of the universe is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are the plant he cherishes. He expected justice but got injustice. All he found was the cry of the wretched. (Is 5, 7). In the parable Jesus gives, it is not the lack of fruit (as with the fig tree) or its poor quality that will be denounced, but the greed of the vinedressers, regardless of the productivity of the vineyard. After having received grace after grace freely, we, like the indelicate vintners, may not have made good use of it. Let us turn away from our bad behaviours and convert ourselves by taking responsibility and welcoming the God of Mercy.