He joined a Benedictine monastery but made himself unpopular there by trying to get the lax monks to mend their ways and so, with the permission of his abbot, became a wandering hermit.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 26: 7, 9
O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Saviour!
O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you, mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands, we may please you by our resolve and 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: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
As his fellow workers, we beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation. We do nothing that people might object to, so as not to bring discredit on our function as God’s servants. Instead, we prove we are servants of God by great fortitude in times of suffering: in times of hardship and distress; when we are flogged, or sent to prison, or mobbed; labouring, sleepless, starving. We prove we are God’s servants by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by a spirit of holiness, by a love free from affectation; by the word of truth and by the power of God; by being armed with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left, prepared for honour or disgrace, for blame or praise; taken for impostors while we are genuine; obscure yet famous; said to be dying and here are we alive; rumoured to be executed before we are sentenced; thought most miserable and yet we are always rejoicing; taken for paupers though we make others rich, for people having nothing though we have everything.
Psalm 97(98): 1-4
R/ The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation.
The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth and love for the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord, all the earth, ring out your joy.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 14: 23
Alleluia, alleluia! If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 5: 38-42
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.”
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who in the offerings presented here provide for the twofold needs of human nature, nourishing us with food and renewing us with your Sacrament, grant, we pray, that the sustenance they provide may not fail us in body or in spirit. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 26: 4
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Prayer after Communion
As this reception of your Holy Communion, O Lord, foreshadows the union of the faithful in you, so may it bring about unity in your Church. Through Christ our Lord.
“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is the perfect start to Jesus’ teaching. This law had proven itself in the ancient civilizations of the Near East. Sometimes it appeared to be a measure of rigor, intended to dissuade criminals; sometimes it was in fact a measure of order and moderation which protected offenders from blind revenge. Whatever the case, all this is radically overtaken in Jesus through the new law that he promulgates on his own authority as Son of God: “Do not retaliate against the wicked… Give to whoever asks you”. An attitude that must spring from the depths of freedom and that cannot be imposed on anyone.