He became a Franciscan in 1243 and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Paris. He became a famous teacher and philosopher, part of the extraordinary intellectual flowering of the 13th century. He was a friend and colleague of St Thomas Aquinas.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Sir 15: 5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday of the Bishop Saint Bonaventure, we may benefit from his great learning and constantly imitate the ardour of his charity. 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: Genesis 49:29-33,50:15-26
Jacob gave his sons these instructions, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me near my fathers, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave in the field at Machpelah, opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial-plot. There Abraham was buried and his wife Sarah. There Isaac was buried and his wife Rebekah. There I buried Leah. I mean the field and the cave in it that were bought from the sons of Heth.” When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, and breathing his last was gathered to his people. Seeing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and repay us in full for all the wrong we did him?” So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died he gave us this order: “You must say to Joseph: Oh forgive your brothers their crime and their sin and all the wrong they did you.” Now therefore, we beg you, forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.” Joseph wept at the message they sent to him. His brothers came themselves and fell down before him. “We present ourselves before you” they said “as your slaves.” But Joseph answered them, “Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God’s place? The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as indeed he has, the deliverance of a numerous people. So you need not be afraid; I myself will provide for you and your dependants.” In this way he reassured them with words that touched their hearts. So Joseph stayed in Egypt with his father’s family; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children, as also the children of Machir, Manasseh’s son, who were born on Joseph’s lap. At length Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will be sure to remember you kindly and take you back from this country to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And Joseph made Israel’s sons swear an oath, “When God remembers you with kindness be sure to take my bones from here.” Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten; they embalmed him and laid him in his coffin in Egypt.
R/ Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive.
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. O sing to him, sing his praise; tell all his wonderful works!
Be proud of his holy name, let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice. Consider the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.
O children of Abraham, his servant, O sons of the Jacob he chose. He, the Lord, is our God: his judgements prevail in all the earth.
Gospel Acclamation: 1Jn2:5
Alleluia, alleluia! Whenever anyone obeys what Christ has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 10:24-33
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: “The disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. It is enough for the disciple that he should grow to be like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, what will they not say of his household? “Do not be afraid of them therefore. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows. “So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May the sacrifice which we gladly present on the feast day of blessed N., be pleasing to you, O God, for, taught by him, we, too, give ourselves entirely to you in praise. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Lk 12: 42
Behold a faithful and prudent steward to give them their allowance of food at the proper time.
Prayer after Communion
Through Christ the teacher, O Lord, instruct those you feed with Christ, the living Bread, that on the feast day of blessed N. they may learn your truth and express it in works of charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus continues with his message of comfort and the promises of his recognition before the Father of those who have persevered without fear of the things that kill the body. “Whoever declares himself for me before men, I will also declare myself for him before my Father who is in heaven.” The proclamation is further reflected in the attitude of the Christian. So, are we consistent or do we deny Christ through our corrupt actions and choices? Let us not fear those who stir up social pressure and impose anti-values. Let us not fear those who kill the body without being able to reach the soul, but rather let us fear that which can make the soul as well as the body perish in Gehenna. Let us pray for perseverance on the right path.