He was an early Irish bishop and abbot. He is sometimes said to be one of four bishops to have preceded Saint Patrick in Ireland in the early 5th century (See also Saints Ailbhe, Ciaran, and Ibar), although he is also made a contemporary of Saint David in the mid-6th century.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 53: 6, 8
See, I have God for my help. The Lord sustains my soul. I will sacrifice to you with willing heart, and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
Show favour, O Lord, to your servants and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands. 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: Exodus 14:5-18
When Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was told that the Israelites had made their escape, he and his courtiers changed their minds about the people. “What have we done,” they said, “allowing Israel to leave our service?” So Pharaoh had his chariot harnessed and gathered his troops about him, taking six hundred of the best chariots and all the other chariots in Egypt, each manned by a picked team. The Lord made Pharaoh, king of Egypt, stubborn, and he gave chase to the sons of Israel as they made their triumphant escape. So the Egyptians gave chase and came up with them where they lay encamped beside the sea – all the horses, the chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen, his army – near Pi-hahiroth, facing Baal-zephon. And as Pharaoh approached, the sons of Israel looked round – and there were the Egyptians in pursuit of them! The sons of Israel were terrified and cried out to the Lord. To Moses they said, “Were there no graves in Egypt that you must lead us out to die in the wilderness? What good have you done us, bringing us out of Egypt? We spoke of this in Egypt, did we not? Leave us alone, we said, we would rather work for the Egyptians! Better to work for the Egyptians than die in the wilderness!” Moses answered the people, “Have no fear! Stand firm, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today: the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will do the fighting for you: you have only to keep still.” The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me so? Tell the sons of Israel to march on. For yourself, raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and part it for the sons of Israel to walk through the sea on dry ground. I for my part will make the heart of the Egyptians so stubborn that they will follow them. So shall I win myself glory at the expense of Pharaoh, of all his army, his chariots, his horsemen. And when I have won glory for myself, at the expense of Pharaoh and his chariots and his army, the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.”
Psalm Exodus 15:1-6
R/ I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph! Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation. This is my God and I extol him, my father’s God and I give him praise.
The Lord is a warrior! ‘The Lord’ is his name. The chariots of Pharaoh he hurled into the sea, the flower of his army is drowned in the sea.
The deeps hide them; they sank like a stone. Your right hand, Lord, glorious in its power, your right hand, Lord, has shattered the enemy.
Gospel Acclamation: cf.2Tim1:10
Alleluia, alleluia! Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death and he has proclaimed life through the Good News. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
Some of the scribes and Pharisees spoke up. “Master,” they said, “we should like to see a sign from you.” He replied, “It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the sea-monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.”
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who in the one perfect sacrifice brought to completion varied offerings of the law, accept, we pray, this sacrifice from your faithful servants and make it holy, as you blessed the gifts of Abel, so that what each has offered to the honour of your majesty may benefit the salvation of all. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 110: 4-5
The Lord, the gracious, the merciful, has made a memorial of his wonders; he gives food to those who fear him.
Prayer after Communion
Graciously be present to your people, we pray, O Lord, and lead those you have imbued with heavenly mysteries to pass from former ways to newness of life. Through Christ our Lord.
Every day, the Lord manifests acts of greatness in our lives, and he is glorified at the expense of our adversaries, as he did with the Egyptians. But the greatest sign he gives us is that of the resurrection. This is the sign par excellence that should motivate us to conversion, because it puts an end to man’s greatest fear of all time: entry into nothingness after this life. Lord, may the ultimate sign of the resurrection erase our resistance to conversion.