SAINT Alphonsus Liguori
He was a Neapolitan lawyer who became a priest. He preached in the rural districts around Naples. His bishop asked him to establish an order of missionaries to work in the countryside, and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) was formally established in 1749. Alphonsus lived an exceptionally holy life.
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.
O God, who constantly raise up in your Church new examples of virtue, grant that we may follow so closely in the footsteps of the Bishop Saint Alphonsus in his zeal for souls as to attain the same rewards that are his in heaven. 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 33:7-11,34:5-9,28
Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside the camp, at some distance from the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who had to consult the Lord would go out to the Tent of Meeting, outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the Tent, all the people would rise. Every man would stand at the door of his tent and watch Moses until he reached the Tent; the pillar of cloud would come down and station itself at the entrance to the Tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. When they saw the pillar of cloud stationed at the entrance to the Tent, all the people would rise and bow low, each at the door of his tent. The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would turn back to the camp, but the young man who was his servant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the Tent. And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with him there. He called on the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness; for thousands he maintains his kindness, forgives faults, transgression, sin; yet he lets nothing go unchecked, punishing the father’s fault in the sons and in the grandsons to the third and fourth generation.” And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. “If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,” he said, “let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.” Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing. He inscribed on the tablets the words of the Covenant – the Ten Words.
R/ The Lord is compassion and love.
The Lord does deeds of justice, gives judgement for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses and his deeds to Israel’s sons.
The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. His wrath will come to an end; he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults. For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins. As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
Gospel Acclamation: 1P1:25
Alleluia, alleluia! The word of the Lord remains for ever: What is this word? It is the Good News that has been brought to you. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, “Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.” He said in reply, “The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!”
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, to enkindle our hearts with the celestial fire of your Spirit, just as you granted that Saint Alphonsus should celebrate these mysteries and by them offer himself to you as a holy sacrifice. 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
O God, who gave us Saint Alphonsus to be a faithful steward and preacher of this great mystery, grant that your faithful may receive it often and, receiving it, praise you without end. Through Christ our Lord.
The explanation that Jesus gives to the parable of the tares on this day invites us to work towards gaining Heaven while on earth by bearing fruits from the gifts and qualities that God has sown in us. In the face of evil that ravages our daily lives as Christians, and which sometimes haunts our days and nights to the point of disorienting and discouraging us, we are called to lead ordinary lives that, though seemingly void of all transcendence, recognise and valorise God’s presence in ordinary events, without necessarily awaiting any extraordinary situations that may never occur. We must think of eternity and help others to do same!