SAINT Stephen of Hungary
He was the son of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He worked hard for the conversion of his country to Christianity, setting up both episcopal sees and monasteries. He was crowned the first King of Hungary in 1001.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 73: 20
Look to your covenant, O Lord, and forget not the life of your poor ones for ever. Arise, O God, and defend your cause, and forget not the cries of those who seek you.
Almighty ever-living God, whom, taught by the Holy Spirit, we dare to call our Father, bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters, that we may merit to enter into the inheritance which you have promised. 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: Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Leaving the plains of Moab, Moses went up Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land; Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the stretch of the Valley of Jericho, city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross into it.” There in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of the Lord died as the Lord decreed; he buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but to this day no one has ever found his grave. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigour unimpaired. The sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end. Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. It was he that the sons of Israel obeyed, carrying out the order that the Lord had given to Moses. Since then, never has there been such a prophet in Israel as Moses, the man the Lord knew face to face. What signs and wonders the Lord caused him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and all his servants and his whole land! How mighty the hand and great the fear that Moses wielded in the sight of all Israel!
Psalm 65 (66):1-3, 5, 16-17
R/ Blessed be God, who gave life to my soul.
Cry out with joy to God all the earth, O sing to the glory of his name. O render him glorious praise. Say to God: “How tremendous your deeds!”
Come and see the works of God, tremendous his deeds among men. Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul: to him I cried aloud, with high praise ready on my tongue.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 110:7, 8
Alleluia, alleluia! Your precepts, O Lord, are all of them sure; they stand firm for ever and ever.
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, to accept the offerings of your Church, for in your mercy you have given them to be offered and by your power you transform them into the mystery of our salvation.
Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 147: 12, 14
O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord, who gives you your fill of finest wheat.
Prayer after Communion
May the communion in your Sacrament that we have consumed, save us, O Lord, and confirm us in the light of your truth. Through Christ our Lord.
Correcting others when they are wrong is never easy, and in these days of relativism and individualism, we tend to see this practice as obsolete or counterproductive. Even in the days when the gospels were written, it was considered a complex operation that had to be carried out with care and love in order to achieve its objectives. Yet we need to remember that we are responsible for each other. If we are called to correct others, let us never forget to preserve their dignity.