Blessed Dominic Barberi
Dominic Barberi was born near Viterbo, Italy, in 1792 and joined the Passionist Order. He worked as a missionary in England. Blessed Dominic was noted for the personal warmth of his approach to non-Catholics and for his zeal in preaching; he drew crowds in spite of his strong Italian accent. Blessed Dominic died at Reading in 1849.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 83: 10-11
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield; and look on the face of your anointed one; one day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
O God, who have prepared for those who love you good things which no eye can see, fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of your love, so that, loving you in all things and above all things, we may attain your promises, which surpass every human desire. 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: Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11,4:13-17
Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, well-to-do and of Elimelech’s clan. His name was Boaz. Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go into the fields and glean among the ears of corn in the footsteps of some man who will look on me with favour.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went to glean in the fields after the reapers. And it chanced that she came to that part of the fields which belonged to Boaz of Elimelech’s clan. Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter, and understand this. You are not to glean in any other field, do not leave here but stay with my servants. Keep your eyes on whatever part of the field they are reaping and follow behind. I have ordered my servants not to molest you. And if you are thirsty, go to the pitchers and drink what the servants have drawn.” Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground. And she said to him, “How have I so earned your favour that you take notice of me, even though I am a foreigner?” And Boaz answered her, I have been told all you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death, and how you left your own father and mother and the land where you were born to come among a people whom you knew nothing about before you came here.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. And when they came together, the Lord made her conceive and she bore a son. And the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord who has not left the dead man without next of kin this day to perpetuate his name in Israel. The child will be a comfort to you and the prop of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you and is more to you than seven sons has given him birth.” And Naomi took the child to her own bosom and she became his nurse. And the women of the neighbourhood gave him a name. “A son has been born for Naomi”, they said; and they named him Obed. This was the father of David’s father, Jesse.
R/ Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways! By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house; your children like shoots of the olive, around your table.
Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life!
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:36, 29
Alleluia, alleluia! Bend my heart to your will, O Lord, and teach me your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, “The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi. “You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive our oblation, O Lord, by which is brought about a glorious exchange, that, by offering what you have given, we may merit to receive your very self. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 129: 7
With the Lord there is mercy; in him is plentiful redemption.
Prayer after Communion
Made partakers of Christ through these Sacraments, we humbly implore your mercy, Lord, that, conformed to his image on earth, we may merit also to be his coheirs in heaven. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
In the incident which today’s Gospel reports, we cannot overlook the fact that Jesus exhorts the crowd to do what the Pharisees teach, though the latter do not practice what they preach. Do I sometimes reject the message with the messenger? Being a Christian shouldn’t seem like an onerous encumbrance to bear. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11:30) – He was aware of people’s limitations. When I am tempted to pass judgment on what I believe to be another person’s failures, am I showing the same compassion as Jesus?