SAINT Margaret Clitherow
She was born in York. At the age of 15 she married a butcher, John Clitherow, and three years later became a Catholic. She was crushed to death with a heavy stone, on 25 March 1586 for being a catholic and hiding catholic priests in her house.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 85: 1-3
Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me; save the servant who trusts in you, my God. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry to you all the day long.
O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found. 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: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Let me remind you, brothers, how hard we used to work, slaving night and day so as not to be a burden on any one of you while we were proclaiming God’s Good News to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, that our treatment of you, since you became believers, has been impeccably right and fair. You can remember how we treated every one of you as a father treats his children, teaching you what was right, encouraging you and appealing to you to live a life worthy of God, who is calling you to share the glory of his kingdom. Another reason why we constantly thank God for you is that as soon as you heard the message that we brought you as God’s message, you accepted it for what it really is, God’s message and not some human thinking; and it is still a living power among you who believe it.
Psalm 138 (139):7-12
R/ O Lord, you search me and you know me.
Where can I go from your spirit, or where can I flee from your face? If I climb the heavens, you are there. If I lie in the grave, you are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn and dwell at the sea’s furthest end, even there your hand would lead me, your right hand would hold me fast.
If I say: “Let the darkness hide me and the light around me be night”, even darkness is not dark for you and the night is as clear as the day.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt 4:4
Alleluia, alleluia! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 23:27-32
Jesus said: “Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of corruption. In the same way you appear to people from the outside like good honest men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who build the sepulchres of the prophets and decorate the tombs of holy men, saying, ‘We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day.’ So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then, finish off the work that your fathers began.”
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, who gained for yourself a people by adoption through the one sacrifice offered once for all, bestow graciously on us, we pray, the gifts of unity and peace in your Church. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 103: 13-15
The earth is replete with the fruits of your work, O Lord; you bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer the heart.
Prayer after Communion
Complete within us, O Lord, we pray, the healing work of your mercy and graciously perfect and sustain us, so that in all things we may please you. Through Christ our Lord.
Even in times of democracy, we need courageous people can confront power and pay the price. As we watch Jesus confront the powerful men of his day, the political and religious leaders, let us pray for those who take the risk of speaking the truth to those in power today. Let us also pray for those who abuse their power and for their victims. Let us ask God on this day for purity of heart, so that we may be aware of the inconsistencies between our thoughts and actions; let us ask forgiveness for our occasional hypocrisies and pray for those who have suffered because of our weaknesses.