SAINT Cornelius, Pope AND
SAINT CYPRIEN, Bishop, Martyrs
Cornelius was made bishop of the church in Rome in the year 251. He fought against the Novatian schismatics, and established his authority with the aid of Cyprian. The emperor Gallus sent him into exile, and he died at Civitavecchia in June 253. He is buried in Rome.
The souls of the Saints are rejoicing in heaven, the Saints who followed the footsteps of Christ, and since for love of him they shed their blood, they now exult with Christ for ever.
O God, who gave Saints Cornelius and Cyprian to your people as diligent shepherds and valiant Martyrs, grant that through their intercession we may be strengthened in faith and constancy and spend ourselves without reserve for the unity of the Church. 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 Timothy 1:15-17
Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 112(113): 1-7
R/ May the name of the Lord be blessed for evermore!
Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! May the name of the Lord be blessed both now and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting praised be the name of the Lord! High above all nations is the Lord, above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, who has risen on high to his throne yet stoops from the heights to look down, to look down upon heaven and earth? From the dust he lifts up the lowly, from the dung heap he raises the poor
Gospel Acclamation: Jn14:6
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord; No one can come to the Father except through me. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 6:43-49
Jesus said to his disciples: “There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say? Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them – I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built. But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!”
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, we pray, O Lord, the offerings of your people in honour of the passion of your holy Martyrs Saints Cornelius and Cyprian, and may the gifts that gave them courage under persecution make us, too, steadfast in all trials. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lk 22: 28-30
It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, says the Lord, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.
Prayer after Communion
Through these mysteries which we have received, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that by the example of the Martyrs, Saints Cornelius and Cyprian we may be strengthened with the fortitude of your Spirit to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. Through Christ our Lord.
In this Gospel passage, Jesus uses two easily understood images to make an important point about the consequences of our actions. The first comes from a garden. No one would hope to find tasty figs on a thorn tree or luscious grapes on a bramble bush. The sort of person that I am, deep within me, influences the way that I act. Thus, becoming a good person is the most important object of my life. And this is not something that I can do without divine assistance. The fig trees symbolized fertility, peace, prosperity… Grapes symbolized joy. Brambles and thorns might only have served as firewood. Fruit, like character, takes time to ripen and mature, and so Jesus connects soundness of heart with good fruit. The second image is from the construction industry. While we should be serious about the buildings where we spend our short years in this world, we should be even more serious about where we are going to spend eternity. In what light, am I conscious of building my life on the teaching of the Lord? To what extent do I see myself developing a personal relationship with the Lord? How do I foster this?