Blessed John Henry Newman
Born in London in 1801, he was for over twenty years an Anglican clergyman. His studies of the early Church led him progressively towards Catholicism, and in 1845 he embraced “the one true fold of the Redeemer”. He was a prolific and influential writer on a variety of subjects. In 1879 he was created Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. He died in Birmingham on 11 August 1890.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Est 4: 17
Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all.
Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask. 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: Jonah 1:1-2:1,11
The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah son of Amittai: “Up!” he said. “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and inform them that their wickedness has become known to me.” Jonah decided to run away from the Lord, and to go to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid his fare and went aboard, to go with them to Tarshish, to get away from the Lord. But the Lord unleashed a violent wind on the sea, and there was such a great storm at sea that the ship threatened to break up. The sailors took fright, and each of them called on his own god, and to lighten the ship they threw the cargo overboard. Jonah, however, had gone below and lain down in the hold and fallen fast asleep. The boatswain came upon him and said, “What do you mean by sleeping? Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps he will spare us a thought, and not leave us to die.” Then they said to each other, “Come on, let us draw lots to find out who is responsible for bringing this evil on us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell to Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us, what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country? What is your nationality?” He replied, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” The sailors were seized with terror at this and said, “What have you done?” They knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had told them so. They then said, “What are we to do with you, to make the sea grow calm for us?” For the sea was growing rougher and rougher. He replied, “Take me and throw me into the sea, and then it will grow calm for you. For I can see it is my fault this violent storm has happened to you.” The sailors rowed hard in an effort to reach the shore, but in vain, since the sea grew still rougher for them. They then called on the Lord and said, “O Lord, do not let us perish for taking this man’s life; do not hold us guilty of innocent blood; for you, the Lord, have acted as you have thought right.” And taking hold of Jonah they threw him into the sea; and the sea grew calm again. At this the men were seized with dread of the Lord; they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. The Lord had arranged that a great fish should be there to swallow Jonah; and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. The Lord spoke to the fish, which then vomited Jonah on to the shore.
Canticle: Jonah 2:3-5,8
R/ You lifted my life from the pit, O Lord.
Out of my distress I cried to the Lord and he answered me; from the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you have heard my voice.
You cast me into the abyss, into the heart of the sea, and the flood surrounded me. All your waves, your billows, washed over me.
And I said: I am cast out from your sight. How shall I ever look again on your holy Temple?
While my soul was fainting within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came before you
into your holy Temple.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Jn 6: 63, 68
Alleluia, alleluia! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? What do you read there?” He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” “You have answered right,” said Jesus. “Do this and life is yours.” But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied, “A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands’ hands?” “The one who took pity on him”, he replied. Jesus said to him, “Go, and do the same yourself.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, we pray, the sacrifices instituted by your commands and, through the sacred mysteries, which we celebrate with dutiful service, graciously complete the sanctifying work by which you are pleased to redeem us. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lam 3: 25
The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him.
Prayer after Communion
Grant us, almighty God, that we may be refreshed and nourished by the Sacrament which we have received, so as to be transformed into what we consume. Through Christ our Lord.
“Master, what must I do to share in eternal life?” The question is focused on life; the answer rather focused on love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart… and your neighbour as yourself.” Life and love are intimately linked. Love is more than a commandment: it is a source of life for the one who loves and is loved, it transforms the life of both. Love can certainly be expressed in feelings, however beautiful and noble they may be. But true love is first and foremost translated into action, into practice. “Do this and you will have life.” This is what Jesus teaches in the parable of the Good Samaritan: the Good Samaritan saved the man’s life and his own life was transformed. Let us ask for the grace to love God through our neighbour.