SAINT Callistus I, Pope
From a weakened ex-slave in receipt of an invalidity pension, Callistus rose to be archdeacon, had charge of the Roman catacomb which now bears his name, and ended up as Pope. He lived in a time of peace under the emperor Alexander Severus, whose mother was a Christian, he may have been killed in a riot.
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: Joel 4: 12-21
The Lord says this: “Let the nations rouse themselves, let them march to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for I am going to sit in judgement there on all the nations round. Put the sickle in: the harvest is ripe; come and tread: the winepress is full, the vats are overflowing, so great is their wickedness!” Host on host in the Valley of Decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision! Sun and moon grow dark, the stars lose their brilliance. The Lord roars from Zion, makes his voice heard from Jerusalem; heaven and earth tremble. But the Lord will be a shelter for his people, a stronghold for the sons of Israel. “You will learn then that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be a holy place, no alien will ever pass through it again.” When that day comes, the mountains will run with new wine and the hills flow with milk, and all the river beds of Judah will run with water. A fountain will spring from the house of the Lord to water the wadi of Acacias. Egypt will become a desolation, Edom a desert waste on account of the violence done to the sons of Judah whose innocent blood they shed in their country. But Judah will be inhabited for ever, Jerusalem from age to age. “I will avenge their blood and let none go unpunished”, and the Lord shall make his home in Zion.
R/ Rejoice, you just, in the Lord.
The Lord is king, let earth rejoice, let all the coastlands be glad. Cloud and darkness are his raiment; his throne, justice and right.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth. The skies proclaim his justice; all peoples see his glory.
Light shines forth for the just and joy for the upright of heart. Rejoice, you just, in the Lord; give glory to his holy name.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 14: 23
Alleluia, alleluia! If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 11:27-28
As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, “Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!” But he replied, “Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
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.
The woman who, in the midst of the crowd, proclaims Mary blessed because she gave birth to and nourished Jesus, restricts the scope of this beatitude happy… She makes it something small and transitory, granted to a single person. There is a certain envy in her cry. But God’s measure is good, packed, shaken, overflowing, and Jesus offers this woman and all of us eternal bliss. Those who hear the word of God and keep it are happy, for they are loved by God who comes to make his home in them. Didn’t Jesus say: “If anyone loves me, he will remain faithful to my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and dwell with him?”