Saints John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues and Companions
Between 1642 and 1649 these eight members of the Society of Jesus, who had travelled to North America to preach the true faith, were killed by the native Huron and Iroquois tribes after horrible tortures. Isaac Jogues died on 18 October 1647, and John de Brébeuf on 16 March 1648.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 129: 3-4
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, O God of Israel.
May your grace, O Lord, we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works. 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: Romans 3:21-30
God’s justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outside the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone, Jew and pagan alike, who believes in Jesus Christ. Both Jew and pagan sinned and forfeited God’s glory, and both are justified through the free gift of his grace by being redeemed in Christ Jesus who was appointed by God to sacrifice his life so as to win reconciliation through faith. In this way God makes his justice known; first, for the past, when sins went unpunished because he held his hand, then, for the present age, by showing positively that he is just, and that he justifies everyone who believes in Jesus. So what becomes of our boasts? There is no room for them. What sort of law excludes them? The sort of law that tells us what to do? On the contrary, it is the law of faith, since, as we see it, a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the Law tells him to do. Is God the God of Jews alone and not of the pagans too? Of the pagans too, most certainly, since there is only one God.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.
If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive? But with you is found forgiveness: for this we revere you.
My soul is waiting for the Lord. I count on his word. My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps110:7,8
Alleluia, alleluia! Your precepts, O Lord, are all of them sure; they stand firm for ever and ever.
Gospel: Luke 11:47-54
Jesus said: “Alas for you who build the tombs of the prophets, the men your ancestors killed! In this way you both witness what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building. And that is why the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute, so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet’s blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary.’ Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to answer for it all. Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves, and have prevented others going in who wanted to.” When he left the house, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions, setting traps to catch him out in something he might say.
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, the prayers of your faithful with the sacrificial offerings, that, through these acts of devotedness, we may pass over to the glory of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 33: 11
The rich suffer want and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.
Prayer after Communion
We entreat your majesty most humbly, O Lord, that, as you feed us with the nourishment which comes from the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, so you may make us sharers of his divine nature. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
It is easier to build tombs for prophets when they are dead than to listen to them while they are still alive with us! And to show gratitude to the prophets without taking their teaching into account is to kill them a second time. This is what Jesus tells us today. Those who did not heed the word spoken to them, by not recognizing Jesus the Messiah, did as their fathers did?