A centurion from Tingis (Morocco), he not only refused to worship Roman gods but also threw down his soldier’s insignia in front of the legion’s standards. As he did this, he proclaimed his Christian identity, his allegiance to the Lord and rejected the worship of gods made of stone and wood. He was put to death by the sword around the year 300.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 104: 3-4
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.
Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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 8:12-17
My brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live. Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.
Psalm 67 (68): 2, 4, 6-7, 20-21
R/ This God of ours is a God who saves.
Let God arise, let his foes be scattered. Let those who hate him flee before him. But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God, they shall exult and dance for joy.
Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, such is God in his holy place. God gives the lonely a home to live in; he leads the prisoners forth into freedom.
May the Lord be blessed day after day. He bears our burdens, God our saviour. This God of ours is a God who saves. The Lord our God holds the keys of death.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 17: 17
Alleluia, alleluia! Your word is truth, O Lord: consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia!
Gospel Luke 13:10-17
One Sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are rid of your infirmity.” And he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God. But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and he addressed the people present. “There are six days,” he said, “when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the Sabbath.” But the Lord answered him. “Hypocrites!” he said “Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the Sabbath day?” When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, we pray, O Lord, on the offerings we make to your majesty, that whatever is done by us in your service may be directed above all to your glory. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 19: 6
We will ring out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God.
Prayer after Communion
May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus saw the bent woman and immediately understood her suffering. He healed her without asking her permission. She immediately realised that Jesus had delivered her from her illness and gave thanks to God. What a beautiful, simple miracle, like the exchange of a look of love and trust. The ruler of the synagogue intervenes in this gentleness with great noise: he addresses the crowd to get over his bad temper, and speaks to them like a bad master to his servants. He pretends to be defending the rights of God but has not the slightest movement of compassion for this woman who has been crippled for eighteen years. It is Jesus’ turn to be indignant at this false judgement, which prefers order to love. This should be a lesson to us; the respect for human life, human dignity and the well-being of our neighbour are above every law. Let us strive for what makes man whole.