All Saints of Africa
Today we celebrate the feast of all the Saints of Africa who, down through the ages, have followed the Lord with courage, love and dedication. Many of these saints are unknown to us, while others are remembered in various countries on account of their exemplary life of discipleship.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 37: 22-23
Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation!
Almighty and merciful God, by whose gift your faithful offer you right and praiseworthy service, grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised. 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 11:29-36
God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice. Just as you changed from being disobedient to God, and now enjoy mercy because of their disobedience, so those who are disobedient now – and only because of the mercy shown to you – will also enjoy mercy eventually. God has imprisoned all men in their own disobedience only to show mercy to all mankind. How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom and knowledge – and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods! Who could ever know the mind of the Lord? Who could ever be his counsellor? Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything? All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen.
Psalm 68 (69): 30-31, 33-34, 36-37
R/ In your great love, answer me, O God.
As for me in my poverty and pain let your help, O God, lift me up. I will praise God’s name with a song; I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
The poor when they see it will be glad and God-seeking hearts will revive; for the Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
For God will bring help to Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah and men shall dwell there in possession. The sons of his servants shall inherit it; those who love his name shall dwell there.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 118: 18
Alleluia, alleluia! Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may consider the wonders of your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 14: 12-14
Jesus said to his host, one of the leading Pharisees, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May these sacrificial offerings, O Lord, become for you a pure oblation, and for us a holy outpouring of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 15: 11
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord.
Prayer after Communion
May the working of your power, O Lord, increase in us, we pray, so that, renewed by these heavenly Sacraments, we may be prepared by your gift for receiving what they promise. Through Christ our Lord.
Once again Jesus speaks to us and challenges us through his Word. Aware of the fact that we often organize receptions, he invites us to think first of all of the “anawim”, i.e. “the poor and disenfranchised” who are the real bridge to Heaven. Inviting the miserable thus becomes a way to go beyond the faithless, to think of eschatological ends and to obtain a place of choice in the Heart of God. In fact, by acting selflessly for the marginalized, we imitate Jesus and also attract the attention of GOD our Father on ourselves. Thus we will be rewarded on the Last Day.