Blessed George Napier
He was born in Oxford and ordained priest in 1596. He worked secretly as a priest in 1603 in Oxfordshire. He was arrested in 1610: the possession of the holy oils and a breviary was considered sufficient evidence of priesthood and he was condemned to death. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Oxford on 8 November 1610 and beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
Entrance Antiphon: 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 13:8-10
Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.
R/ Happy the man who takes pity and lends.
Happy the man who fears the Lord, who takes delight in all his commands. His sons will be powerful on earth; the children of the upright are blessed.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: he is generous, merciful and just. The good man takes pity and lends, he conducts his affairs with honour.
Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm for ever. His head will be raised in glory.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:88
Alleluia, alleluia! Because of your love give me life, and I will do your will. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. “If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, ‘Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.’ Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.”
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.
Being a disciple of Christ is certainly noble but very demanding. It is a preferential option for GOD whom we must know, love and serve. It is also a commitment to a life of sacrifice and a permanent renunciation of self and worldliness. Christians of the present time find it difficult to bear the weight of our crosses, to carry them with faith and follow Christ. However, our salvation depends on our acceptance and determination to authentically follow our Master Jesus who Himself knew how to carry His Cross. No, carrying one’s Cross is not an ordeal! Through the intercession of our respective patron saints, may we gladly follow the Way of the Cross for our salvation and that of the whole world.