Thursday 21 december

by | Dec 20, 2023 | Evangelium

SAINT Peter Canisius,

Priest, Doctor

O Oriens !

He was born in Holland in 1521. He studied at Cologne and joined the Society of Jesus: he was ordained priest in 1546. He worked hard to defend and strengthen the Catholic faith both by writing and by preaching. He wrote many books, of which The Catechism is particularly noteworthy. He died at Fribourg in Switzerland on 21 November 1597.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Is 7: 14;

The Lord and Ruler will be coming soon, and his name will be called Emmanuel, because he will be called God-with-us.


Hear in kindness, O Lord, the prayers of your people, that those who rejoice at the coming of your Only Begotten Son in our flesh may, when at last he comes in glory, gain the reward of eternal life. 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: Song of Songs 2:8-14

I hear my Beloved. See how he comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills. My Beloved is like a gazelle, like a young stag. See where he stands behind our wall. He looks in at the window, he peers through the lattice. My Beloved lifts up his voice, he says to me, ‘Come then, my love, my lovely one, come. For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my love, my lovely one, come. My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.’

Psalm 32(33):2-3,11-12,20-21

R/ Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; O sing him a song that is new.

Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp, with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs. O sing him a song that is new, play loudly, with all your skill.

His own designs shall stand for ever, the plans of his heart from age to age. They are happy, whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his own.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord. The Lord is our help and our shield. In him do our hearts find joy. We trust in his holy name.

Gospel Acclamation      

Alleluia, alleluia! Key of David, who open the gates of the eternal kingdom, come to liberate from prison the captive who lives in darkness. Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 1:39-45      

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

Prayer over the Offerings               

Be pleased, O Lord, to accept the offerings of your Church, for in your mercy you have given them to be offered and by your power you transform them into the mystery of our salvation. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Lk 1: 45   

Blessed are you who have believed, that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.

Prayer after Communion               

Lord, may participation in this divine mystery provide enduring protection for your people, so that, being subject to your glorious majesty in dedicated service, they may know abundant health in mind and body. Through Christ our Lord.


Today, the Church invites us to meditate on an aspect of Elizabeth’s life; her openness to the will of God. We are told that during Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greetings, the child in her womb leapt for joy and, filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth cried out to Mary: you are blessed among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb…” In welcoming the grace of God, Elizabeth remained opened to the Holy Spirit, an openness which let her to discover the wonders God had accomplished in the lives of others like Mary. What is our attitude when we discover the grace of God working in our lives and those of others? Do we bless others who have received the grace of God or are we envious of them? Do we become proud and egoistic or humble and open to sharing with others?