Wednesday 21 February

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Evangelium

Saint Peter Damian

(1007 – 1072)


Born in Ravenna, he joined the hermitage of Fonte Avellana. He strongly promoted the religious life in many parts of Italy and the Popes in their efforts at reform. He died on 21 February 1072.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 24: 6, 2, 22

Remember your compassion, O Lord, and your merciful love, for they are from of old. Let not our enemies exult over us. Redeem us, O God of Israel, from all our distress.


Look kindly, Lord, we pray, on the devotion of your people, that those who by self-denial are restrained in body, may by the fruit of good works, be renewed in mind. 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 : Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the Lord was addressed a second time to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 50:3-4,12-13,18-19

R/           A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

For in sacrifice you take no delight, burnt offering from me you would refuse, my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

Gospel Acclamation : Ezk33:11

Glory and praise to you, O Christ! I take pleasure, not in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – but in the turning back of a wicked man who changes his ways to win life.Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel : Luke 11:29-32

The crowds got even bigger and Jesus addressed them, ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’

Prayer over the Offerings

We offer to you, O Lord, what you have given to be dedicated to your name, that, just as for our benefit you make these gifts a Sacrament, so you may let them become for us an eternal remedy. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 5: 12

All who take refuge in you shall be glad, O Lord, and ever cry out their joy, and you shall dwell among them.

Prayer after Communion

O God, who never cease to nourish us by your Sacrament, grant that the refreshment you give us through it may bring us unending life. Through Christ our Lord.


In the Gospel of Mark, the crowds often see God’s presence in Jesus better than the Scribes and Pharisees do. But in Luke, they are sometimes shown as people curious to see signs and wonders but without a real commitment to following Jesus. Today, “the crowds got even bigger,” and Jesus spoke to them, not in flattery words. “This is a wicked generation asking for a sign.” The only sign it will get will be the sign of Jonah. The Ninevites, pagan sinners, received no other Divine warning than the coming of Jonah, who invited them to repent. The contemporaries of Jesus believe they are good because they belong to the chosen of God. They do not even realise the time has come for them to repent. Jesus, like Jonah, calls for repentance and radical conversion. And Jesus shows that many of his listeners are not ready or willing to hear that call. They don’t need any signs; Jesus has given them many signs through his teaching and healing work. Look up to Jesus, the sign of your salvation.