Saturday 24th February

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Evangelium

Saint John Theristus


He was a Benedictine monk of Calabrian lineage, born in Sicily. At a young age he became a monk. He helped to miraculously harvest a large crop ahead of destructive weather, saving the locals from starvation. There he remained until his death of natural causes, in 1129.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 18: 8

The law of the Lord is perfect; it revives the soul. The decrees of the Lord are steadfast; they give wisdom to the simple.


Turn our hearts to you, eternal Father, and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary and carrying out works of charity, we may be dedicated to your worship. 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 : Deuteronomy 26:16-19

Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. ‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2,4-5,7-8

R/  They are happy who follow God’s law!

They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law! They are happy who do his will, seeking him with all their hearts.

You have laid down your precepts to be obeyed with care. May my footsteps be firm to obey your statutes.

I will thank you with an upright heart as I learn your decrees. I will obey your statutes; do not forsake me.

Gospel Acclamation : cf.Lk8:15

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! Blessed are those who,  with a noble and generous heart, take the word of God to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel : Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Prayer over the Offerings

May these blessed mysteries by which we are restored, O Lord, we pray, make us worthy of the gift they bestow. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Mt 5: 48

Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, says the Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Show unceasing favour, O Lord, to those you refresh with this divine mystery, and accompany with salutary consolations those you have imbued with heavenly teaching. Through Christ our Lord.


Jesus challenges us today to strive for the perfection of the children of God, which is to love as God loves; to love all, even our enemies.  As we pray with this scripture, we may find ourselves thinking, “But, I don’t have any enemies. I am not a diplomat, nor have I been in a gang and I have escaped any family feuds.”  But, we must realize that in many ways, we create enemies by the barriers we place between others and myself.  Sometimes these barriers represent our insecurities about our abilities, our fear of rejection, or our desire to safeguard our reputation. Although we are all created in God’s image and likeness, a people peculiarly made God’s own, very early in life we begin to make distinctions between “us” and “them.”  We often judge ourselves to be more enlightened, more civilized and more deserving than “those” other people who may be of a different opinion or political leaning, a different background or identity, different language and culture.  In so doing, we dehumanize them by building barriers between “us” and “them” to the point where “they” simply become the “enemy.” Lent is a time to think otherwise.