Sunday 25th February

2ND  Sunday of Lent Year B

Psalter: Week 2

White

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 26: 8-9      

Of you my heart has spoken, Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me.

Collect  

O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory.

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: Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’ When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.  The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm

115(116):10,15-19

R/ I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

I trusted, even when I said: ‘I am sorely afflicted,’ O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds. A thanksgiving sacrifice I make; I will call on the Lord’s name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfill  before all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem.

Second reading: Romans 8:31-34     

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Gospel Acclamation:

Mt17:5   

Glory and praise to you, O Christ! From the bright cloud the Father’s voice was heard: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel: Mark 9:2-10            

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.  As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

Prayer over the Offerings   

May this sacrifice, O Lord, we pray, cleanse us of our faults and sanctify your faithful in body and mind for the celebration of the paschal festivities. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Mt 17: 5         

This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.

Prayer after Communion   

As we receive these glorious mysteries, we make thanksgiving to you, O Lord, for allowing us while still on earth to be partakers even now of the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer over the People       

Bless your faithful, we pray, O Lord, with a blessing that endures for ever, and keep them faithful to the Gospel of your Only Begotten Son, so that they may always desire and at last attain that glory whose beauty he showed in his own Body, to the amazement of his Apostles. Through Christ our Lord.

Meditation

The Transfiguration is one of the most important manifestations of God in the New Testament. Some scholars call it the “summary of all revelation”. In effect, Moses and Elijah, the spokespeople of the Law and the Prophets (in a word, all of the Old Testament), present the Christ of the Gospel to Peter, James and John, those who will be responsible for the preaching of the Gospel. Beyond mere vision, today’s gospel reading is an excellent example of the ingredients that constitute prayer – intercession, praise, or thanksgiving. It tells us that prayer is a response to Christ’s invitation to come up the mountain, that is, to leave behind our ordinary, everyday concerns and place ourselves quietly in the presence of God. It is an invitation to be alone with Christ. The climax of the story is the command from the cloud: “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him”. Prayer consists, above all, in listening and in hearing the word of Jesus. 

Saturday 24th February

Saint John Theristus

White

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.

Collect

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.

Meditation

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.

Friday 23rd February

Saint Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr

White

He was a disciple of the Apostles. He bears witness to the beliefs of the early Christians and the early stages of the development of doctrine. He was martyred in about 155.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 24: 17-18

Set me free from my distress, O Lord. See my lowliness and suffering, and take away all my sins.

Collect

Grant that your faithful, O Lord, we pray, may be so conformed to the paschal observances, that the bodily discipline now solemnly begun may bear fruit in the souls of all. 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 : Ezekiel 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord: ‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live? ‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 129:1-8

R/ If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?  But with you is found forgiveness: for this we revere you.

My soul is waiting for the Lord. I count on his word. My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak. (Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord.)

Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption, Israel indeed he will redeem from all its iniquity.

Gospel Acclamation : cf.Amos5:14

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and that the Lord God of hosts may really be with you. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel : Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples, If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Accept the sacrificial offerings, O Lord, by which, in your power and kindness, you willed us to be reconciled to yourself and our salvation to be restored. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Ez 33: 11

As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but rather that he turn back and live.

Prayer after Communion

May the holy refreshment of your Sacrament restore us anew, O Lord, and, cleansing us of old ways, take us up into the mystery of salvation. Through Christ our Lord.

Meditation

Do you bear grudges? A grudge is a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury from an adversary. Jesus talks about holding onto grudges, anger, hurt and perhaps even hate. Many have repeatedly dealt with grudges, anger, hurt and jealousy. These are emotions that we all have. They are “part and parcel” of human life, and Saint Paul refers to them as sins against the Spirit. These emotions that we consider negative are as much part of us as are virtues such as love, gratitude, appreciation, hope, understanding and faith! We humanly experience both ends of the spectrum of emotions: positive and negative. Today Jesus is talking about the choice we all have to make. We can focus on the positive that makes us feel good: love, hope, generosity and faith, or on what disturbs and upsets us: anger, jealousy, etc. Our Lenten mortifications will help us make choices that save.  

Wednesday 21 February

Saint Peter Damian

(1007 – 1072)

Purple

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.

Collect

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.

Meditation

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.

Tuesday 20 February

Saint Wulfric

Purple

Born in England, he became a priest and was excessively materialistic and worldly. After meeting with a beggar, he underwent a personal conversion and became a hermit at Haselbury; He then devoted himself to rigorous austerities and was known for his miracles and prophecies.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 89: 1-2

O Lord, you have been our refuge, from generation to generation; from age to age, you are.

Collect

Look upon your family, Lord, that, through the chastening effects of bodily discipline, our minds may be radiant in your presence with the strength of our yearning for you. 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 : Isaiah 55:10-11

Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:4-7,16-19

R/ The Lord rescues the just in all their distress.

Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his name. I sought the Lord and he answered me; from all my terrors he set me free.

Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed. This poor man called, the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked to destroy their remembrance from the earth. The Lord turns his eyes to the just and his ears to their appeal.

They call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Gospel Acclamation : Mt4:4

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel : Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one. ‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Receive, O Creator, almighty God, what we bring from your bountiful goodness, and be pleased to transform this temporal sustenance you have given us, that it may bring us eternal life. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 4: 2

When I called, the God of justice gave me answer; from anguish you released me; have mercy,   Lord, and hear my prayer!

Prayer after Communion

Grant us through these mysteries, Lord, that by moderating earthly desires we may learn to love the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

Meditation

The “Our Father”, the Lord’s Prayer, is one of the most appropriate prayers for Lent. We know that the value of prayer does not lie in the quantity of words and repetition of formulae. It lies mainly in our inner disposition of faith in our love for/of God. So, when we pray, we have to lift our minds and hearts to God who is not only Our Father, but a faithful and devoted friend. He is always ready to welcome us to share a quiet and personal moment with him. So, to pray may not just be talking, but a surrender of our lives into God’s loving hands. Lent is that appropriate time to express our self-abandonment to God as we unite to Jesus’ suffering in fasting and charitable activities. God is ready to provide our daily bread and take away our sins so that we have the strength to work with/for him. Let’s be open.

Monday 19 February

Bl. Alvarez of Corova

Purple

Alvarez entered the Dominican convent at Cordova in 1368. He became known for his preaching prowess in Spain and Italy. By the time of his death, he was famous all over Spain for his teaching, preaching, asceticism, and holiness. His cult was confirmed in 1741.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 122: 2-3

Like the eyes of slaves on the hand of their lords, so our eyes are on the Lord our God, till he show us his mercy. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Collect

Convert us, O God our Saviour, and instruct our minds by heavenly teaching, that we may benefit from the works of Lent. 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 : Leviticus 19:1-2,11-18

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said: ‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them: ‘“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy. ‘“You must not steal nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour. You must not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. You must not exploit or rob your neighbour. You must not keep back the labourer’s wage until next morning. You must not curse the dumb, nor put an obstacle in the blind man’s way, but you must fear your God. I am the Lord. ‘“You must not be guilty of unjust verdicts. You must neither be partial to the little man nor overawed by the great; you must pass judgement on your neighbour according to justice. You must not slander your own people, and you must not jeopardise your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord. You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18:8-10,15

R/ Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.

The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding for ever. The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.

May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favour in your sight, O Lord, my rescuer, my rock!

Gospel Acclamation : Ezk18:31

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord who speaks – and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel : Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. ‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” ‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’

Prayer over the Offerings

May this devout oblation be acceptable to you, O Lord, that by your power it may sanctify our manner of life and gain for us your conciliation and pardon. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Mt 25: 40, 34

Amen, I say to you: Whatever you did for one of the least of my brethren, you did it for me, says the Lord. Come, you blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Prayer after Communion

We pray, O Lord, that, in receiving your Sacrament, we may experience help in mind and body so that, kept safe in both, we may glory in the fullness of heavenly healing. Through Christ our Lord.

Meditation

Lent is also a preparation for the coming of the Master. We are taken to the moment the Son of Man comes in glory (v. 31). The nations are assembled, and the sheep are separated from the goats (vv. 32-33). This passage is similar to the Rich Man and Lazarus in that the time to repent and be converted and care for the poor on one’s doorstep is past. Judgment has arrived. Jesus emphasises the connection between seeing a need and acting on it. It is reminiscent of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke. It says that all three observers of the man in the ditch “saw him.” In response to that seeing, the first two “passed by on the other side.” The third person “saw him” was “moved with pity,” and then he took concrete action to express his compassion and assist the injured man. In Luke’s Gospel, when Jesus saw the woman weeping at the death of her only son, he had compassion for her and brought her son to life (Lk 7:13). When the father saw the prodigal son still far off . . . he was filled with compassion. He ran and embraced him (Lk 15:20). What makes some blessed is that, though they don’t realise it, in seeing the poor and helping them, they see and help Jesus. Helping people experiencing poverty is a source of Lenten conversion.

1st  sunday of lent

Psalter: Week 1

Sai