Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Reading 1
Zep 3:1-2, 9-13

Thus says the LORD:
Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted,
to the tyrannical city!
She hears no voice,
accepts no correction;
In the LORD she has not trusted,
to her God she has not drawn near.

For then I will change and purify
the lips of the peoples,
That they all may call upon the name of the LORD,
to serve him with one accord;
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
and as far as the recesses of the North,
they shall bring me offerings.

On that day
You need not be ashamed
of all your deeds,
your rebellious actions against me;
For then will I remove from your midst
the proud braggarts,
And you shall no longer exalt yourself
on my holy mountain.
But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
Who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
Nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
They shall pasture and couch their flocks

with none to disturb them.

Responsorial Psalm
34:2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Mt 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the Kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,

you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

Prayer of the Day

Prayer to Blessed Frances Schervier

Blessed Frances Schervier, you have sweetened with heroic love the misery and the suffering of humankind; for this, while you were still living, you were called "Mother of the Poor."
Obtain for us from God a charity open to the world to give itself in a generous service to those in need.


Saint of the Day

December 15

Blessed Mary Frances Schervier (1819-1876)

This woman who once wanted to become a Trappistine nun was instead led by God to establish a community of sisters who care for the sick and aged in the United States and throughout the world.

Born into a distinguished family in Aachen (then ruled by Prussia but formerly Aix-la-Chapelle, France), Frances ran the household after her mother’s death and established a reputation for generosity to the poor. In 1844 she became a Secular Franciscan. The next year she and four companions established a religious community devoted to caring for the poor. In 1851 the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis (a variant of the original name) were approved by the local bishop; the community soon spread. The first U.S. foundation was made in 1858.

Mother Frances visited the United States in 1863 and helped her sisters nurse soldiers wounded in the Civil War. She visited the United States again in 1868. When Philip Hoever was establishing the Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis, she encouraged him.

When Mother Frances died, there were 2,500 members of her community worldwide. The number has kept growing. They are still engaged in operating hospitals and homes for the aged. Mother Mary Frances was beatified in 1974.

Office of Readings

O Lord, open my lips.
– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Antiphon: Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come.

(repeat antiphon*)

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

(repeat antiphon*)

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

(repeat antiphon*)

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

(repeat antiphon*)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


(repeat antiphon*)

The Lord's triumphal journey
Psalm 67 (68)

God arises, and those who hate him flee from his sight.
God arises and his enemies are scattered:
those who hate him flee from his sight.
You blow them away like wisps of smoke;
as wax melts in front of a fire,
so the wicked melt away before God.
The righteous are glad and exult in God’s sight;
they rejoice in their gladness.
Sing to the Lord and celebrate his name!
Make a road for him who rides upon the clouds –
“The Lord” is his name.
Rejoice in his sight,
the father of orphans, defender of widows,
God in his holy dwelling-place,
God, who gives the lonely a house to dwell in,
God, who leads captives out into prosperity;
but the rebellious shall live in a desert land.
God, when you set out in the sight of your people,
when you crossed the wilderness – the earth shook.
The heavens sent down dew at your coming –
the God of Sinai, the God of Israel.
At your bidding the rains came, O God,
your inheritance was worn out but you refreshed it.
All your creatures took up residence there,
in your goodness you made a place for the needy.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


God arises, and those who hate him flee from his sight.
Psalm 67 (68)

Our God is a God of salvation, our Lord is a Lord who rescues from death.
The Lord gives out the word,
and a great army of maidens brings the news:
“The kings of the armies are fleeing, they are fleeing,
and the fair one at home is dividing the spoils.
While you sleep among the sheepfolds,
the wings of the dove shine with silver,
her feathers glow with green gold.
Through her the Almighty scatters the kings,
and the mountain of Zalmon is white with snow.
The mountain of Bashan is God’s mountain;
the mountain of God is a high-peaked mountain.
Why do you envy it, you high-peaked mountains,
envy the mountain that God has chosen?
The Lord will dwell there for ever.
The chariots of God are ten thousand thousand:
the Lord has come from Sinai to his holy sanctuary.
You have scaled the heights, you have taken captives,
you have received men as gifts
so that even the rebels live with the Lord God.
Blessings on the Lord, day after day!
God will carry us, God our saviour.
Our God is a God of salvation,
our Lord is a Lord who rescues from death.
Truly God will break the heads of his enemies,
take the scalps of those who tread the path of crime.
The Lord has spoken:
“I shall bring them back from Bashan,
I shall bring them back from the depths of the sea,
so that your feet may be dipped in blood
and the tongues of your dogs receive food from your enemies.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Our God is a God of salvation, our Lord is a Lord who rescues from death.
Psalm 67 (68)

Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God: celebrate the Lord.
They have seen your processions, O God,
the processions of God, my king, to his sanctuary.
First came the singers, last the musicians,
between them the maidens playing their drums.
“Bless God in the assemblies:
bless the Lord, you who spring from Israel!”
There was young Benjamin, leading them,
the princes of Judah in their rich robes,
the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
O God, command in your strength;
make firm what you have achieved in us.
From your temple in Jerusalem,
kings shall bring you tribute.
Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds,
the herd of bulls, the lords of peoples.
Let them lie prostrate before you with tribute of silver.
Scatter the peoples that delight in war.
Nobles will come from Egypt,
Ethiopia will stretch out its hands to God.
Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
celebrate the Lord.
Sing to God who rides on the highest heavens,
at the origin of all things.
Listen! – he speaks, a voice of power.
Acknowledge the strength of the Lord:
his majesty is over Israel,
his strength is in the clouds.
God inspires awe in his holy place;
he, the God of Israel, gives power to his people;
he gives them strength.
Blessed be God!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God: celebrate the Lord.
A voice crying in the wilderness: prepare a way for the Lord.
– Make straight the paths of our God.

Reading Isaiah 30:27-33,31:4-9

See, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
blazing is his anger, heavy his exaction.
His lips brim with fury,
his tongue is like a devouring fire.
His breath is like a river in spate
coming up to the neck.
He comes to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
to put the bit of his bridle between the jaws of the nations.
The Lord will make his majestic voice be heard
and display his arm falling to strike,
in the ferocity of his anger, in the glare of a devouring fire,
in cloudburst, downpour, hailstones.
For at the voice of the Lord Assyria will be battered
and beaten with the rod.
Each time he will feel the punishing rod
that the Lord will lay on him.
The song you sing will be like that on a festal night
when hearts are gay,
or when to the sound of flute men make
a pilgrimage to the mountain of the Lord,
to the rock of Israel,
with music of tambourine and harp
and with dancing...
For in Topheth there has been prepared beforehand,
yes, made ready for Molech,
a pit deep and wide
with straw and wood in plenty.
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,
will set fire to it.
Yes, this is what the Lord has said to me:
As a lion or lion cub
growls over its prey,
and even when a whole band of shepherds
gathers against him,
he is not frightened by their shouting
or alarmed by the noise they make,
just so will the Lord of Hosts descend to fight
on Mount Zion and on its hill.
Like hovering birds
so will the Lord of Hosts protect Jerusalem,
he will protect it, rescue it,
spare it and save it.
Come back to the one you have so wickedly betrayed,
sons of Israel.
Yes, that day, every one of you will throw away the silver idols and gold idols which you have made with your guilty hands.
Assyria will fall by a sword that is not man’s,
will be devoured by a sword that is more than human,
he will flee before the sword
and his young warriors will be enslaved.
In his terror he will abandon his rock,
and his panic-stricken leaders desert their standard.
It is the Lord who speaks, whose fire is in Zion,
and his furnace in Jerusalem.

Reading The Imitation of Christ
On humility and peace

Do not worry about who is and is not on your side: simply make sure that God is with you in all you do.

Have a clear conscience, and God will defend you. For if God chooses to help you, no malice can do you harm.

If you know how to suffer in silence, without doubt you will receive the help of the Lord. He knows when and how he will free you, so resign yourself into his care. It is for God to give help and give freedom from trouble.

For the sake of humility it is often good for others to know our weaknesses and tax us with them.

When a man holds himself humbly because of his weakness, it is easy for him to please others and calm those who are angry with him.

God protects and frees the humble, loves and consoles them. He leans down to the humble, he bestows great grace on them, he lifts them from their lowliness into glory.

God calls the humble gently to him, and to them he reveals his secrets.

If a humble man is humiliated, he is happy enough and at peace, because his support is God and not the world.

Do not count yourself as having made progress until you feel yourself inferior to everyone.

A peaceable man is of more use than a learned man.

If you are a slave to your feelings, you will see good actions as bad, and you will easily believe the worst; a good and peaceful man will see good in everything.

Whoever is truly at peace is not plagued by suspicion. Whoever is discontented and disturbed will be blown about by gusts of suspicion: he cannot rest and will not let others rest either.

He often says what he should not say, and fails to do what it would be best to do.

He knows what other people ought to do, but not what he should be doing himself.

Worry about your own behaviour first; you can worry about other people later.

You are good at making excuses for your own behaviour and showing it in the best light, but you do not want to accept the excuses of others. It would be fairer for you to accuse yourself and excuse your brother.

If you want other people to put up with you, put up with them first.

Concluding Prayer

O God, through your only-begotten Son you made us into a new creation.
Look down on what your loving kindness has accomplished
and cleanse us from all stain by the coming of your Son.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.