Monday, June 27, 2011


Aspiration to the Sacred Heart

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved in every place.


June 27, 2011

Monday of the Thirteenth Week
in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Gn 18:16-33

Abraham and the men who had visited him by the Terebinth of Mamre
set out from there and looked down toward Sodom;
Abraham was walking with them, to see them on their way.
The LORD reflected:

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
now that he is to become a great and populous nation,
and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him?
Indeed, I have singled him out
that he may direct his children and his household after him
to keep the way of the LORD
by doing what is right and just,
so that the LORD may carry into effect for Abraham
the promises he made about him.”

Then the LORD said:

“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out.”

While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said:
“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty,
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
The LORD replied,

“If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham spoke up again:
“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”
He answered,

“I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?”
He replied,

“I will forbear doing it for the sake of forty.”

Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?”
He replied,

“I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.”

Still Abraham went on,
“Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?”
He answered,

“I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

But he still persisted:
“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?”
He replied,

“For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham,
and Abraham returned home.

Responsorial Psalm
103:1b-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Mt 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him,
he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
A scribe approached and said to him,
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,

“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

Another of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But Jesus answered him,

“Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”


June 27

St. Cyril of Alexandria (376?-444)

Saints are not born with halos around their heads. Cyril, recognized as a great teacher of the Church, began his career as archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, with impulsive, often violent, actions. He pillaged and closed the churches of the Novatian heretics, participated in the deposing of St. John Chrysostom (September 13) and confiscated Jewish property, expelling the Jews from Alexandria in retaliation for their attacks on Christians.

Cyril’s importance for theology and Church history lies in his championing the cause of orthodoxy against the heresy of Nestorius.

The controversy centered around the two natures in Christ. Nestorius would not agree to the title “God-bearer” for Mary. He preferred “Christ-bearer,” saying there are two distinct persons in Christ (divine and human) joined only by a moral union. He said Mary was not the mother of God but only of the man Christ, whose humanity was only a temple of God. Nestorianism implied that the humanity of Christ was a mere disguise.

Presiding as the pope’s representative at the Council of Ephesus (431), Cyril condemned Nestorianism and proclaimed Mary truly the “God-bearer” (the mother of the one Person who is truly God and truly human). In the confusion that followed, Cyril was deposed and imprisoned for three months, after which he was welcomed back to Alexandria as a second Athanasius (the champion against Arianism).

Besides needing to soften some of his opposition to those who had sided with Nestorius, Cyril had difficulties with some of his own allies, who thought he had gone too far, sacrificing not only language but orthodoxy. Until his death, his policy of moderation kept his extreme partisans under control. On his deathbed, despite pressure, he refused to condemn the teacher of Nestorius.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

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.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.


Our limbs refreshed with slumber now,
And sloth cast off, in prayer we bow;
And while we sing thy praises dear,
O Father, be thou present here.
To thee our earliest morning song,
To thee our hearts’ full powers belong;
And thou, O Holy One prevent
Each following action and intent.
As shades at morning flee away,
And night before the star of day;
So each transgression of the night
Be purged by thee, celestial light!
Cut off, we pray Thee, each offence,
And every lust of thought and sense;
That by their lips who thee adore
Thou mayst be praised forevermore.
Grant this, O Father ever One
With Christ, thy sole-begotten Son,
And Holy Ghost, whom all adore,
Reigning and blest forevermore.

A prayer for relief from affliction
Psalm 6

Lord, save me in your merciful love.

Lord, do not condemn me in your fury:
do not destroy me in your anger.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed,
and you, Lord – how long?
Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit:
in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you?
Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?
I struggle and groan,
soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness:
I grow older as my enemies watch.
Leave me, all who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer,
granted me what I asked.
Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
let shame and confusion overtake them soon.

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.

Lord, save me in your merciful love.
Psalm 9A (9)

Thanksgiving for victory

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph,
make music to your name, O Most High.
Because my enemies are in full retreat;
they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour,
upheld my case,
taken your seat on the throne of judgement.
You have rebuked the nations,
condemned the wicked,
wiped out their name for ever and for ever.
My enemies are no more;
their land is a desert for ever.
You have demolished their cities,
their very memory is wiped away.
But the Lord will reign for ever:
he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice,
judge the peoples impartially.
The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name;
for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek you.

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.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.
Psalm 9A (9)

I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.

Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion,
proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood:
he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.
Take pity on me, Lord:
see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death,
and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Zion;
I will rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have fallen into the pit that they made,
into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth:
the sinner is trapped by his very own action.
Sinners will go down to the underworld,
and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten:
the hope of the weak will never perish.
Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent:
let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord:
let them know that they are only men.

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.

I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.
Give me understanding, and I will follow your law.
– I will keep it wholeheartedly.

1 Samuel 31:1-4,2 Samuel 1:1-16

The Philistines made war on Israel and the men of Israel fled from the Philistines and were slaughtered on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines pressed Saul and his sons hard and killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. The fighting grew heavy about Saul; the bowmen took him off his guard, so that he fell wounded by the bowmen. Then Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through with it; I do not want these uncircumcised men to come and gloat over me.’ But his armour-bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

After the death of Saul, David returned from his rout of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from the camp where Saul had been, his garments torn and earth on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did homage. ‘Where do you come from?’ David asked him. ‘I have escaped from the Israelite camp’ he said. David said to him, ‘What happened? Tell me.’ He replied, ‘The people have fled from the battlefield and many of them have fallen. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead too.’

David then asked the young soldier who brought the news, ‘How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?’ I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,’ the young soldier replied ‘and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and the cavalry pressing him hard. Then he turned round and saw me, and shouted to me. I answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Who are you?” “An Amalekite” I replied. Then he said, “Stand over me and kill me, for a giddiness has come on me, though my life is wholly in me still.” So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that once he fell he could not survive. Then I took the crown he wore on his head and the bracelet on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.’

Then David took hold of his garments and tore them, and all the men with him did the same. They mourned and wept and fasted until the evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the people of The Lord and for the House of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

David said to the young soldier who had brought the news, ‘Where are you from?’ ‘I am the son of a resident alien,’ he answered ‘an Amalekite.’ David said, ‘How is it you were not afraid to lift your hand to destroy The Lord’s anointed?’ Then David called one of his soldiers. ‘Come here,’ he said ‘strike him down.’ The man struck him and he died. ‘Your blood be on your own head,’ David said ‘for your own lips gave evidence against you when you said, “I killed The Lord’s anointed.”’


Mountains of Gilboa, let there be no rain or dew upon you, for there the mighty ones of Israel have fallen.

Let the Lord come to all the mountains round about, but let him pass by the mountains of Gilboa, for there the mighty ones of Israel have fallen.

From a sermon by Saint Augustine

He is the Lord our God, and we are the people of his pasture

The words we have sung contain our declaration that we are God’s flock: For he is the Lord our God who made us. He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hands. Human shepherds did not make the sheep they own; they did not create the sheep they pasture. Our Lord God, however, because he is God and Creator, made for himself the sheep which he has and pastures. No one else created the sheep he pastures, nor does anyone else pasture the sheep he created.

In this song we have declared that we are his flock, the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hands. Let us listen therefore to the words he addresses to us as his sheep. Earlier he addressed the shepherds, but now he speaks to the sheep. We listened to those earlier words of his and we – the shepherds – trembled, but you listened without a qualm.

What is to happen when we hear these words today? Are we in turn to be without a qualm while you tremble? By no means! We are shepherds, and the shepherd listens and trembles not only at what is said to the shepherds but also at what is said to the sheep. If he does listen without a qualm to what is said to his sheep, he is not concerned for them. And further, on that occasion we asked you in your charity to remember two points about us: first, that we are Christians, and second, that we are placed in charge. Because we are placed in charge, we are ranked among the shepherds, if we are good; but because we are Christians, we too are members of the flock with you. Therefore, whether the Lord is addressing the shepherds or the sheep, we must listen to all his words and tremble; our hearts must always remain concerned.

And so, my brothers, let us listen to the words with which the Lord upbraids the wicked sheep and to the promises he makes to his own flock. You are my sheep, he says. Even in the midst of this life of tears and tribulations, what happiness, what great joy it is to realise that we are God’s flock! To him were spoken the words: You are the shepherd of Israel. Of him it was said: The guardian of Israel will not slumber, nor will he sleep. He keeps watch over us when we are awake; he keeps watch over us when we sleep. A flock belonging to a man feels secure in the care of its human shepherd; how much safer should we feel when our shepherd is God. Not only does he lead us to pasture, but he even created us.

You are my sheep, says the Lord God. See, I judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. What are goats doing here in the flock of God? In the same pastures, at the same springs, goats – though destined for the left – mingle with those on the right. They are tolerated now, but will be separated later. In this way the patience of the flock develops and becomes like God’s own patience. For it is he who will do the separating, placing some on the left and others on the right.


My own sheep listen to my voice: I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish: no-one shall snatch them from my care.

I myself will tend my flock, I myself will pen them in their fold: no-one shall snatch them from my care.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
since by the adoption of grace
you have made us children of light,
do not let false doctrine darken our minds,
but grant that your light may shine within us
and we may always live in the brightness of truth.

We make our prayer 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.Amen.