Sunday, July 8, 2012

PRAYER OF THE DAY

For the Fruits of the Precious Blood

Almighty and everlasting God,
who hast appointed Thy only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world,
and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood,
grant us, we beseech Thee,
so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation,
that the power thereof may here on earth 
keep us from all things hurtful,
and the fruit of the same may gladden us for 
ever hereafter in heaven.
Through the same Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

DAILY MASS READINGS

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Ez 2:2-5

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted 
against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD!
And whether they heed or resist-
-for they are a rebellious house--
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 123:1-2, 2, 3-4

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven --
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.


Reading 2
2 Cor 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:

That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, 
that it might leave me,
but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness."
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.


Gospel
Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them,

"A prophet is not without honor 
except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."

So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people 
by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

SAINT OF THE DAY

July 8

St. Gregory Grassi and Companions (d. 1900)

Christian missionaries have often gotten caught in the crossfire of wars against their own countries. When the governments of Britain, Germany, Russia and France forced substantial territorial concessions from the Chinese in 1898, anti-foreign sentiment grew very strong among many Chinese people.

Gregory Grassi was born in Italy in 1833, ordained in 1856 and sent to China five years later. Gregory was later ordained Bishop of North Shanxi. With 14 other European missionaries and 14 Chinese religious, he was martyred during the short but bloody Boxer Uprising of 1900.

Twenty-six of these martyrs were arrested on the orders of Yu Hsien, the governor of Shanxi province. They were hacked to death on July 9, 1900. Five of them were Friars Minor; seven were Franciscan Missionaries of Mary — the first martyrs of their congregation. Seven were Chinese seminarians and Secular Franciscans; four martyrs were Chinese laymen and Secular Franciscans. The other three Chinese laymen killed in Shanxi simply worked for the Franciscans and were rounded up with all the others. Three Italian Franciscans were martyred that same week in the province of Hunan. All these martyrs were beatified in 1946 and were among teh 120 martyrs canonized in 2000.


OFFICE OF READINGS

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.

– We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.

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.

– We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.

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.

– We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.

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.

– We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.

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.

– We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.

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.
Amen.

– We are God’s people, the sheep of his flock: 
come, let us worship him, alleluia.


Hymn

This day at thy creating Word
First o’er the earth the light was poured:
O Lord, this day upon us shine
And fill our souls with light divine.
This day the Lord for sinners slain
In might victorious rose again:
O Jesus, may we rais├Ęd be
From death of sin to life in thee!
This day the Holy Spirit came
With fiery tongues of cloven flame:
O Spirit, fill our hearts this day
With grace to hear and grace to pray.
O day of light and life and grace,
From earthly toil a resting-place,
The hallowed hours, blest gift of love,
Give we again to God above.
All praise to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
Whom, with the Spirit, we adore
For ever and for evermore.


Psalm 103 (104)
Hymn to God the Creator

Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe. Alleluia.

Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord, my God, how great you are!
You are robed in majesty and splendour;
you are wrapped in light as in a cloak.
You stretch out the sky like an awning,
you build your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you walk upon the wings of the wind.
You make the breezes your messengers,
you make burning fire your minister.
You set the earth upon its foundation:
from age to age it will stand firm.
Deep oceans covered it like a garment,
and the waters stood high above the mountains;
but you rebuked them and they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they fled in terror.
They rise to the mountains or sink to the valleys,
to the places you have decreed for them.
You have given them a boundary they must not cross;
they will never come back to cover the earth.
You make springs arise to feed the streams,
that flow in the midst of the mountains.
All the beasts of the field will drink from them
and the wild asses will quench their thirst.
Above them will nest the birds of the sky,
from among the branches their voices will sound.

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.
Amen.

Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe. Alleluia.


Psalm 103 (104)

The Lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine, 
to cheer man’s heart. Alleluia.

From your palace you water the mountains,
and thus you give plenty to the earth.
You bring forth grass for the cattle,
and plants for the service of man.
You bring forth bread from the land,
and wine to make man’s heart rejoice.
Oil, to make the face shine;
and bread to make man’s heart strong.
The trees of the Lord have all that they need,
and the cedars of Lebanon, that he planted.
Small birds will nest there,
and storks at the tops of the trees.
For wild goats there are the high mountains;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
He made the moon so that time could be measured;
the sun knows the hour of its setting.
You send shadows, and night falls:
then all the beasts of the woods come out,
lion cubs roaring for their prey,
asking God for their food.
When the sun rises they come back together
to lie in their lairs;
man goes out to his labour,
and works until evening.

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.
Amen.

The Lord brought forth bread from the earth and wine, 
to cheer man’s heart. Alleluia.


Psalm 103 (104)

God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Alleluia.

How many are your works, O Lord!
You have made all things in your wisdom,
and the earth is full of your creatures.
The sea is broad and immense:
sea-creatures swim there, both small and large,
too many to count.
Ships sail across it;
Leviathan lives there, the monster;
you made him to play with.
All of them look to you
to give them their food when they need it.
You give it to them, and they gather;
you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
But turn away, and they are dismayed;
take away their breath, and they die,
once more they will turn into dust.
You will send forth your breath, they will come to life;
you will renew the face of the earth.
Glory be to the Lord, for ever;
let the Lord rejoice in his works.
He turns his gaze to the earth, and it trembles;
he touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
as long as I exist, I will sing songs to God.
May my praises be pleasing to him;
truly I will delight in the Lord.
Let sinners perish from the earth,
let the wicked vanish from existence.
Bless the Lord, my soul!

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.
Amen.

God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Alleluia.


Happy are your eyes, because they see.
– Happy are your ears, because they hear.


Reading
2 Samuel 12:1-25

The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. 
He came to him and said:

‘In the same town were two men,
one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds
in great abundance;
the poor man had nothing but a ewe lamb,
one only, a small one he had bought.
This he fed, and it grew up with him and his children,
eating his bread, drinking from his cup,
sleeping on his breast; it was like a daughter to him.
When there came a traveller to stay, the rich man
refused to take one of his own flock or herd
to provide for the wayfarer who had come to him.
Instead he took the poor man’s lamb
and prepared it for his guest.’

David’s anger flared up against the man. ‘As the Lord lives,’ he said to Nathan ‘the man who did this deserves to die! He must make fourfold restitution for the lamb, for doing such a thing and showing no compassion.’

Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man. The Lord the God of Israel says this, “I anointed you king over Israel; I delivered you from the hands of Saul; I gave your master’s house to you, his wives into your arms; I gave you the House of Israel and of Judah; and if this were not enough, I would add as much again for you. Why have you shown contempt for the Lord, doing what displeases him? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, taken his wife for your own, and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”

‘Thus the Lord speaks, “I will stir up evil for you out of your own House. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. You worked in secret, I will work this in the face of all Israel and in the face of the sun.”’

David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Then Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die. Yet because you have outraged the Lord by doing this, the child that is born to you is to die.’ Then Nathan went home.

The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David and it fell gravely ill. David pleaded with the Lord for the child; he kept a strict fast and went home and spent the night on the bare ground, covered with sacking. The officials of his household came and stood round him to get him to rise from the ground, but he refused, nor would he take food with them. On the seventh day the child died. David’s officers were afraid to tell him the child was dead. ‘Even when the child was alive’ they thought ‘we reasoned with him and he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He will do something desperate.’ David, however, noticed that his officers were whispering among themselves, and realised that the child was dead. ‘Is the child dead?’ he asked the officers. They answered, ‘He is dead.’

David got up from the ground, bathed and anointed himself and put on fresh clothes. Then he went into the sanctuary of the Lord and prostrated himself. On returning to his house he asked for food to be set before him, and ate. His officers said, ‘Why are you acting like this? When the child was alive you fasted and wept; now the child is dead you get up and take food.’ ‘When the child was alive’ he answered ‘I fasted and wept because I kept thinking, “Who knows? Perhaps the Lord will take pity on me and the child will live.” But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him but he cannot come back to me.’

David consoled his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and slept with her. She conceived and gave birth to a son whom she named Solomon. The Lord loved him and made this known through the prophet Nathan who named him Jedidiah in accordance with the word of the Lord.


Responsory

My sins are more in number than the sands of the sea. My transgressions abound, and I am not worthy to look up and gaze at the height of heaven because of the number of my wrongdoings, because I have provoked your wrath. I have done what is evil in your sight.

My offences, truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned. I have done what is evil in your sight.


Reading
From a sermon by Saint Augustine

A sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit

I acknowledge my transgression, says David. If I admit my fault, then you will pardon it. Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticise, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others. This was not the way that David showed us how to pray and make amends to God, when he said: I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me. He did not concentrate on others’ sins; he turned his thoughts on himself. He did not merely stroke the surface, but he plunged inside and went deep down within himself. He did not spare himself, and therefore was not impudent in asking to be spared.

Do you want God to be appeased? Learn what you are to do that God may be pleased with you. Consider the psalm again: If you wanted sacrifice, I would indeed have given it; in burnt offerings you will take no delight. Are you then to be without sacrifice? Are you to offer nothing? Will you please God without an offering? Consider what you read in the same psalm: If you wanted sacrifice, I would indeed have given it; in burnt offerings you will take no delight. But continue to listen, and say with David: A sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit; God does not despise a contrite and humble heart. Cast aside your former offerings, for now you have found out what you are to offer. In the days of your fathers you would have made offerings of cattle – these were the sacrifices. If you wanted sacrifice, I would indeed have given it. These then, Lord, you do not want, and yet you do want sacrifice.

You will take no delight in burnt offerings, David says. If you will not take delight in burnt offerings, will you remain without sacrifice? Not at all. A sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit; God does not despise a contrite and humble heart.

You now have the offering you are to make. No need to examine the herd, no need to outfit ships and travel to the most remote provinces in search of incense. Search within your heart for what is pleasing to God. Your heart must be crushed. Are you afraid that it might perish so? You have the reply: Create a clean heart in me, O God. For a clean heart to be created, the unclean one must be crushed.

We should be displeased with ourselves when we commit sin, for sin is displeasing to God. Sinful though we are, let us at least be like God in this, that we are displeased at what displeases him. In some measure then you will be in harmony with God’s will, because you find displeasing in yourself what is abhorrent to your Creator.


Responsory

My sins are embedded like arrows in my flesh. Lord, before they wound me, heal me with the medicine of repentance.

A clean heart create for me, O God. Put a steadfast spirit within me. Heal me with the medicine of repentance.


Hymn
Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.

Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord, 
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: 
we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
when our world lay in ruins,
you raised it up again on the foundation of your Son’s Passion and Death.
Give us grace to rejoice in the freedom from sin
which he gained for us,
and bring us to everlasting joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.