Saturday, November 24, 2012

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Prayer to Saint Andrew Dung-Lac & companions


O God,
the source and origin of all fatherhood,
you kept the blessed martyrs Andrew and his companions faithful to the cross of your Son even to the shedding of their blood.
Through their intercession enable us to spread your love among our brothers and sisters,
that we may be called and may truly be your children.

Amen.

DAILY MASS READINGS

Memorial of Saint Andrew D√ľng-Lac,
priest and martyr,
and his companions, martyrs

Reading
Rv 11:4-12

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me:
Here are my two witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths
and devours their enemies.
In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.
They have the power to close up the sky
so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying.
They also have power to turn water into blood
and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.

When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the abyss
will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them.
Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,
which has the symbolic names 'Sodom' and 'Egypt,'
where indeed their Lord was crucified.
Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation
will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days,
and they will not allow their corpses to be buried.
The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
and be glad and exchange gifts
because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth.
But after the three and a half days,
a breath of life from God entered them.
When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.
Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, "Come up here."
So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 144:1, 2, 9-10

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

My mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!


Gospel
Lk 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her."

Jesus said to them,

"The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called 'Lord'
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive."

Some of the scribes said in reply,
"Teacher, you have answered well."
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

SAINT OF THE DAY

November 24

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions


St. Andrew was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. Now all have been canonized by Pope John Paul II.

Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. 
Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. 
They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan.

The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. 
Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful.

Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries.

Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons.

The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. 
That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution.

By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees.

During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. 
Now the whole country is under Communist rule.

OFFICE OF READINGS

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.


Hymn

How great the tale, that there should be,
In God’s Son’s heart, a place for me!
That on a sinner’s lips like mine
The cross of Jesus Christ should shine!
Christ Jesus, bend me to thy will,
My feet to urge, my griefs to still;
That e’en my flesh and blood may be
A temple sanctified to Thee.
No rest, no calm my soul may win,
Because my body craves to sin;
Till thou, dear Lord, thyself impart
Peace on my head, light in my heart.
May consecration come from far,
Soft shining like the evening star.
My toilsome path make plain to me,
Until I come to rest in thee.


Psalm 130 (131)
Childlike trust in God

Whoever humbles himself like a little child 
will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, I do not puff myself up or stare about,
or walk among the great or seek wonders beyond me.
Truly calm and quiet I have made my spirit:
quiet as a weaned child in its mother’s arms –
like an infant is my soul.
Let Israel hope in the Lord, now and for all time.

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.

Whoever humbles himself like a little child 
will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.


Psalm 131 (132)

God's promise to the house of David

With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully,
O my God.

Lord, remember David
and how he served you.
He swore to the Lord,
vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not go into my tent, my home,
nor go up to my bed of rest;
I will not let my eyes sleep
or my eyelids grow heavy
until I have found a place for the Lord,
a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard that it was in Ephratha,
we found it in the plains of Jaar.
So let us go into his dwelling-place
and let us worship before his footstool.
Rise up, Lord, and come to your place of rest.
Come with the Ark of your power.
Let your priests be robed in your justice,
and let your chosen ones rejoice.
Remember what David did for you,
and do not turn your face from your Anointed.

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.

With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully,
O my God.


Psalm 131 (132)

The Lord swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word;
he made his kingdom firm for ever.

The Lord swore David a true oath,
he will not go back on his word:
“The fruit of your body
I will place on your throne.
If your children keep my covenant and the commands I teach them,
their children’s children will occupy your throne for ever.”
For the Lord has chosen Zion,
taken it for his dwelling-place:
“Here will I take my rest for all time:
here will I live, such is my desire.
I will bless its crops with my blessing,
I will fill its poor with bread.
I will clothe its priests with righteousness.
Its chosen ones will exult with joy.
There will I plant the sign of David,
and prepare a lamp for my anointed one.
I will wrap his enemies in confusion,
but over his head my crown will shine.

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 swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word;
he made his kingdom firm for ever.


Come and see the works of the Lord,
– who has done wonders on the earth.


Reading
Zechariah 14:1-21

See, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoils taken from you will be divided among you. The Lord will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle. The city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women ravished. Half the city will go into captivity, but the remnant of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will take the field; he will fight against these nations as he fights in the day of battle. On that day, his feet will rest on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem from the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge gorge; half the Mount will recede northwards, the other half southwards. And the Vale of Hinnom will be filled up from Goah to Jasol; it will be blocked as it was by the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. The Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

When that day comes, there will be no more cold, no more frost. It will be a day of wonder – the Lord knows it – with no alternation of day and night; in the evening it will be light. When that day comes, running waters will issue from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea, half of them to the western sea; they will flow summer and winter. And the Lord will be king of the whole world. When that day comes, the Lord will be unique and his name unique. The entire country will be transformed into plain, from Geba to Rimmon in the Negeb. And Jerusalem will be raised higher, though still in the same place; from the Gate of Benjamin to the site of the First Gate, that is to say to the Gate of the Corner and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepress, people will make their homes. The ban will be lifted; Jerusalem will be safe to live in.

And this is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations who have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh will moulder while they are still standing on their feet; their eyes will rot in their sockets; their tongues will rot in their mouths. And such will be the plague on the horses and mules, camels and donkeys, and all the animals to be found in that camp. When that day comes, a great terror will fall on them from the Lord; each man will grab his neighbour’s hand and they will hit out at each other. Even Judah will fight against Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be heaped together: gold, silver, clothing, in vast quantity.

All who survive of all the nations that have marched against Jerusalem will go up year by year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles. Should one of the races of the world fail to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, there will be no rain for that one. Should the race of Egypt fail to go up and pay its visit, on it will fall the plague which the Lord will inflict on each one of those nations that fail to go up to keep the feast of Tabernacles. Such shall be the punishment for Egypt and for all the nations that fail to go up to keep the feast of Tabernacles. When that day comes, the horse bells will be inscribed with the words, ‘Sacred to the Lord’, and in the Temple of the Lord the very cooking pots will be as fine as the sprinkling bowls at the altar. And every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall become sacred to the Lord of Hosts; all who want to offer sacrifice will come and help themselves from them for their cooking; there will be no more traders in the 
Temple of the Lord of Hosts, when that day comes.


Responsory

When that day comes,
water shall flow out from Jerusalem and a fountain shall spring up for the house of David, to wash away all sin.

One of the soldiers pierced the side of Jesus with a lance,
and immediately blood and water flowed out, to wash away all sin.


Reading
A letter of Saint Paul Le-Bao-Tinh

I am not alone: Christ is with me

I, Paul, in chains for the name of Christ, wish to relate to you the trials besetting me daily, in order that you may be inflamed with love for God and join with me in his praises. The prison here is a true image of everlasting hell: to cruel tortures of every kind – shackles, iron chains, manacles – are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief. But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always; he has delivered me from these tribulations and made them sweet, 
for his mercy is for ever.

In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, 
because I am not alone – Christ is with me.

Our Master bears the whole weight of the cross, leaving me only the tiniest, last bit. He is not a mere onlooker in my struggle, but a contestant and the victor and champion in the whole battle. Therefore upon his head is placed the crown of victory, and his members also share in his glory.

How am I to bear with the spectacle, as each day I see emperors, mandarins, and their retinue blaspheming your holy name, O Lord, who are enthroned above the cherubim and seraphim? Behold, the pagans have trodden your cross underfoot! Where is your glory? 
As I see all this, I would, in the ardent love I have for you, prefer to be torn limb from limb and to die as a witness to your love.

O Lord, show your power, save me, sustain me, that in my infirmity your power may be shown and may be glorified before the nations; 
grant that I may not grow weak along the way, and so allow your enemies to hold their heads up in pride.

Beloved brothers, as you hear all these things may you give endless thanks in joy to God, from whom every good proceeds; bless the Lord with me, for his mercy is for ever. My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my saviour, 
for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant and from this day all generations will call me blessed, for his mercy is for ever.

O praise the Lord, all you nations, acclaim him, all you peoples, for God chose what is weak in the world to confound the strong, God chose what is low and despised to confound the noble. Through my mouth he has confused the philosophers who are disciples of the wise of this world, 
for his mercy is for ever.

I write these things to you in order that your faith and mine may be united. In the midst of this storm I cast my anchor toward the throne of God, 
the anchor that is the lively hope in my heart.

Beloved brothers, for your part so run that you may attain the crown, put on the breastplate of faith and take up the weapons of Christ for the right hand and for the left, as my patron Saint Paul has taught us. It is better for you to enter life with one eye or crippled than, 
with all your members intact, to be cast away.

Come to my aid with your prayers, that I may have the strength to fight according to the law, and indeed to fight the good fight and to fight until the end and so finish the race. We may not again see each other in this life, but we will have the happiness of seeing each other again in the world to come, when, standing at the throne of the spotless Lamb, we will together join in singing his praises and exult for ever in the joy of our triumph. Amen.


Responsory

Through patience let us run the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Consider him who from sinners endured such hostility against himself,
so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Let us pray.

O God, the source and origin of all fatherhood,
you kept the blessed martyrs Andrew and his companions faithful to the cross of your Son
even to the shedding of their blood.
Through their intercession enable us to spread your love among our brothers and sisters,
that we may be called and may truly be your children.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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