Saturday, November 23, 2013



Prayer to St. Columban

O Blessed Columban, who,
in your zeal for the extension of Christ's Kingdom,
and the salvation of souls,
spent your life in suffering and exile,
assist and protect,
we humbly ask you,
the missionaries of our day,
who have devoted their lives to preaching the Gospel throughout the world.

Obtain for them,
we beseech you,
that prudence and fortitude by which you overcame the dangers which beset your path,
and that firm faith and ardent charity which enabled you to endure
gladly the privations of this life for the love of Christ.

Assist and protect us,
also, dear St. Columban,
so to live for God's glory that when our pilgrimage through life is over,
we may enjoy with you the eternal rest of heaven through Christ Our Lord.



Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

1 MC 6:1-13

As King Antiochus was traversing the inland provinces,
he heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais,
famous for its wealth in silver and gold,
and that its temple was very rich,
containing gold helmets, breastplates, and weapons
left there by Alexander, son of Philip,
king of Macedon, the first king of the Greeks.
He went therefore and tried to capture and pillage the city.
But he could not do so,
because his plan became known to the people of the city
who rose up in battle against him.
So he retreated and in great dismay withdrew from there
to return to Babylon.

While he was in Persia, a messenger brought him news
that the armies sent into the land of Judah had been put to flight;
that Lysias had gone at first with a strong army
and been driven back by the children of Israel;
that they had grown strong
by reason of the arms, men, and abundant possessions
taken from the armies they had destroyed;
that they had pulled down the Abomination
which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem;
and that they had surrounded with high walls
both the sanctuary, as it had been before,
and his city of Beth-zur.

When the king heard this news,
he was struck with fear and very much shaken.
Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed.
There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow,
for he knew he was going to die.

So he called in all his Friends and said to them:
“Sleep has departed from my eyes,
for my heart is sinking with anxiety.
I said to myself: ‘Into what tribulation have I come,
and in what floods of sorrow am I now!
Yet I was kindly and beloved in my rule.’
But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem,
when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver
that were in it, and for no cause
gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed.
I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me;
and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 9:2-3, 4 AND 6, 16 AND 19

R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, Most High.

R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

Because my enemies are turned back,
overthrown and destroyed before you.
You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
their name you blotted out forever and ever.

R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;
in the snare they set, their foot is caught.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor shall the hope of the afflicted forever perish.

R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

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.


November 23

St. Columban (543?-615)

Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, 
then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor.

After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul (modern-day France) with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, 
and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. 
Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture.

Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. 
His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry and his monastic rule.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness:
come, let us adore him.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness:
come, let us adore him.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness:
come, let us adore him.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness:
come, let us adore him.

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’s is the earth and its fullness:
come, let us adore him.


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.

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.

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.

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.

First 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 neighbor’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.


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.

Second Reading
A conference of St Thomas Aquinas

When your glory is seen, I shall be satisfied

It is fitting that the end of all our desires, namely eternal life coincides with the words at the end of the creed, “Life everlasting. Amen.”
The first point about eternal life is that man is united with God. For God himself is the reward and end of all our labors: I am your protector and your supreme reward. This union consists in seeing perfectly: At present we see through a glass, darkly; but then we shall see face to face.

Next it consists in perfect praise, according to the words of the prophet: Joy and happiness will be found in it, thanksgiving and words of praise.

It also consists in the complete satisfaction of desire, for there the blessed will be given more than they wanted or hoped for. The reason is that in this life no one can fulfill his longing, nor can any creature satisfy man’s desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God. As Augustine says: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our heart can find no rest until it rests in you.

Since in their heavenly home the saints will possess God completely, obviously their longing will be satisfied, and their glory will be even greater. That is why the Lord says: Enter into the joy of your Lord. Augustine adds: The fullness of joy will not enter into those who rejoice, but those who rejoice will enter into joy. I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen, and again: He who satisfies your desire with good things.

Whatever is delightful is there in superabundance. If delights are sought, there is supreme and most perfect delight. It is said of God, the supreme good: Boundless delights are in your right hand.
Again, eternal life consists of the joyous community of all the blessed, a community of supreme delight, since everyone will share all that is good with all the blessed. Everyone will love everyone else as himself, and therefore will rejoice in another’s good as in his own. So it follows that the happiness and joy of each grows in proportion to the joy of all.


In my justice I shall see your face, O Lord.
When I awake,
I shall be filled with a vision of glory.

Now I have only glimpses of knowledge;
when the time of fulfillment comes,
I shall know God as he has known me.
When I awake,
I shall be filled with a vision of glory.

Let us pray.

Lord our God,
give us grace to serve you always with joy,
because our full and lasting happiness
is to make of our lives
a constant service to the Author of all that is good.
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 praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.