Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PRAYER OF THE DAY

In Honor of St. John the Baptist

I. O glorious Saint John the Baptist,
greatest prophet among those born of woman,
although thou wast sanctified in thy mother's womb and didst lead a most innocent life,
nevertheless it was thy will to retire into the wilderness,
there to devote thyself to the practice of austerity and penance;
obtain for us of thy Lord the grace to be wholly detached,
at least in our hearts,
from earthly goods,
and to practice Christian mortification with interior recollection and with the spirit of holy prayer.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

II. O most zealous Apostle, who,
without working any miracle on others,
but solely by the example of thy life of penance and the power of thy word,
didst draw after thee the multitudes,
in order to dispose them to receive the Messias worthily and to listen to His heavenly doctrine;
grant that it may be given unto us,
by means of thy example of a holy life and the exercise of every good work,
to bring many souls to God, but above all those souls that are enveloped in the darkness of error and ignorance and are led astray by vice.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

III. O Martyr invincible, who,
for the honor of God and the salvation of souls didst with firmness and constancy withstand the impiety of Herod even at the cost of thine own life,
and didst rebuke him openly for his wicked and dissolute life;
by thy prayers obtain for us a heart,
brave and generous,
in order that we may overcome all human respect and openly profess our faith in loyal obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ,
our divine Master.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V. Pray for us, Saint John the Baptist
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God,
who hast made this day to be honorable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John the Baptist,
grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy,
and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

DAILY MASS READINGS

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Reading
HEB 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.


Responsorial Psalm
PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R.The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Gospel
MK 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

He told them,

“Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”

So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.

SAINT OF THE DAY

January 16

St. Berard and Companions (d. 1220)

Preaching the gospel is often dangerous work. Leaving one’s homeland and adjusting to new cultures, governments and languages is difficult enough; but martyrdom caps all the other sacrifices.

In 1219 with the blessing of St. Francis, Berard left Italy with Peter, Adjute, Accurs, Odo and Vitalis to preach in Morocco. En route in Spain Vitalis became sick and commanded the other friars to continue their mission without him.

They tried preaching in Seville, then in Muslim hands, but made no converts. They went on to Morocco where they preached in the marketplace. The friars were immediately apprehended and ordered to leave the country; they refused. When they began preaching again, an exasperated sultan ordered them executed. After enduring severe beatings and declining various bribes to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ, the friars were beheaded by the sultan himself on January 16, 1220.

These were the first Franciscan martyrs. When Francis heard of their deaths, he exclaimed, "Now I can truly say that I have five Friars Minor!" Their relics were brought to Portugal where they prompted a young Augustinian canon to join the Franciscans and set off for Morocco the next year. That young man was Anthony of Padua. These five martyrs were canonized in 1481.

OFFICE OF READINGS

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

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.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.


Hymn
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.


Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory

I love you, Lord, my strength.

I will love you, Lord, my strength:
Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
my protector, my sign of salvation,
the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry to him came to his ears.

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.

I love you, Lord, my strength.


Psalm 17 (18)

The Lord saved me because he loved me.

The earth moved and shook,
at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
consuming fire came from his mouth,
from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
the Most High let his voice be heard,
with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.

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 saved me because he loved me.


Psalm 17 (18)

You, O Lord, are my lamp, 
my God who lightens my darkness.

The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
with my God I will leap over their wall.

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.

You, O Lord, are my lamp, 
my God who lightens my darkness.


All were astonished by the gracious words
– that came from his lips.


Reading
Ecclesiasticus 24:1-33

Wisdom in creation and in the history of Israel

Wisdom speaks her own praises,
in the midst of her people she glories in herself.
She opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High,
she glories in herself in the presence of the Mighty One;
‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
and I covered the earth like a mist.
I had my tent in the heights,
and my throne in a pillar of cloud.
Alone I encircled the vault of the sky,
and I walked on the bottom of the deeps.
Over the waves of the sea and over the whole earth,
and over every people and nation I have held sway.
Among all these I searched for rest,
and looked to see in whose territory I might pitch camp.
Then the creator of all things instructed me,
and he who created me fixed a place for my tent.
He said, “Pitch your tent in Jacob,
make Israel your inheritance.”
From eternity, in the beginning, he created me,
and for eternity I shall remain.
I ministered before him in the holy tabernacle,
and thus was I established on Zion.
In the beloved city he has given me rest,
and in Jerusalem I wield my authority.
I have taken root in a privileged people,
in the Lord’s property, in his inheritance.
I have grown tall as a cedar on Lebanon,
as a cypress on Mount Hermon;
I have grown tall as a palm in Engedi,
as the rose bushes of Jericho;
as a fine olive in the plain,
as a plane tree I have grown tall.
I have exhaled a perfume like cinnamon and acacia,
I have breathed out a scent like choice myrrh,
like galbanum, onycha and stacte,
like the smoke of incense in the tabernacle.
I have spread my branches like a terebinth,
and my branches are glorious and graceful.
I am like a vine putting out graceful shoots,
my blossoms bear the fruit of glory and wealth.
Approach me, you who desire me,
and take your fill of my fruits,
for memories of me are sweeter than honey,
inheriting me is sweeter than the honeycomb.
They who eat me will hunger for more,
they who drink me will thirst for more.
Whoever listens to me will never have to blush,
whoever acts as I dictate will never sin.’
All this is no other than the book of the covenant of the Most High God,
the Law that Moses enjoined on us,
an inheritance for the communities of Jacob.


Responsory

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No-one can come to the Father except through me.

From eternity, in the beginning, he created me,
and for eternity I shall not cease to exist.
No-one can come to the Father except through me.


Reading
From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop

Knowledge of the Father consists in the self-revelation of the Son

No one can know the Father apart from God’s Word, that is, unless the Son reveals him, and no one can know the Son unless the Father so wills. Now the Son fulfils the Father’s good pleasure: the Father sends, the Son is sent, and he comes. The Father is beyond our sight and comprehension; but he is known by his Word, who tells us of him who surpasses all telling. In turn, the Father alone has knowledge of his Word. And the Lord has revealed both truths. Therefore, the Son reveals the knowledge of the Father by his revelation of himself. Knowledge of the Father consists in the self-revelation of the Son, for all is revealed through the Word.

The Father’s purpose in revealing the Son was to make himself known to us all and so to welcome into eternal rest those who believe in him, establishing them in justice, preserving them from death. To believe in him means to do his will.

Through creation itself the Word reveals God the Creator. Through the world he reveals the Lord who made the world. Through all that is fashioned he reveals the craftsman who fashioned it all. Through the Son the Word reveals the Father who begot him as Son. All speak of these things in the same language, but they do not believe them in the same way. Through the law and the prophets the Word revealed himself and his Father in the same way, and though all the people equally heard the message not all equally believed it. Through the Word, made visible and palpable, the Father was revealed, though not all equally believed in him. But all saw the Father in the Son, for the Father of the Son cannot be seen, but the Son of the Father can be seen. The Son performs everything as a ministry to the Father, from beginning to end, and without the Son no one can know God. The way to know the Father is the Son. Knowledge of the Son is in the Father, and is revealed through the Son. For this reason the Lord said: No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son has revealed him. The word “revealed” refers not only to the future – as though the Word began to reveal the Father only when he was born of Mary; it refers equally to all time. From the beginning the Son is present to creation, reveals the Father to all, to those the Father chooses, when the Father chooses, and as the Father chooses. So, there is in all and through all one God the Father, one Word and Son, and one Spirit, and one salvation for all who believe in him.


Responsory

No-one has ever seen God:
it is the only Son,
who is nearest the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

No-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
It is the only Son,
who is nearest the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

Let us pray.

In your love, Lord,
answer our humble prayer:
give us the grace to see what we have to do
and the strength to do it.
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.