Friday, July 5, 2013


Prayer to the Eternal Father

Eternal Father,
I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in atonement for my sins,
and in supplication for the holy souls in purgatory and for the needs of holy Church.


Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

GN 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67

The span of Sarah’s life was one hundred and twenty-seven years.
She died in Kiriatharba (that is, Hebron)
in the land of Canaan,
and Abraham performed the customary mourning rites for her.
Then he left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites:
“Although I am a resident alien among you,
sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground,
that I may bury my dead wife.”

After the transaction, Abraham buried his wife Sarah
in the cave of the field of Machpelah,
facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.

Abraham had now reached a ripe old age,
and the LORD had blessed him in every way.
Abraham said to the senior servant of his household,
who had charge of all his possessions:
“Put your hand under my thigh,
and I will make you swear by the LORD,
the God of heaven and the God of earth,
that you will not procure a wife for my son
from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,
but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred
to get a wife for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked him:
“What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land?
Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?”
“Never take my son back there for any reason,” Abraham told him.
“The LORD, the God of heaven,
who took me from my father’s house and the land of my kin,
and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me,
‘I will give this land to your descendants’–
he will send his messenger before you,
and you will obtain a wife for my son there.
If the woman is unwilling to follow you,
you will be released from this oath.
But never take my son back there!”

A long time later, Isaac went to live in the region of the Negeb.
One day toward evening he went out . . . in the field,
and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching.
Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him,
she alighted from her camel and asked the servant,
“Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?”
“That is my master,” replied the servant.
Then she covered herself with her veil.

The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent;
he married her, and thus she became his wife.
In his love for her, Isaac found solace
after the death of his mother Sarah.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 106:1B-2, 3-4A, 4B-5

R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD,
or proclaim all his praises?

R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people.

R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Visit me with your saving help,
That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of your people,
and glory with your inheritance.

R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

MT 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.

He said to him,

“Follow me.”

And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

He heard this and said,

“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”


July 5

St. Anthony Zaccaria (1502-1539)

At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18 and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22 and, while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men and one for women, plus an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, 
beginning with the clergy, religious and lay people.

Greatly inspired by St. Paul (his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint), Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, 
conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance.

He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, 
the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.

His holiness moved many to reform their lives but, as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. 
Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated.

While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. 
He died at Cremona at the age of 36.


Lord, open our lips.
And we shall praise your name.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Give thanks to the Lord,
for his great love is without end.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord,
for his great love is without end.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord,
for his great love is without end.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord,
for his great love is without end.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord,
for his great love is without end.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord,
for his great love is without end.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

In ancient times God spoke to us
Through prophets, and in varied ways,
But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
His radiance through eternal days.
To God the Father of the world,
His Son through whom he made all things,
And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
All glad creation glory sings.

Psalm 34 (35)
The Lord, a savior in time of persecution

O Lord, arise to help me.

Judge, Lord, those who are judging me:
attack those who are attacking me.
Take up your shield and come out to defend me.
Brandish your spear and hold back my pursuers.
Say to my soul, “I am your deliverance.”
Let them be thrown into confusion,
those who are after my life.
Let them be weakened and put to flight,
those who plan harm to me.
Let them be like chaff blowing in the wind,
when the angel of the Lord scatters them.
Let their paths be dark and slippery,
when the angel of the Lord harries them.
For it was without cause that they spread out their nets to ensnare me,
without cause that they dug a pit to take my life.
Let death come upon them suddenly,
may they be entangled in their own nets.
But my soul will exult in the Lord
and rejoice in his aid.
My bones themselves will say
“Lord, who is your equal?”
You snatch the poor man
from the hand of the strong,
the needy and weak
from those who would destroy them.

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.

O Lord, arise to help me.

Psalm 34 (35)

Lord, plead my cause;
defend me with your strength.

Lying witnesses rose up against me;
they asked me questions I could not answer.
They paid me back evil for the good I did,
my soul is desolation.
Yet I – when they were ill, I put on sackcloth,
I mortified my soul with fasting,
I prayed for them from the depths of my heart.
I walked in sadness as for a close friend, for a brother;
I was bowed down with grief as if mourning my own mother.
But they – when I was unsteady, they rejoiced and gathered together.
They gathered and beat me: I did not know why.
They were tearing me to pieces, there was no end to it:
they teased me, heaped derision on me, they ground their teeth at me.

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, plead my cause;
defend me with your strength.

Psalm 34 (35)

My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

Lord, how long will you wait?
Rescue my life from their attacks,
my only life from the lions.
I will proclaim you in the great assembly,
in the throng of people I will praise you.
Let not my lying enemies triumph over me,
those who hate me for no reason,
who conspire against me by secret signs,
who do not speak of peace,
who plan crimes against the innocent,
who cry out slanders against me,
saying “Yes! Yes! We saw it ourselves!”
You see them, Lord, do not stay silent:
Lord, do not leave me.
Rise up and keep watch at my trial:
my God and my Lord, watch over my case.
Judge me according to your justice,
Lord: my God, let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not think to themselves,
“Yes! We have what we wanted!”
Let them not say,
“We have swallowed him up.”
But let those who support my cause rejoice,
let them say always “How great is the Lord,
who takes care of his servant’s welfare.”
And my tongue too will ponder your justice,
and praise you all day long.

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.

My tongue shall speak of your justice, all day long.

My son, keep my words in your heart.
– Follow my commandments and you will live.

First Reading
2 Samuel 7:1-25

Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’

But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:

‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have always led a wanderer’s life in a tent. In all my journeying with the whole people of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of Israel my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” This is what you must say to my servant David, “the Lord of Hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

King David then went in and, seated before the Lord,’ said: ‘Who am I, O Lord, and what is my House, that you have led me as far as this? Yet in your sight, O Lord, this is still not far enough, and you make your promises extend to the House of your servant for a far-distant future... What more can David say to you, when you yourself have singled out your servant, O Lord? For your servant’s sake, this dog of yours, you have done so great a thing by revealing this to your servant. In this is your greatness, O Lord; there is none like you, no God but you alone, as our own ears have heard. Is there another people on the earth like your people Israel, with a God setting out to redeem them and make them his people, make them renowned, work great and terrible things on their behalf, drive nations out and gods before his people? You have constituted your people Israel to be your own people for ever; and you, Lord, have become their God. Now, O Lord, always keep the promise you have made your servant and his House, and do as you have said.’


The angel Gabriel said to Mary,
‘You shall conceive and bear a son:
the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
and he will be king over Israel for ever.’

The Lord swore to David an oath which he will not break:
‘A prince of your own line will I set upon your throne,
and he will be king over Israel for ever.’

Second Reading
St Augustine on the Predestination of the Saints

Jesus Christ, son of David according to the flesh

The shining example of predestination and grace is the Saviour himself, the mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus. What merits, of good deeds or faith, did his human nature have beforehand, to make this happen? Please, let me have an answer: how did that man earn the privilege of being taken up into unity of person by the Word co-eternal with the Father and of being the only-begotten Son of God? What good quality of his can have made him deserve this? What had he done, what had he believed, what had he prayed for, to come to this indescribable excellence? Surely it was no action of his, but the action of the Word lifting him up, that caused this man, at the moment that he was coming into being, to come into being as the only Son of God!

Let us see, in our own bodies, how the head is the source of grace that flows through the members, filling each according to its capacity. The grace by which every man, from the moment when he comes to believe, becomes a Christian is the same grace by which that man, from the moment when he came to be, became Christ. The Spirit through whom we are reborn is the same Spirit through whom he was born. The Spirit that brings us remission of our sins is the same Spirit that gave him freedom from sin.

God certainly knew beforehand that he was going to make these things happen. This is exactly the predestination of the saints and it shines out most clearly in the predestination of the Saint of saints. How can anyone deny this who properly understands the utterances of the Truth? For we see that even the Lord of glory is the subject of God’s predestination, in so far as at his incarnation a man became the Son of God.

So Jesus was predestined, so that he who was to be, according to the flesh, a son of David should nevertheless be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness – because he was born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary. Thus in a unique and indescribable way a man was taken up into God the Word so that he could be at once a son of man and the Son of God – a son of man according to the nature that was taken up, the Son of God because of the only-begotten God who took him up. If it were not like this, we would have to believe not in a Trinity but in a Quaternity.

This predestined elevation of human nature is so great, so high, so exalted that there is no greater height left to which it could be raised. On the other side, the very godhead could not throw itself down lower than it did, to the taking on of human nature with all its weaknesses and a final death on a cross. As he, the one, was predestined to be our head, so we, the many, were predestined to be his members.

Let any merits that men may have be silent here – they died through Adam. Let God’s grace reign, as it does reign: the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, the one Son of God, the one Lord. If anyone can find in that man, our Head, pre-existing merits that led to his unique birth, let him look in us, his members, for pre-existing merits that might lead to the rebirth of us all.


Behold, the appointed time is here:
God has sent his own Son into the world,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to redeem those under the law.

For the great love he bore us,
God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
to redeem those under the law.

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.
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.