Friday, August 23, 2013



A Prayer of St. Rose

Help me to remember what is really important:
that I am Your child
You are my Father
You love me for who I am and how I live
not what I look like or what I own.
Let me praise You Who sees into my heart,
Who is always with me
and Who eases my suffering.


Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

RU 1:1, 3-6, 14B-16, 22

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land;
so a man from Bethlehem of Judah
departed with his wife and two sons
to reside on the plateau of Moab.
Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died,
and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women,
one named Orpah, the other Ruth.
When they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Chilion died also,
and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab
because word reached her there
that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.

Naomi said, “See now!
Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god.
Go back after your sister-in-law!”
But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Thus it was that Naomi returned
with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth,
who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 146:5-6AB, 6C-7, 8-9A, 9BC-10

R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.

R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.

R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
The LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.

R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.

R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him,

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”


August 23

St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.

She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena (April 29) as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends.

The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us, and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.

When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude.

During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace.

What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Rose: a love of God so ardent that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Indeed, how good is the Lord:
bless his holy name.

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

Indeed, how good is the Lord:
bless his holy name.

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

Indeed, how good is the Lord:
bless his holy name.

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.

Indeed, how good is the Lord:
bless his holy name.

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.

Indeed, how good is the Lord:
bless his holy name.


God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

Psalm 54 (55)
Against a faithless friend

Do not reject my plea, O God,
for wicked men assail me.

Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
and do not hide when I call on you:
turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
from the stormy wind and the tempest.”

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.

Do not reject my plea, O God,
for wicked men assail me.

Psalm 54 (55)

The Lord will free us from the hand of the enemies
and from those who wish us harm.

Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
we walked together in the house of God.

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 will free us from the hand of the enemies
and from those who wish us harm.

Psalm 54 (55)

Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

Let death break in upon them!
Let them go down alive to the underworld,
for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
and give it peace from those who attack me –
for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
and he will give you sustenance.
He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in you.

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.

Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

My son, attend to my wisdom,
– and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

First Reading
Isaiah 30:1-18

Woe to those rebellious sons!
–it is the Lord who speaks.
They carry out plans that are not mine
and make alliances not inspired by me,
and so add
sin to sin.
They have left for Egypt,
without consulting me,
to take refuge in Pharaoh’s protection,
to shelter in Egypt’s shadow.
Pharaoh’s protection will be your shame,
the shelter of Egypt’s shadow your confounding.
For his ministers have gone to Zoan,
his ambassadors have already reached Hanes.
All are carrying gifts
to a nation that will be of no use to them,
that will bring them neither aid, nor help,
nothing but shame and disgrace.
Oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.
Through the land of distress and of anguish,
of lioness and roaring lion,
of viper and flying serpent,
they bear their riches on donkeys’ backs,
their treasures on camels’ humps,
to a nation that is of no use to them,
to Egypt who will prove futile and empty to them;
and so I call her
Now go and inscribe this on a tablet,
write it in a book,
that it may serve in the time to come
as a witness for ever:
This is a rebellious people,
they are lying sons,
sons who will not listen
to the Lord’s orders.
To the seers they say,
‘See no visions’;
to the prophets,
‘Do not prophesy the truth to us,
‘tell us flattering things;
have illusory visions;
turn aside from the way, leave the path,
take the Holy One out of our sight.’
So the Holy One of Israel says:
Since you reject this warning
and prefer to trust in wile and guile
and to rely on these,
then your guilt will prove
to be for you
a breach on the point of collapse,
the bulge at the top of the city wall
which suddenly and all at once
comes crashing down,
irretrievably shattered,
smashed like an earthenware pot
–so that of the fragments not one shard remains big enough to carry a cinder from the hearth 
or scoop water from the cistern.
For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel:
Your salvation lay in conversion and tranquillity,
your strength, in complete trust;
and you would have none of it.
‘No,’ you said ‘we will flee on horses.’
So be it, flee then!
And you add, ‘In swift chariots.’
So be it, your pursuers will be swift too.
A thousand will flee at the threat of one
and when five threaten you will flee,
until what is left of you will be
like a flagstaff on a mountain top,
like a signal on a hill.
But the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you,
to rise and take pity on you,
for the Lord is a just God;
happy are all who hope in him.


In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

The Lord waits to be gracious to you;
blessed are all those who wait for him;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

Second Reading
From the discourse of St Ambrose on Psalm 48

The one mediator of God and men is the man Christ Jesus

‘Brother does not redeem; a man shall redeem; he shall not give to God his ransom, nor the price of the redemption of his soul’; that is, ‘Why shall I fear in the evil day?’ For what can hurt me, who not only do not need a redeemer, but am myself the redeemer of all? I shall make others free, and shall I be afraid for myself? See, I make all things new, surpassing the affection and duty of kinship. The one whom a brother, delivered into the light of day from the same mother’s womb, cannot redeem, because he is held by the weakness of an equal nature, him will a man redeem: the man, however, of whom it was written that the Lord ‘will send them a man who will save them’; one who said of himself: 
‘You seek to kill me, a man who has spoken the truth to you.’

But although he is a man, who shall know him? Why shall no one know him? Because just as there is one God, so also there is one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus. He is the only one who will redeem man, surpassing kinsfolk in duty; because he sheds his own blood for strangers, whereas a brother cannot do this for a brother. 
And so to redeem us from sin he did not spare his own body; 
and he gave himself a ransom for all, as his true witness the apostle Paul affirmed, who claimed: 
‘I tell the truth, I do not lie.’

But why is only this man the redeemer? Because no one can equal him in goodness, insofar as he lays down his life for his own servants; no one can equal him in innocence, for all are under the yoke of sin, all lie under Adam’s fall. Alone he is chosen as redeemer since he cannot be affected by the ancient sin. Therefore, by ‘man’ let us understand the Lord Jesus, who assumed the state of man, to crucify the sin of all in his own flesh, 
and by his own blood wipe out the condemnation of all.

You may perhaps say: ‘How is a brother denied the possibility of redeeming, when he himself said, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers”?’ But it was not as brother to us, but as the man Christ Jesus, in whom was God, that he did away with our sins. So it is written: ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, in that Christ Jesus of whom alone it was said that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. 
So it was not as a brother but as Lord that he dwelt among us when he dwelt in the flesh.


He surrendered himself to death,
letting himself be taken for a sinner.
He bore the sins of many while praying for sinners.

Jesus said,
Father, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing.’
He bore the sins of many while praying for sinners.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
you have prepared for those who love you
what no eye has seen, no ear has heard.
Fill our hearts with your love,
so that, loving you above all and in all,
we may attain your promises
which the heart of man has not conceived.
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.