Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Cf. Ps 17 (16): 6, 8

To you I call; for you will surely heed me, O God;
turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Guard me as the apple of your eye;
in the shadow of your wings protect me.


O God, who chose to manifest
the blessed hope of your eternal kingdom
by the toil of Saints John de Brébeuf,
Isaac Jogues and their companions
and by the shedding of their blood,
graciously grant that through their intercession
the faith of Christians may be strengthened day by day.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.


Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues
Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

EPH 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:

You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial Psalm
IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

MT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

LK 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”

And the Lord replied,

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

October 19

Saint Isaac Joques and Rene Goupil

In 1642 the Huron country was in great distress. Harvests were poor, sickness abounded, and clothing was scarce. Quebec was the only source of supplies, and Isaac Jogues was chosen to lead an expedition. 

It reached its objective safely and started back well supplied with goods for the mission, but the Iroquois, the bitter enemies of the Hurons, and fiercest of all Indian tribes, were on the war-path and ambushed the returning expedition. The story of the ill-treatment and torture of the captives cannot be told here. Suffice it to say that Jogues and his assistant, Rene Goupil, besides being beaten to the ground and assailed several times with knotted sticks and fists, had their hair, beards and nails torn off and their forefingers bitten through. What grieved them far more, was the cruelty practiced on their Christian converts. The first of all the martyrs to suffer death was Rene Goupil, who was tomahawked on September 29, 1642, for having made the Sign of the Cross on the brow of some children. This Rene Goupil was a remarkable man. He had tried hard to be a Jesuit and had even entered the Novitiate, but his health forced him to give up the attempt. He then studied surgery and found his way to Canada, where he offered his services to the missionaries, whose fortitude he emulated. 

Rene Goupil is one of the North American martyrs who died at the hands of the Indians between the years 1642-1649.

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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 come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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 come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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 come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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 come before the Lord, giving thanks.

“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 come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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.

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.


O God of truth, prepare our minds
To hear and heed your holy word;
Fill every heart that longs for you
With your mysterious presence, Lord.
Almighty Father, with your Son
And blessed Spirit, hear our prayer:
Teach us to love eternal truth
And seek its freedom everywhere.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 6
A prayer for relief from affliction

Lord, save me in your merciful love.

Lord, do not condemn me in your fury:
do not destroy me in your anger.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed,
and you, Lord – how long?
Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit:
in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you?
Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?
I struggle and groan,
soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness:
I grow older as my enemies watch.
Leave me, all who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer,
granted me what I asked.
Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
let shame and confusion overtake them soon.

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, save me in your merciful love.

Psalm 9A (9)
Thanksgiving for victory

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.

I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph,
make music to your name, O Most High.
Because my enemies are in full retreat;
they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour,
upheld my case,
taken your seat on the throne of judgement.
You have rebuked the nations,
condemned the wicked,
wiped out their name for ever and for ever.
My enemies are no more;
their land is a desert for ever.
You have demolished their cities,
their very memory is wiped away.
But the Lord will reign for ever:
he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice,
judge the peoples impartially.
The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name;
for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek 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.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.

Psalm 9A (9)

I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.

Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion,
proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood:
he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.
Take pity on me, Lord:
see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death,
and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Zion;
I will rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have fallen into the pit that they made,
into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth:
the sinner is trapped by his very own action.
Sinners will go down to the underworld,
and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten:
the hope of the weak will never perish.
Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent:
let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord:
let them know that they are only men.

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.

I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.

Give me understanding, and I will follow your law.
– I will keep it wholeheartedly.

First Reading
Esther 3:1-15

Shortly afterwards, King Ahasuerus singled out Haman son of Hammedatha, from the land of Agag, for promotion. He raised him in rank and precedence above all his colleagues, the other officers of state, and gave orders that all the officials employed at the Chancellery were to bow down and prostrate themselves before Haman. Mordecai refused either to bow or prostrate himself. ‘Why do you flout the royal command?’ the officials of the Chancellery asked Mordecai. They asked him this day after day, but he took no notice of them. In the end they reported the matter to Haman, wishing to see whether Mordecai would persist in his attitude, since he had told them he was a Jew. When Haman had seen for himself that Mordecai did not bow or prostrate himself before him, he was seized with fury. Having been told what race Mordecai belonged to, he could not be content with murdering Mordecai but made up his mind to wipe out all the members of Mordecai’s race, the Jews, 
throughout the empire of Ahasuerus.

In the first month, that is the month of Nisan, of the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast the pur (that is, the lot) before Haman for the day and the month. The lot falling on the twelfth month, which is Adar, Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘There is a certain unassimilated nation scattered among the other nations throughout the provinces of your realm; their laws are different from those of all the other nations and they ignore the royal edicts; hence it is not in the king’s interests to tolerate them. If it please the king to decree their destruction, 
I am prepared to pay ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s receivers,
to be credited to the royal treasury.’

The king then took his signet ring off his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the persecutor of the Jews. ‘Keep the money,’ he said ‘and you can have the people too; 
do what you like with them.’

Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal scribes were summoned, and copies were made of the orders addressed by Haman to the king’s satraps, to the governors ruling each province and to the principal officials of each people, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language. The edict was signed in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with his ring, and letters were sent by runners to every province of the realm ordering the destruction, slaughter and annihilation of all Jews, young and old, women and children, on the one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month,
which is Adar, and the seizing of their possessions.

The text of this decree, to be promulgated as law in each province, was published to the various peoples, so that each might be ready for the day aforementioned. At the king’s command, 
the runners set out with all speed;
the decree was first promulgated in the citadel of Susa.

While the king and Haman gave themselves up to feasting and drinking, 
consternation reigned in the city of Susa.


Lord, Lord, King and Master of all things,
everything is subject to your power and there is no-one who can withstand your will.
Deliver us for the sake of your name.

Hear my supplication and turn our grief into rejoicing.
Deliver us for the sake of your name.

Second Reading
A letter to Proba
by St Augustine

Let us turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours

Let us always desire the happy life from the Lord God and always pray for it. But for this very reason we turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours, since that desire grows lukewarm, so to speak, from our involvement in other concerns and occupations. We remind ourselves through the words of prayer to focus our attention on the object of our desire;
otherwise, the desire that began to grow lukewarm may grow chill altogether and may be totally extinguished unless it is repeatedly stirred into flame.

Therefore, when the Apostle says: Let your petitions become known before God, this should not be taken in the sense that they are in fact becoming known to God who certainly knew them even before they were made,
but that they are becoming known to us before God through submission and not before men through boasting.

Since this is the case, it is not wrong or useless to pray even for a long time when there is the opportunity. I mean when it does not keep us from performing the other good and necessary actions we are obliged to do. But even in these actions, as I have said, we must always pray with that desire. To pray for a longer time is not the same as to pray by multiplying words, as some people suppose. Lengthy talk is one thing, a prayerful disposition which lasts a long time is another. For it is even written in reference to the Lord himself that he spent the night in prayer and that he prayed at great length. 
Was he not giving us an example by this?
In time, he prays when it is appropriate, and in eternity, he hears our prayers with the Father.

The monks in Egypt are said to offer frequent prayers, but these are very short and hurled like swift javelins. Otherwise their watchful attention, a very necessary quality for anyone at prayer, could be dulled and could disappear through protracted delays. They also clearly demonstrate through this practice that a person must not quickly divert such attention if it lasts,
just as one must not allow it to be blunted if it cannot last.

Excessive talking should be kept out of prayer but that does not mean that one should not spend much time in prayer so long as a fervent attitude continues to accompany his prayer. To talk at length in prayer is to perform a necessary action with an excess of words. To spend much time in prayer is to knock with a persistent and holy fervour at the door of the one whom we beseech. This task is generally accomplished more through sighs than words, more through weeping than speech. 
He places our tears in his sight, and our sighs are not hidden from him, 
for he has established all things through his Word and does not seek human words.


Lord my God, I call for help by day;
I cry at night before you.
Let my prayer reach your presence.

Your name, your memory are all my soul desires.
Let my prayer reach your presence.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
make us ever obey you willingly and promptly.
Teach us how to serve you
with sincere and upright hearts
in every sphere of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

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