Wednesday, January 6, 2016



O God, who bestow light on all the nations,
grant your peoples the gladness of lasting peace
and pour into our hearts that brilliant light
by which you purified the minds of our fathers in faith.
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.


Wednesday after Epiphany

1 JN 4:11-18

Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgment
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 72:1-2, 10, 12-13

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

1 TM 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to you, O Christ, proclaimed to the Gentiles.
Glory to you, O Christ, believed in throughout the world.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

MK 6:45-52

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd.
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray.
When it was evening,
the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them.
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out.
They had all seen him and were terrified.

But at once he spoke with them,

“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.
They were completely astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

January 6

St. André Bessette (1845-1937)

Brother André expressed a saint’s faith by a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph.

Sickness and weakness dogged André from birth. He was the eighth of 12 children born to a French Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at 12, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed: shoemaker, baker, blacksmith—all failures. He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.

At 25, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a year’s novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget (see Marie-Rose Durocher, October 6), he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, 
with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. 
“When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained 40 years,” he said.

In his little room near the door, he spent much of the night on his knees. On his windowsill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of St. Joseph, to whom he had been devoted since childhood. When asked about it he said, 
“Some day, St. Joseph is going to be honored in a very special way on Mount Royal!”

When he heard someone was ill, he visited to bring cheer and to pray with the sick person. He would rub the sick person lightly with oil taken from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Word of healing powers began to spread.

When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse. Not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. His superiors were uneasy; diocesan authorities were suspicious; doctors called him a quack. “I do not cure,” he said again and again. “St. Joseph cures.” 
In the end he needed four secretaries to handle the 80,000 letters he received each year.

For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of St. Joseph. Suddenly, the owners yielded. André collected 200 dollars to build a small chapel and began receiving visitors there—smiling through long hours of listening, applying St. Joseph’s oil. Some were cured, some not. 
The pile of crutches, canes and braces grew.

The chapel also grew. By 1931 there were gleaming walls, but money ran out. “Put a statue of St. Joseph in the middle. If he wants a roof over his head, he’ll get it.” The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal took 50 years to build. 
The sickly boy who could not hold a job died at 92.

He is buried at the Oratory. He was beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2010. At his canonization in October 2010, 
Pope Benedict XVI said that St. Andre "lived the beatitude of the pure of heart."

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Christ has appeared to us: 

come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ has appeared to us: 

come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ has appeared to us: 

come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ has appeared to us: 

come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ has appeared to us: 

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.

Christ has appeared to us: 

come, let us adore him.


Bethlehem, of noblest cities
none can once with thee compare:
thou alone the Lord from heaven
didst for us Incarnate bear.
Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told his birth;
to the lands their God announcing,
hid beneath a form of earth.
By its lambent beauty guided,
see, the eastern kings appear;
see them bend, their gifts to offer,
gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.
Solemn things of mystic meaning:
incense doth the God disclose;
gold a royal Child proclaimeth;
myrrh a future tomb foreshows.
Holy Jesu, in thy brightness
to the Gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit
endless praise to thee be paid.

Psalm 71 (72)
The Messiah's royal power

The kings of Tharsis and the islands will pay tribute to the Lord,
their king.

Give the king your judgement, O God,
give the king’s son your righteousness.
Let him judge your people with justice
and your poor ones with wisdom.
Let the mountains bring peace to your people,
let the hills bring righteousness.
He will give his judgement to the poor among the people,
he will rescue the children of the destitute,
he will lay low the false accuser.
He will endure with the sun, beneath the moon,
from generation to generation.
He will come down like rain on the pasture,
like a shower that waters the earth.
In his time, righteousness will flourish
and abundance of peace,
until the moon itself is no more.
He will rule from coast to coast,
from the world’s centre to its farthest edge.
The desert-dwellers will cast themselves down before him;
his enemies will eat dust at his feet.
The kings of Tharsis and the islands will bring tribute,
the kings of Arabia and Sheba will bring gifts.
All the kings will worship him,
all nations will serve him.
Because he has given freedom to the destitute who called to him,
to the poor, whom no-one will hear.
He will spare the poor and the needy,
he will keep their lives safe.
He will rescue their lives from oppression and violence,
their blood will be precious in his sight.
He will live long, and receive gifts of gold from Arabia;
they will pray for him always,
bless him all through the day.
There will be abundance of grain in the land,
it will wave even from the tops of the mountains;
its fruit will be richer than Lebanon.
The people will flourish as easily as grass.
Let his name be blessed for ever,
let his name endure beneath the sun.
All the nations of the earth will be blessed in him,
all nations will acclaim his greatness.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone works wonders.
Let his majesty be blessed for ever;
let it fill all the earth. Amen, amen.

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 kings of Tharsis and the islands will pay tribute to the Lord,
their king.

Psalm 95 (96)
The Lord, the universal King and judge

Worship the Lord in his holy sanctuary, alleluia.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
day after day, proclaim his saving power.
Proclaim his glory to the nations,
proclaim to all peoples the wonders he has done.
For the Lord is great; great is the praise we owe him,
he is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of the nations are foolishness,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Majesty and splendour are all about him,
power and honour in his holy place.
Bring to the Lord, clans of the peoples,
bring to the Lord glory and power,
bring to the Lord the glory that belongs to his name.
Bring your offerings, enter his courts,
worship the Lord in holy attire.
Tremble at his presence, all the earth.
Say to the nations: “The Lord reigns!”
For he has set the world firm, so that it cannot be shaken,
and he will judge the peoples with fairness.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad,
let the sea and its fullness resound.
The fields will rejoice, and all that is in them,
all the trees of the woods will rejoice
at the Lord’s presence – for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge all the world with justice.
He will judge all the peoples with fairness.

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.

Worship the Lord in his holy sanctuary, alleluia.

Psalm 96 (97)
The glory of God in his judgements

Praise God, all his angels, alleluia.

The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice,
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and dark mist surround him,
his throne is founded on law and justice.
Fire precedes him,
burning up his enemies all around.
His lightnings light up the globe;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains flow like wax at the sight of the Lord,
at the sight of the Lord the earth dissolves.
The heavens proclaim his justice
and all peoples see his glory.
Let them be dismayed, who worship carved things,
who take pride in the images they make.
All his angels, worship him.
Zion heard and was glad,
the daughters of Judah rejoiced
because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you are the Lord, the Most High over all the earth,
far above all other gods.
You who love the Lord, hate evil!
The Lord protects the lives of his consecrated ones:
he will free them from the hands of sinners.
A light has arisen for the just,
and gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord
and proclaim his holiness.

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.

Praise God, all his angels, alleluia.

The heavens have proclaimed his justice,
– and all peoples have seen his glory.

First Reading
Isaiah 60:1-22

Arise, shine out, for your light has come,
the glory of the Lord is rising on you,
though night still covers the earth
and darkness the peoples.
Above you the Lord now rises
and above you his glory appears.
The nations come to your light
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look round:
all are assembling and coming towards you,
your sons from far away
and your daughters being tenderly carried.
At this sight you will grow radiant,
your heart throbbing and full;
since the riches of the sea will flow to you,
the wealth of the nations come to you;
camels in throngs will cover you,
and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
everyone in Sheba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing the praise of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar will gather inside you,
the rams of Nebaioth will be at your service.
They will come up, for acceptance, to my altar,
to adorn the Temple of my glory.
Who are these flying like a cloud,
like doves to their cote?
Yes, for me the ships are assembling,
vessels of Tarshish in the front,
to bring your sons from far away,
and their silver and gold with them,
for the sake of the name of the Lord your God,
for the sake of the Holy One of Israel who has made you glorious.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls
and their kings will be your servants.
For though I struck you in anger,
in mercy I have pitied you.
And your gates will lie open continually,
shut neither by day nor by night,
for men to bring you the wealth of the nations
with their kings leading them;
for the nation and kingdom that refuses to serve you shall perish,
such nations shall be utterly ruined.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
with cypress and plane and box,
to adorn the site of my sanctuary,
to glorify the resting place of my feet.
The sons of your oppressors will come to you bowing,
at your feet shall fall all who despised you.
They will call you ‘City of the Lord’,
‘Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’
Though you have been abandoned,
and hated and shunned,
I will make you an eternal pride,
a joy for ever and ever.
You will be suckled on the milk of nations,
suckled on the riches of kings,
and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your saviour,
that your redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.
For bronze I will bring gold;
for iron, silver;
and bronze for wood;
and iron for stone;
I will put Peace in as magistrate,
and Integrity as the government.
Violence will no longer be heard of in your country,
nor devastation and ruin within your frontiers.
You will call your walls ‘Salvation’
and your gates ‘Praise.’
No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor moonlight shine on you,
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
your God will be your splendour.
Your sun will set no more
nor your moon wane,
but the Lord will be your everlasting light
and your days of mourning will be ended.
Your people will all be upright,
possessing the land forever;
a shoot that the Lord has planted,
my handiwork, designed for beauty.
The least among you will become a clan
and the smallest a mighty nation.
I, the Lord, have spoken;
in due time I shall act with speed.


Shine out, Jerusalem, shine out,
for your light has come:
the glory of the Lord is rising on you.

Your rays shall light the Gentiles on their path;
kings shall walk in the splendor of your sunrise.
The glory of the Lord is rising on you.

Second Reading
A sermon
by Pope St Leo the Great

The Lord has made his salvation known to the whole world

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. 
He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ.

A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. 
The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above.

Let the full number of the nations now take their place in the family of the patriarchs. Let the children of the promise now receive the blessing in the seed of Abraham, the blessing renounced by the children of his flesh. In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; let God be known, not in Judaea only, but in the whole world, 
so that his name may be great in all Israel.

Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles. Let us give thanks to the merciful God, who has made us worthy, in the words of the Apostle, to share the position of the saints in light, who has rescued us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. As Isaiah prophesied: the people of the Gentiles, who sat in darkness, have seen a great light, and for those who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death a light has dawned. He spoke of them to the Lord: 
The Gentiles, who do not know you, will invoke you, and the peoples, who knew you not, will take refuge in you.

This is the day that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, when he knew that the sons born of his faith would be blessed in his seed, that is, in Christ. Believing that he would be the father of the nations, he looked into the future, giving glory to God, 
in full awareness that God is able to do what he has promised.

This is the day that David prophesied in the psalms, when he said: All the nations that you have brought into being will come and fall down in adoration in your presence, Lord, and glorify your name. Again, the Lord has made known his salvation; 
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognise and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: 
to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ.

Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.


The prophets foretold the coming of the Savior,
the angels adored him when he came;
today is the great day on which he was made visible.
The Magi rejoiced when they saw his star,
and brought him gifts.

A holy day has shone upon us:
come, you peoples, and worship the Lord.
The Magi rejoiced when they saw his star,
and brought him gifts.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you forever and forever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

On this day, Lord God,
by a guiding star you revealed your Only-Begotten Son
to all the peoples of the world.
Lead us from the faith by which we know you now
to the vision of your glory, face to face.
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.