Monday, October 23, 2017

MONDAY OF THE TWENTY NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME


Antiphon
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.

Collect

O God, who raised up Saint John of Capistrano
to comfort your faithful people in tribulation,
place us, we pray, under your safe protection
and keep your Church in everlasting peace.
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.

Amen.



Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading
ROM 4:20-25

Brothers and sisters:

Abraham did not doubt God's promise in unbelief;
rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God
and was fully convinced that what God had promised
he was also able to do.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
But it was not for him alone that it was written
that it was credited to him;
it was also for us, to whom it will be credited,
who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
who was handed over for our transgressions
and was raised for our justification.


Responsorial Psalm
LUKE 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people.

He has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people.


Alleluia
MT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
LK 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
"Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me."

He replied to him,

"Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?"

Then he said to the crowd,

"Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one's life does not consist of possessions."

Then he told them a parable.

"There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, 'What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?'
And he said, 'This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!"'
But God said to him,
'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God."



October 23

Saint John Capistrano (1386 - 1456)

John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later.

His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the “Spirituals” were freed from interference in their stricter observance. He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement.

When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, 
Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle.

He died on October 23, 1456.



O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim your praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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.

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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 savior.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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.

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.

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.

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.
Amen.

Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.


Hymn
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

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.


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.
Amen.

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.
Amen.

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.
Amen.

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.


Responsory

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 fervor 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.


Responsory

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, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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



Sunday, October 22, 2017

THE TWENTY NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME


Antiphon
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.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God,
grant that we may always conform our will to yours
and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart.
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.

Amen.



Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
IS 45:1, 4-6

Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus,
whose right hand I grasp,
subduing nations before him,
and making kings run in his service,
opening doors before him
and leaving the gates unbarred:
For the sake of Jacob, my servant,
of Israel, my chosen one,
I have called you by your name,
giving you a title, though you knew me not.
I am the LORD and there is no other,
there is no God besides me.
It is I who arm you, though you know me not,
so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun
people may know that there is none besides me.
I am the LORD, there is no other.


Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10

R. Give the Lord glory and honor.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Give the Lord glory and honor.

For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.

R. Give the Lord glory and honor.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts.

R. Give the Lord glory and honor.

Worship the LORD, in holy attire;
tremble before him, all the earth;
say among the nations: The LORD is king,
he governs the peoples with equity.

R. Give the Lord glory and honor.


Reading 2
1 THES 1:1-5B

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for all of you,
remembering you in our prayers,
unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love
and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,
before our God and Father,
knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God,
how you were chosen.
For our gospel did not come to you in word alone,
but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.


Alleluia
PHIL 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Shine like lights in the world
as you hold on to the word of life.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
MT 22:15-21

The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion,
for you do not regard a person's status.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?"

Knowing their malice, Jesus said,

"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax."

Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them,

"Whose image is this and whose inscription?"

They replied,
"Caesar's."

At that he said to them,

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."



October 22

Saint Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005)

Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, 
died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941.

He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. 
Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Cracow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany. In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Cracow. At the same time, 
Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Cracow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Cracow on November 1, 1946. Soon after, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the topic of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium and Holland. In 1948 he returned to Poland and was vicar of various parishes in Cracow as well as chaplain for the university students until 1951, when he took up again his studies on philosophy and theology. In 1953 he defended his habilitation thesis on "evaluation of the possibility of founding a Christian ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler" at the Faculty of Theology of Jagiellonian University (It was the last habilitation before closing the Faculty by communist government). Later he became professor of moral philosophy and social ethics in the major seminary of Cracow and in the Faculty of philosophy at the Catholic University of Lubin (where he became the Director of the Chair of Ethic, and lectured for 25 years until his election for the Pope in 1978).

On July 4, 1958, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cracow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Cracow, by Archbishop Baziak. On January 13, 1964, he was nominated Archbishop of Cracow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967. Besides taking part in Vatican Council II with an important contribution to the elaboration of the Constitution Gaudium et spes, Cardinal Wojtyla participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.

Since the start of his Pontificate on October 16, 1978, Pope John Paul II has completed 95 pastoral visits outside of Italy and 142 within Italy . As Bishop of Rome he has visited 301 of the 334 parishes.
His principal documents include 14 encyclicals , 13 apostolic exhortations , 11 apostolic constitutions and 42 apostolic letters. The Pope has also published three books : "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" (October 1994); "Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination" (November 1996) and "Roman Tryptych - Meditations", a book of poems (March 2003). John Paul II has presided at 138 beatification ceremonies ( 1,310 Blesseds proclaimed ) and 48 canonization ceremonies ( 469 Saints ) during his pontificate. He has held 8 consistories in which he created 201 cardinals . He has also convened six plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals. From 1978 to 2005 the Holy Father presided at 15 Synods of Bishops : six ordinary (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2001), one extraordinary (1985) and eight special 
(1980, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998[2] and 1999).

No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II: to date, more than 16,700,000 pilgrims have participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays (more than 1,000). Such figure is without counting all other special audiences and religious ceremonies held [more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone] and the millions of faithful met during pastoral visits made in Italy and throughout the world. It must also be remembered the numerous government personalities encountered during 38 official visits and in the 690 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State , 
and even the 226 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.



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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

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

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

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

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

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

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

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.
Amen.

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


Hymn

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.
Amen.

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


Psalm 54 (55)

The Lord will free us from the hand of our 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.
Amen.

The Lord will free us from the hand of our 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.
Amen.

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
Malachi 1:1-14,2:13-16

The word of the Lord to Israel through the ministration of Malachi.

I have shown my love for you, says the Lord. But you ask, ‘How have you shown your love?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? – it is the Lord who speaks; yet I showed my love for Jacob and my hatred for Esau. I turned his towns into a wilderness and his heritage into desert pastures. Should Edom say, ‘We have been struck down but we will rebuild our ruins’, this is the reply of the Lord of Hosts: Let them build! I will pull down. They shall be known as Unholy Land and Nation-with-which-the Lord-is-angry-for-ever. Your eyes are going to see this and you will say,  ‘The Lord is mighty beyond the borders of Israel.’

The son honors his father, the slave respects his master. If I am indeed father, where is my honor? If I am indeed master, where is my respect? the Lord of Hosts asks this of you, priests, you who despise my name. You ask, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By putting polluted food on my altar. You ask, ‘How have we polluted it?’ By holding the table of the Lord in contempt. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you bring the lame and the diseased, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your high commissioner, and see if he is pleased with this or receives you graciously, says the Lord of Hosts. Now try pleading with God to take pity on us (this is your own fault); do you think he will receive you graciously? says the Lord of Hosts. Oh, is there no one among you who will shut the doors and stop you from lighting useless fires on my altar? I am not pleased with you, says the Lord of Hosts; from your hands I find no offerings acceptable. But from farthest east to farthest west my name is honored among the nations and everywhere a sacrifice of incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering too, since my name is honored among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts. But you, you profane it by thinking of the Lord’s table as defiled and by holding in contempt the food placed on it. ‘How tiresome it all is!’ you say; and you sniff disdainfully at me, says the Lord of Hosts. You bring a stolen, lame or diseased animal, you bring that as an offering! Am I to accept this from your hand? says the Lord of Hosts. Cursed be the rogue who owns a male which he has vowed to offer from his flock, and instead sacrifices a blemished animal to me! 
For I am a great king, says the Lord of Hosts, and my name is feared throughout the nations.

And here is something else you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and wailing, because he now refuses to consider the offering or to accept it from your hands. And you ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the Lord stands as witness between you and the wife of your youth, the wife with whom you have broken faith, even though she was your partner and your wife by covenant. Did he not create a single being that has flesh and the breath of life? And what is this single being destined for? God-given offspring. Be careful for your own life, therefore, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel, and I hate people to parade their sins on their cloaks, says the Lord of Hosts.
Respect your own life, therefore, and do not break faith like this.


Responsory

My covenant was with Levi, the priest;
it stood for life and peace;
it stood for fear and trembling.
The teaching of truth was in his mouth;
falsehood was not to be found on his lips.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not retract:
You are a priest forever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.
The teaching of truth was in his mouth;
falsehood was not to be found on his lips.


Second Reading
St Augustine: The City of God

Everywhere a spotless sacrifice is being offered to my name

A true sacrifice is anything that we do with the aim of being united to God in holy fellowship – anything that is directed towards that supreme good and end in which alone we can be truly blessed. It follows that even an act of compassion towards men is not a sacrifice, if it is not done for the sake of God. Although it is performed by man, sacrifice is still a divine thing, as the Latin word indicates: “sacri-ficium,” “holy-doing” or “holy-making.” Man himself can be a sacrifice, if he is consecrated in the name of God, and vowed to God – a sacrifice in so far as he dies to the world in order to live to God. This is also an act of compassion: compassion of a man for himself. Thus it is written: take pity on your own soul by doing what is pleasing to God.

True sacrifices are acts of compassion to ourselves or others, done with God in mind. Such acts have no other object than the relief of distress or the giving of happiness. Finally, the only true happiness is the one the psalmist speaks of: but for myself, I take joy in clinging to God. From all this it follows that the whole redeemed city (that is to say, the congregation or community of the saints) is offered to God as our sacrifice through the great High Priest who offered himself to God for us so that we might be the body belonging to so great a head. He took on the form of a servant and suffered for us.
It was under this form that he both offered and was offered: 
at the same time mediator, and priest, and sacrifice.

St Paul starts by exhorting us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, as an act of homage justly owed to him. He tells us not to con-form ourselves to the world but to be trans-formed by renewing our will and our thinking: seeking to find out the will of God, to discover what is good, what is acceptable, what is perfect; for we ourselves are the whole of that sacrifice. He continues: In the light of the grace I have received I want to urge each one among you not to exaggerate his real importance. Each of you must judge himself soberly by the standard of the faith God has given him. Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one body,
and as parts of it we belong to each other. Our gifts differ according to the grace given us.

This is the sacrifice of Christians: we, being many, are one body in Christ.
And, as the faithful know, 
this also is the sacrifice which the Church continually celebrates in the sacrament of the altar,
in which she teaches that she herself is offered in the offering she makes to God.


Responsory

With what gift shall I come into the Lord’s presence?
O man, God has taught you what is good.
This is what he asks of you, only this:
to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.

To the Lord your God belong the heavens and the earth with all that is in it;
and now, what does the Lord ask of you?
To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
open our hearts to your grace.
Let it go before us and be with us,
that we may always be intent upon doing your will.
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 praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.