Thursday, 18 June 2020 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 48 : 1-15 (Greek Septuagint – Sirach 48 : 1-14)

Then came the prophet Elijah, like a fire, his words a burning torch. He brought a famine on the people and in his zealous love had them reduced in number. Speaking in the Name of the Lord he closed down the heavens, and on three occasions called down fire.

How marvellous you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Who could ever boast of being your equal? By the word of the Most High you brought a dead man back to life; you brought kings to destruction and thrust famous men from their beds. You heard a rebuke at Sinai and sentences of punishment at Horeb; you anointed kings to be avengers and prophets to succeed you.

You were taken up by a whirlwind of flames in a chariot drawn by fiery horses. It was written that you should be the one to calm God’s anger in the future, before it broke out in fury, to turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

Happy are those who will see you and those who die in love, for we too shall live. Such was Elijah, taken up in a whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit. During his life no leader could shake him, no one dominated him. Nothing was too difficult for him and even in death his body prophesied. In life he worked wonders, in death his deeds were amazing.

Despite all this, the people were not converted and did not turn away from sin; not until they were deported far from their country and scattered over the earth.

Sunday, 16 February 2020 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 15 : 16-21 (Greek Septuagint – Sirach 15 : 15-20)

If you wish, you can keep the commandments and it is in your power to remain faithful. He has set fire and water before you; you stretch out your hand to whichever you prefer.

Life and death are set before man : whichever a man prefers will be given him. How magnificent is the wisdom of the Lord! He is powerful and all-seeing. His eyes are on those who fear Him. He knows all the works of man.

He has commanded no one to be godless and has given no one permission to sin.

Friday, 7 February 2020 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 47 : 2-13

As fat is selected from the peace offering, so David was chosen from among the Israelites. He played with lions and bears as if they were lambs or young goats. He was still young when he slew a giant, to restore the honour of his people; with a sling he aimed a stone that killed the arrogant Goliath.

He invoked the Lord Most High, who gave him strength to slay a mighty warrior, and so exalt the power of his people. So they glorified him for his ten thousands and praised him as a blessing from the Lord when he was chosen king. For he wiped out his enemies on all sides and annihilated his adversaries, the Philistines, crushing their power forever.

In all that he did, he gave thanks to the Most High, and showed his love for his Maker by singing with all his heart. He placed singers accompanied by harps before the Altar to make beautiful music; he gave splendour to feasts and even greater magnificence to the more solemn occasions, exalting the Holy Name of the Lord and having the Sanctuary ring with His praises from early morning.

The Lord forgave David’s sins and established his power forever; He made a Covenant with him for the benefit of the kings and gave him a glorious throne in Israel. A wise son succeeded him and fared well because of him. Solomon reigned during times of peace, and God gave him rest from war to enable him to build a house for His Name, a Sanctuary that would stand forever.

Sunday, 29 December 2019 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Sirach 3 : 3-7, 14-17a (Greek Septuagint – Sirach 3 : 2-6, 12-14)

For the Lord established that children should respect their father; He confirmed the right of the mother over her children. Whoever honours his father atones for his sins; he who gives glory to his mother prepares a treasure for himself.

Whoever honours his father will receive joy from his own children and will be heard when he prays. Whoever glorifies his father will have a long life. Whoever obeys the Lord gives comfort to his mother.

My child, take care of your father in his old age, do not cause him sorrow as long as he lives. Even if he has lost his mind, have patience; do not be disrespectful to him while you are in full health. For kindness done to one’s father will never be forgotten, it will serve as reparation for your sins.

Saturday, 14 December 2019 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Sirach 48 : 1-4, 9-11

Then came the prophet Elijah, like a fire, his words a burning torch. He brought a famine on the people and in his zealous love had them reduced in number. Speaking in the Name of the Lord he closed down the heavens, and on three occasions called down fire.

How marvellous you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Who could ever boast of being your equal? You were taken up by a whirlwind of flames in a chariot drawn by fiery horses. It was written that you should be the one to calm God’s anger in the future, before it broke out in fury, to turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

Happy are those who will see you and those who die in love, for we too shall live.

Sunday, 27 October 2019 : Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 35 : 15b-17, 20-22

Is she not crying out against the one who caused her to weep? The one who serves God wholeheartedly will be heard; his petition will reach the clouds. The prayer of the humble person pierces the clouds, and he is not consoled until he has been heard.

But the Lord will crush the backbone of the merciless and have vengeance on the nations, until He has completely destroyed the hordes of the violent and broken the power of the wicked, until He has repaid each one according to his deeds.

Sunday, 1 September 2019 : Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 3 : 19-21, 30-31

The greater you are, the more you should humble yourself and thus you will find favour with God. For great is the power of the Lord and it is the humble who give Him glory. Do not seek what is beyond your powers nor search into what is beyond your ability.

As water extinguishes the burning flames, almsgiving obtains pardon for sins. The man who responds by doing good prepares for the future, at the moment of his downfall he will find support.

Friday, 26 July 2019 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Joachim and St. Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 20 : 1-17

God spoke all these words. He said, “I am YHVH your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Do not have other gods before Me. Do not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.”

“For I, YHVH your God, am a jealous God; for the sin of the fathers, when they rebel against Me, I punish the sons, the grandsons and the great-grandsons; but I show steadfast love until the thousandth generation for those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

“Do not take the Name of YHVH your God in vain for YHVH will not leave unpunished anyone who takes His Name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you will labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for YHVH your God.”

“Do not work that day, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals, nor the stranger who is staying with you. For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested; that is why YHVH has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

“Honour your father and your mother that you may have a long life in the land that YHVH has given you. Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness against your neighbour. Do not covet your neighbour’s house. Do not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.”

Alternative reading

Sirach 44 : 1, 10-15

Let us now glorify illustrious men, the ancestors of our people. But now consider the godly men whose good deeds have not been forgotten. Those who came after them benefitted from the rich legacy they left; their race remained faithful to the Covenant, their children followed their example.

Their family will endure forever and never will its glory be tarnished. Their bodies will be buried in peace but their memory lives through generations. People will speak of their wisdom and the assembly will celebrate their praise.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 35 : 1-15

Keeping the Law is worthy many offerings. Being faithful to the commandments is like a peace offering. Returning kindness is an offering of fine flour; giving alms is a sacrifice of praise. Renouncing sin pleases the Lord, and shunning injustice is a sacrifice of atonement.

Do not appear before the Lord with empty hands. The commandment requires that you bring an offering. When the offering of the righteous is burnt on the altar, the fat drips down and a fragrant aroma rises to the Most High. The sacrifice of the just man pleases God and will not be forgotten. Honour the Lord with a generous heart and do not be stingy with the first fruits of your harvest.

Offer your gifts with a smiling face and when you pay your tithes do it gladly. Give to the Most High as He has given to you; give generously to the Lord according to what you have; the Lord will repay, He will reward you sevenfold. If you attempt to bribe Him with gifts He will not accept them; do not rely on offerings from dishonest gain.

The Lord is Judge and shows no partiality. He will not disadvantage the poor, He Who hears the prayer of the oppressed. He does not disdain the plea of the orphan, nor the complaint of the widow. When tears flow down her cheeks, is she not crying out against the one who caused her to weep?

Monday, 4 March 2019 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Casimir (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)

Sirach 17 : 20-28

Their misdeeds cannot be hidden from Him, all their sins are before the Lord. He holds a man’s almsgiving dear as a priceless signet ring; He cherishes a good deed like apple of His eye. One day He will rise and reward them; He will place their prize on their heads.

He allows those who repent to return; He comforts those whose hopes are fading. Be converted to the Lord and give up your sins, plead with Him to lessen your offence. Return to the Almighty, turn aside from wrongdoing and totally detest evil.

For who in the grave will praise the Almighty, if the living do not give Him glory? The dead man is as if he did not exist and cannot give praise; he who has life and health can praise the Lord.