Sunday, 3 January 2021 : Second Sunday after Christmas (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 31 : 7-14

For YHVH says this, “Shout with joy for Jacob; rejoice for the greatest of nations. Proclaim your praise and say : ‘YHVH has saved His people, the remnant of Israel!’”

“Look, I will bring them back from the land of the north, gather them from the ends of the earth, the lame and the blind, mothers and women in labour – a great throng will return. They went away weeping, they will return in joy. I will lead them by the streams of water, on a level path so that no one will stumble, for I am Israel’s Father and Ephraim is My firstborn.”

Hear the word of YHVH, o nations, proclaim it on distant coast lands : He Who scattered Israel will gather them and guard them as a shepherd guards his flock. For YHVH has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from the hand of his conqueror.”

“They shall come shouting for joy, while ascending Zion; they will come streaming to YHVH’s blessings – the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden; no more will they be afflicted. Maidens will make merry and dance, young men and old as well.”

“I will turn their mourning into gladness, I will give them comfort and joy for sorrow. I will fill the priests with abundance, and satisfy My people with My bounty – this is YHVH’s word.”

Alternative reading

Sirach 24 : 1-12

Listen to Wisdom singing her own praises and extolling herself in the midst of her people. See, she opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High, she glories in herself before the Almighty.

I came out from the mouth of God and covered the face of the earth like a mist; although My dwelling place is in the highest heavens, My throne is within a pillar of cloud. I alone have seen and understood the vault of the skies and strolled through the depths of the abyss, taking possession of the raging sea and of the earth as well, with all its people and nations.

In all of these, I looked for a place to rest; in which territory would I set up My abode? Then the Creator of the Universe commanded Me, He Who created Me assigned the place of My rest, “Pitch Your tent in Jacob; Israel will be Your homeland.”

He created Me from the beginning, before time began, and I will never cease to be, I celebrate in His presence the liturgy of His Holy Dwelling and this is why I settled in Zion. The Lord let Me rest in His beloved city and Jerusalem is the heart of My Kingdom. I took root in the people God has favoured, in the land of the Lord, in their inheritance.

Saturday, 12 December 2020 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

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.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Isaiah 7 : 10-14 and Isaiah 8 : 10c

Once again YHVH addressed Ahaz, “Ask for a sign from YHVH your God, let it come either from the deepest depths or from the heights of heaven.” But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask, I will not put YHVH to the test.”

Then Isaiah said, “Now listen, descendants of David. Have you not been satisfied trying the patience of people, that you also try the patience of my God? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign : The Virgin is with Child and bears a Son and calls His Name Immanuel, for God-is-with-us.”

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.