Friday, 20 November 2015 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Maccabees 4 : 36-37, 52-59

Then Judas and his brothers said : “Our enemies are defeated, so let us go up and purify the Holy Place and consecrate it again.” And all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion.

On the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight (164 B.C.) they arose at dawn and offered the sacrifice prescribed by the Law on the new altar of holocausts which they had built. It was precisely at that same time and date that the pagans had profaned it before; but now they consecrated it with songs accompanied by zithers, harps and cymbals. All the people fell prostrate and blessed Heaven that had given them happiness and success.

They celebrated the consecration of the altar for eight days, joyfully offering holocausts and celebrating sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise. The front of the Temple was adorned with crowns of gold and shields; the gates and the rooms had been restored and fitted with doors.

There was no end to the celebration among the people, and so the profanation of the Temple by the pagans was forgotten. Finally, Judas, his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel agreed to celebrate the anniversary of the consecration of the altar annually for eight days, from the twenty-fifth of the month of Chislev, in high festivity.

Saturday, 6 June 2015 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops and Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Tobit 12 : 1, 5-15, 20

When the wedding feast was over, Tobit called Tobias, his son, and said to him, “Be sure you give the wages to the man who accompanied you, and we should add something extra.”

Then Tobias called the angel and said to him, “Please take half of all that you have brought.” The angel took Tobit and Tobias to one side and said to them, “Bless God, return thanks to Him, proclaim His glory and render Him thanks before all the living for all He has done for you. It is good to praise God and to exalt His Name, by making known in a worthy manner the story of God’s deeds.”

“Do not be slow in giving Him thanks. It is good to hide the secrets of kings but to make known publicly the works of God. Do the works of God. Do good, and evil will not harm you. It is a good thing to accompany prayer with fasting, almsgiving and justice. It is better to do a little with honour than much with injustice. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold.”

“Almsgiving preserves from death; it purifies from all sin. Those people who give alms and act justly will have a long life, but sinners only harm themselves. I will hide nothing from you. Yes, I have said that it is good to keep the secrets of kings but to make known publicly the glorious works of God.”

“Tobit, when you and your daughter-in-law Sara prayed, I kept the remembrance of your prayer before the Holy One; when you, Tobit, buried the dead, I was with you in the same way; and when you did not hesitate to rise up and leave your meal in order to hide the dead man, your good deed did not go unnoticed because I was with you.”

“Well, God sent me to cure you and also to cure Sara, your daughter-in-law. I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of holy people and who stand before the glory of God. Now bless and give thanks to God, because I am returning to the One who sent me. Write down in a book all that has happened.”

Thursday, 4 June 2015 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Tobit 6 : 10-11 and Tobit 7 : 1, 9-17 and Tobit 8 : 4-9a

When Tobias and Raphael had entered Media and were already approaching Ecbatana, Raphael said to Tobias, “Friend, we shall spend the night at the house of Ragouel. He is a relative of yours. He has no son, just an only daughter called Sara.”

When they arrived in Ecbatana, Tobias said to Raphael, “Friend Azarias, take me straight away to our friend Ragouel.” So Raphael led Tobias to Ragouel’s house and they found Ragouel sitting by the door of the courtyard.

They killed a sheep and served them numerous dishes. After they had bathed and washed, as they were relaxing before the meal, Tobias said to Raphael, “Friend Azarias, tell Ragouel to give me Sara my kinswoman. Talk about what you were saying during our journey, that the matter may come about and be accomplished.”

Ragouel overheard the conversation and he said to Tobias, “Eat, drink and be merry tonight. You are the man who has most right to take Sara my daughter because you are my kinsman. Indeed it is impossible for me to give her to any other man but you, because you are my closest relative.”

“But, my son, I must tell you the whole story. I gave her to seven husbands from among our kinsmen. They each died on the wedding night. But, for the moment, my son, eat and drink, and the Lord will arrange things for you.”

Tobias said, “I shall eat nothing if you do not stop now and bring this matter to a conclusion.” Ragouel said to Tobias, “Take her from now on; I give her to you according to the Law of Moses and you have to understand that God Himself gives her to you. Receive your kinswoman, from now on you are her brother and she is your sister.”

“She is yours from today and forever. Now God will bless you this night and may He give you both His mercy and peace.” Ragouel called his daughter Sara and taking her by the hand, he gave her to Tobias as his wife. He said, “According to Moses’ Law, take her now and bring her to your father’s house.” And he blessed them.

Ragouel then called Edna his wife; taking a sheet of parchment, he wrote down a matrimonial contract and they both affixed their seals. Then they all began to eat. Ragouel called his wife and said to her, “My sister, prepare the other room and take Sara there.”

Edna did as Ragouel told her and she took Sara to this room and Sara began to cry. Edna dried her daughter’s tears and said, “Have courage, my child, the God of heaven and earth will change your sorrow into joy. Have confidence, my daughter!”

When Sara’s parents had left the room and closed the door, Tobias got up from the bed and said to Sara, “Get up, my sister, and let us ask the Lord to have mercy on us and save us.” She got up and they began to pray, asking that they be given life. Tobias began like this, “May You be blessed, o Lord God of our fathers, and may Your holy and glorious Name be blessed forever.”

“May the heavens and all creatures bless You. You created Adam and You gave him Eve, his wife, as a helper and companion, so that from these two the human race might be born. You said : ‘It is not good that man should be alone, let us give him a companion who is like himself.'”

“Now, Lord, I take my sister to myself in sincerity and love, not merely seeking pleasure. Have mercy on us and grant us a long life together.” Together they said, “Amen,” and returned to bed for the night.”

Monday, 1 June 2015 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Justin, Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Tobit 1 : 3 and Tobit 2 : 1b-8

I, Tobit, have walked in the ways of truth and justice all the days of my life; I have given many alms to my brethren and to those of my countrymen who were deported with me to Nineveh, a city in the country of the Assyrians.

At the feast of Pentecost, the sacred feast of the Seven Weeks, they prepared a good meal for me and I sat down to eat. I saw the many dishes and said to my son : “Go and bring as many as you can find of our relatives who are in need and who remember the Lord. I will wait here for them.”

When Tobias returned, he said : “Father, one of ours has been strangled and thrown into the public square.” Before I ate anything, I hurried out and carried this man into the house and waited till sunset to bury him. When I returned home I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow. I remembered the prophecy which Amos uttered against Bethel : ‘Your feasts will be turned into mourning. All your songs will be turned into lamentations,’ and I wept.”

After sunset I went out and, after I had dug a trench, I buried the man. My neighbours mocked me, saying : “He no longer fears to be put to death for doing that; he had to flee but look he is again burying the dead.”

Thursday, 19 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Sts. Philip Minh, Priest and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Sirach 48 : 1-15

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 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.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Marian feast)

Psalm 83 : 3, 4, 5 and 10, 11

My soul yearns, pines, for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, at your altars, o Lord of hosts, my King and my God!

Happy are those who live in Your House, continually singing Your praise! Look upon our shield, o God; look upon the face of Your Anointed!

One day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be left at the threshold in the House of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

 

Alternative Reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

 

Judith 13 : 18bcde, 19

My daughter, may the Most High God bless you more than all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has led you to behead the leader of our enemies.

Never will people forget the confidence you have shown; they will always remember the power of God.

Sunday, 1 September 2013 : 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (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.