Saturday, 6 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Genesis 27 : 1-5, 15-29

When Isaac was old and his eyes so weak that he could no longer see, he called Esau, his older son, and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. Isaac continued, “You see I am old and I do not know when I shall die; so take your weapons, your bow and arrow, go out into the country and hunt some game for me. Then prepare some of the savoury food I like and bring it to me so that I may eat and give you my blessing before I die.”

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau went into the country to hunt game and bring it back, she took the best clothes of her elder son Esau that she had in the house and put them on Jacob, her younger son. With the goatskin she covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck, and she handed to him the bread and food she had prepared.

He went to his father and said, “Father!” He answered, “Yes, my son, who is it?” And Jacob said to his father, “It is Esau, your firstborn; I have done what you told me to do. Come, sit up and eat my game so that you may give me your blessing.” Isaac said, “How quick you have been my son!” Jacob said, “YHVH, your God, guided me.”

Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near and let me feel you, my son, and know that it is you, Esau my son, or not.” When Jacob drew near to Isaac, his father felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He did not recognise him, for his hands were hairy like the hands of Esau his brother and so he blessed him.

He asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” And Jacob answered, “I am.” Isaac said, “Bring me some of your game, my son, so that I may eat and give you my blessing.” So Jacob brought it to him and he ate. And he brought him wine and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So Jacob came near and kissed him.

Isaac then caught the smell of his clothes and blessed him, saying, “The smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. May God give you the dew of heaven; and of the richness of the earth; and abundance of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you and nations bow down before you. Be lord over your brothers, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone that curses you and blessed be everyone that blesses you!”

Friday, 5 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony Zaccaria, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Genesis 23 : 1-4, 19 and Genesis 24 : 1-8, 62-67

Sarah lived a hundred and twenty-seven years. She died at Kiriatharba – that is Hebron – in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to weep and mourn for Sarah. Abraham left his dead one and spoke to the Hittites, “I am only a stranger among you; give me a burial place among you, so that I may bury my dead.”

After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of Machpelah. Abraham was now old and well on in years, and YHVH had blessed him in every way. Abraham said to his senior servant, who was his steward, “Put your hand under my thigh and you will swear to me by YHVH, God of heaven and earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom we live; rather it is to my country and my kinsfolk that you will go to choose a wife for my son, Isaac.”

The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not want to follow me to this country. In that case should I take your son to the country you came from?” Abraham said to him, “In no way will you take my son back. For YHVH, God of heaven and God of earth, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, spoke to me and swore to me that He would give this country to my race.”

“He will send His Angel before you, that you may find a wife for my son. But if the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be free of this oath. In any case you are not to take my son down there.”

Now Isaac had come from the well of Lahai-roi, for he was living in the Negeb. As Isaac went out in the early evening to meditate in the field, he looked up and saw camels coming. Rebekah also looked up and when she saw Isaac she alighted from her camel and said to the servant, “Who is this man in the field coming to meet us?”

He replied, “It is my master!” She then covered her face with her veil. The servant related to Isaac all that he had done, and Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent of Sarah, his mother. He made her his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Thursday, 4 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)

Genesis 22 : 1-19

Some time later God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I shall point out to you.”

Abraham rose early next morning and saddled his donkey and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He chopped wood for the burnt offering and set out for the place to which God had directed him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance, and he said to the young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He carried in his hand the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke to Abraham, his father, “Father!” And Abraham replied, “Yes, my son?” Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Abraham replied, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice.”

They went on, the two of them together, until they came to the place to which God had directed them. When Abraham had built the altar and set the wood on it, he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood placed on the altar. He then stretched out his hand to seize the knife and slay his son. But the Angel of YHVH called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.” “Do not lay your hand on the boy; do not harm him, for now I know that you fear God, and you have not held back from Me your only son.” Abraham looked around and saw behind him a ram caught by its horns in a bush. He offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place ‘The Lord will provide.’ And the saying has lasted to this day.

And the Angel of YHVH called from heaven a second time, “By myself I have sworn, it is YHVH Who speaks, because you have done this and not held back your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the lands of their enemies. All the nations of the earth will be blessed through your descendants because you have obeyed Me.”

So Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba and it was there that Abraham stayed.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 19 : 15-29

At daybreak the Angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and two daughters who are here, lest they perish because of the sin of the town.” As he hesitated, the men took him by the hand and his wife and two daughters with him, because YHVH had mercy on him. And they led him outside the town.

When they were outside, the visitors said to him, “Flee for your life and do not look back and do not stop anywhere in the plain. Flee to the mountain lest you perish.” But Lot replied, “My lords, your servant has found favour with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot flee to the mountains for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die.”

“See, there is a town near enough for me to flee to and it is a small one. Let me flee there : it is very small (that is why the town is called Zoar). So I will be safe.” And the Angel answered, “I grant you this favour as well by not destroying the town you speak of. But flee fast for I can do nothing until you arrive there.”

The sun had risen on the earth when Lot reached Zoar. Then YHVH rained on Sodom and Gomorrah burning sulfur out of the heavens from YHVH, and He completely destroyed those towns and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the towns and everything that grew there. Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.

Early next morning Abraham returned to the place where he had stood before YHVH. He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah and towards all the land of the valley and he saw smoke rising from the earth like the smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the towns of the plain He remembered Abraham and made Lot escape from the catastrophe while He destroyed the cities where Lot had lived.

Monday, 1 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 18 : 16-33

The men went away and turned towards Sodom. Abraham walked with them to set them on their way. And YHVH said, “Can I conceal from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham, in fact, is going to become a great and powerful nation and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed, for I have chosen him to command his sons and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that YHVH may bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.”

Then YHVH said, “How great is the cry for justice against Sodom and Gomorrah! And how grievous is their sin! I am going down to see if they have done all that they are charged with in the outcry that has reached Me. If it is not so, I will know.” The men with Him turned away and went towards Sodom, but YHVH remained standing before Abraham.

Abraham went forward and said, “Will You really let the just perish with the wicked? Perhaps there are fifty good people in the town. Are You really going to let them perish? Would You not spare the place for the sake of these fifty righteous people? It would not be at all like You to do such a thing and You cannot let the good perish with the wicked, nor treat the good and the wicked alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth be just?” YHVH said, “If I find fifty good people in Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham spoke up again, “I know that I am very bold to speak like this to my Lord, I who am only dust and ashes! But perhaps the number of the good is five less than fifty. Will You destroy the town because of the five?” YHVH replied, “I will not destroy the town if I find forty-five good people there.” Again Abraham said to him, “Perhaps there will be only forty.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”

Abraham went on, saying, “May my Lord not be angry, but let me speak. Maybe only thirty good people will be found in the town.” YHVH answered, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty there.” Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to my Lord, what if only twenty can be found?” He said, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy the place.”

But Abraham insisted, “May my Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found?” And YHVH answered, “For the sake of ten good people, I will not destroy Sodom.” When YHVH had finished speaking with Abraham, He left and Abraham went home.

Thursday, 27 June 2019 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Genesis 16 : 1-12, 15-16

Sarai, Abram’s wife had not borne him a child, but she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar, and she said to Abram, “Now, since YHVH has kept me from having children, go to my servant; perhaps I shall have a child by her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

Abram had been in the land of Canaan ten years when Sarai, his wife, took Hagar, her Egyptian maid, and gave her to Abram her husband as wife. He went in to Hagar and she became pregnant. When she was aware of this, she began to despise her mistress. Sarai said to Abram, “May this injury done to me be yours. I put my servant in your arms and now that she knows she is pregnant, I count for nothing in her eyes. Let YHVH judge between me and you.”

Abram said to Sarai, “Your servant is in your power; do with her as you please.” Then Sarai treated her so badly that she ran away. The Angel of YHVH found her near a spring in the wilderness and said to her, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am running away from Sarai, my mistress.”

The Angel of YHVH said to her, “Go back to your mistress and humbly submit yourself to her.” The Angel of YHVH said to her, “I will so increase your descendants, that they will be too numerous to be counted.” Then the Angel of YHVH said to her, “Now you are with child and you will have a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for YHVH has heard your distress. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, defiant towards all his brothers.”

Hagar gave birth to a son and Abram called the child Hagar bore him, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Genesis 16 : 6b-12, 15-16

Then Sarai treated Hagar so badly that she ran away. The Angel of YHVH found her near a spring in the wilderness and said to her, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am running away from Sarai, my mistress.”

The Angel of YHVH said to her, “Go back to your mistress and humbly submit yourself to her.” The Angel of YHVH said to her, “I will so increase your descendants, that they will be too numerous to be counted.” Then the Angel of YHVH said to her, “Now you are with child and you will have a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for YHVH has heard your distress. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, defiant towards all his brothers.”

Hagar gave birth to a son and Abram called the child Hagar bore him, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 15 : 1-12, 17-18

After Abram met with Melchizedek, the word of YHVH was spoken to Abram in a vision : “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great!” Abram said, “My Lord YHVH, where are Your promises? I am still childless and all I have will go to Eliezer of Damascus. You have given me no children, so a slave of mine will be my heir.”

Then the word of YHVH was spoken to him again, “Eliezer will not be your heir, but a child born of you (your own flesh and blood) will be your heir.” Then YHVH brought him outside and said to him, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that.”

Abram believed YHVH Who, because of this, held him to be an upright man. And He said, “I am YHVH Who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” Then Abram asked, “My Lord, how am I to know that it shall be mine?” YHVH replied, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle dove and a young pigeon.”

Abram brought all these animals, cut them in two, and laid each half facing its other half, but he did not cut the birds in half. The birds of prey came down upon them, but Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep came over Abram, and a dreadful darkness took hold of him.

When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the victims. On that day YHVH made a Covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this country from the river of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”