Wednesday, 27 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Sirach (Ecclesiastes) 36 : 1-2a, 5-6, 11-17

Have mercy on us, Master, God of all, and look on us; make every nation stand in fear of You. Take action against the pagan nations and let them see Your power. Give new signs, do fresh wonders, stretch out Your hand and be glorified in Your strength. Kindle Your fury and rouse Your anger, destroy Your opponents, crush Your enemy.

Have pity, Lord, on the people known by Your Name, on Israel whom You called Your firstborn. Show compassion to the Holy City, to Jerusalem where You rest. Fill Zion with the fame of Your wonders, and Your people with Your glory. Confirm the promises made to Your people long ago and fulfill the promises made in Your Name.

Reward those who wait for You and fulfill the words of Your prophets. Hear the prayer of Your servants, Lord; hear Your priests giving Aaron’s blessing to Your people. So that all on earth may acknowledge that You are Lord and everlasting God.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Philip Neri, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Sirach (Ecclesiastes) 35 : 1-12

Keeping the Law is worth 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.

Monday, 25 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church, Pope St. Gregory VII, Pope, and St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, Virgin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests, Popes and Virgins)

Sirach (Ecclesiastes) 17 : 20-29

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 the 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 offense. 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. How great is the mercy of the lord and His forgiveness for those who turn to Him!

Saturday, 1 June 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Justin, Martyr (First Reading)

Sirach 51 : 17-27

With her help I made progress and I will glorify Him who gives me wisdom, for I decided to put it into practice and ardently seek what is good. I shall not regret it. My soul has struggled to possess her. I have been attentive to observe the Law, and after my faults I have stretched out my hands to heaven and lamented my ignorance of her.

My love of her increased and I found her in repentance. It was through her from the beginning that I learnt to possess my heart. She will not forsake me. With my whole being I sought her; that is why I won what is best. In return for this, the Lord has given me words to praise Him.

Come near, you who are without understanding and join her school. Why do you say you are deprived of all this and that your souls are thirsty? This is what I say : ‘Buy this without money; put your neck under her yoke and let your minds receive instruction; it is very near and within your reach. See for yourselves : my toil has been slight and I found deep rest.’

Thursday, 30 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Sirach 42 : 15-26

Now I shall remind you of the works of the Lord and relate what I have seen. The Lord’s works depend on His word, and creation obeys His will. The sun shines on everything and the work of the Lord is filled with His glory.

Not even to His holy ones has the Lord given full knowledge of all His marvellous works. The Lord, Master of the Universe, has ordained that all should stand firm in His glory. He penetrates both the depth of the abyss and the human heart and knows their secret. For the Most High has full knowledge and ordains the signs of the heavens.

He knows the past and foretells the future and reveals the traces of the world’s mysteries. No thought escapes Him, no word is hidden from Him. He has ordered the marvellous works of His wisdom, from ever and forever. Nothing can be added, nothing can be taken away and He has no need of counsel.

All His works are beautiful, even to the smallest spark of light. All this lives and endures forever : all is useful and obedient to His will. All things are in pairs, one opposite the other, and nothing He makes is in any way deficient.

One thing emphasizes the excellence of the other; who could ever weary of admiring His glory?

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Sirach 36 : 1-2a, 5-6, 13-19

Have mercy on us, Master, God of all, and look on us; make every nation stand in fear of You. Take action against pagan nations.

Give new signs, do fresh wonders, stretch out Your hand and be glorified in Your strength. Kindle Your fury and rouse Your anger, destroy Your opponents, crush Your enemy.

Fill Zion with the fame of Your wonders, and Your people with Your glory. Confirm the promises made to Your people long ago and fulfill the promises made in Your Name. Reward those who wait for You and fulfill the words of Your prophets.

Hear the prayer of Your servants, Lord; hear Your priests giving Aaron’s blessing to Your people. So that all on earth may acknowledge that You are Lord and everlasting God.

The stomach takes in all kinds of food but one food is better than another. Just as the tongue can distinguish the flavour of meat, so does the alert mind detect lies.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Sirach 35 : 1-15

Keeping the Law is worth 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, 27 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (First Reading)

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 the 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 offense. 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.

Saturday, 25 May 2013 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor; Pope St. Gregory VII, Pope; and St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, Virgin (First Reading)

Sirach 17 : 1-13

The Lord created man from the earth and let him return to earth. He settled a fixed time for them and a set number of days, giving them power over everything on earth. He endowed them with a strength like His own, making them in His own image.

He put the fear of them in all living things, thus they had mastery over the animals and birds. He endowed them with knowledge; He gave them tongue and eyes, ears and a mind to think with.

He filled them with wisdom and knowledge; He taught them good and evil. He put His own eye in their hearts so they would understand the greatness of His works. They will praise His Holy Name and relate the magnificence of His creation.

He gave them revealed knowledge as well and handed over to them the Law of Life. He established an everlasting covenant with them and let them know His judgments. Human eyes saw the splendour of the Glory of God; their ears heard the grandeur of His voice.

Friday, 24 May 2013 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Church in China (First Reading)

Sirach 6 : 5-17

A gentle word makes many friends, an agreeable tongue calls forth gracious replies. Let your friends be many; but your counselors, one in a thousand!

If you would gain a friend, begin by testing him and do not put your confidence in him too quickly. For there is the friend who is such when it suits him but he does not remain faithful in the time of your adversity.

There is the friend who becomes an enemy and, to your confusion, makes known why you quarrelled. There is the friend who shares your table but does not remain faithful when things go against you. In times of prosperity he will be like your shadow and he will speak freely to those of your household. But if you are humiliated, he will turn against you and will avoid meeting you.

Distance yourself from your enemies and be careful about your friends. The faithful friend is a secure refuge; whoever has found one has found a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond all price; hold him as priceless. A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, and those who fear the Lord will find one.

Whoever fears the Lord will make true friends for, as a man is, such will his friends be.