Wednesday, 12 August 2020 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Ezekiel 9 : 1-7 and Ezekiel 10 : 18-22

Then He shouted loudly in my ears saying, “The punishment of the city is near; see, each one of these has in his hand his instrument of destruction.” And six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each one with his instrument of destruction. With them was a man clothed in linen, with writing material at his side. They came; and stopped near the altar of bronze.

Then the Glory of the God of Israel rose from the Cherubim, where It rested; and went to the threshold of the House. YHVH called to the man clothed in linen; who had the material for writing at his side; and He said to him, “Pass through the centre of the city, through Jerusalem, and trace a cross on the forehead of the men who sigh and groan, because of all the abominations committed in it.”

I heard Him say to the others, “Now you may pass through the city, after him, and strike. Your eyes shall not look with pity; show no mercy! Do away with them all – old men, young men, virgins, children and women – but do not touch anyone marked with a cross.”

And, as they were told to begin with the Sanctuary, they struck the elders who were in front of the Temple. YHVH said to them, “Let the courts be filled with the slain and the Temple be defiled with their blood : Go out!” They went and slew the people in the city.

The glory of YHVH went from above the threshold of the House and went, to rest on the Cherubim. Then the Cherubim left, opening their wings and rising above the earth in my sight; and the wheels went with them. They halted at the east gate of the House of YHVH; and the Glory of the God of Israel was over them.

These were the living creatures I had seen under the God of Israel on the banks of the river Chebar. I recognised them as Cherubim. Each had four faces, each had four wings; and they had what seemed like human hands under their wings. As for the appearance of their faces, they were the faces I had seen by the river Chebar, the same likeness. Each one went straight ahead.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major)

Jeremiah 31 : 1-7

YHVH declares that when that time comes He will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be His people. Thus says YHVH : The people who survived the sword have found grace in the desert. As Israel was seeking for his rest YHVH appeared from afar saying, I have loved you with a love everlasting, so I have kept for you My mercy. I will restore you again, and you shall be rebuilt, o virgin Israel!”

“You will take up your tambourines and go out dancing joyfully. You will plant vineyards again on the hills of Samaria, and the farmers who plant them will enjoy their fruit. There shall be a day when watchmen will call out on the hills of Ephraim, “Come, let us go to Zion, to YHVH our God!”

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!’”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major)

Revelations 21 : 1-5a

Then, I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and no longer was there any sea. I saw the new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God, out of heaven, adorned as a bride prepared for her husband.

A loud voice came from the throne, “Here is the dwelling of God among mortals : He will pitch His tent among them, and they will be His people; He will be God-with-them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the world that was, has passed away.”

The One seated on the throne said, “See, I make all things new.”

Saturday, 11 July 2020 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 6 : 1-8

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted; the train of His robe filled the Temple. Above Him were Seraphs, each with six wings : two to cover the face, two to cover the feet, and two to fly with. They were calling to one another : “Holy, Holy, Holy is YHVH Sabaoth. All the earth is filled with His glory!”

At the sound of their voices the foundations of the threshold shook and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said, “Poor me! I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips living among a people of unclean lips, and yet I have seen the King, YHVH Sabaoth.”

Then one of the Seraphs flew to me; in his hands was a live coal which he had taken with tongs from the Altar. He touched my mouth with it and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?”

I answered, “Here I am. Send me!”

Sunday, 12 May 2019 : Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, Vocation Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 7 : 9, 14b-17

After this, I saw a great crowd, impossible to count, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the Throne, and the Lamb, clothed in white, with palm branches in their hands.

The elder replied, “They, are those who have come out of the great persecution; they have washed, and made their clothes white, in the Blood of the Lamb. This is why they stand before the Throne of God, and serve Him, day and night, in His sanctuary.”

“He, Who sits on the throne, will spread His tent over them. Never again, will they suffer hunger or thirst, or be burnt by the sun, or any scorching wind. For the Lamb, near the Throne, will be their Shepherd, and He will bring them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away their tears.”

Sunday, 5 May 2019 : Third Sunday of Easter (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 5 : 11-14

I went on looking; I heard the noise of a multitude of Angels, gathered around the Throne, the living creatures and the elders, numbering millions of millions, crying out with a loud voice : “Worthy is the Lamb, Who was slain, to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honour, glory and praise.”

Then, I heard the voice of the whole universe, heaven, earth, sea, and the place of the dead; every creature cried out : “To Him Who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise, honour, glory and power, forever and ever.” And the four living creatures said, “Amen,” while the elders bowed down and worshipped.

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.

Sunday, 3 March 2019 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 27 : 4-7

When a sieve is shaken the dirt falls through; so, too, the defects of a man are seen when he begins to speak. The kiln tests the potter’s handiwork; a man is tested by his conversation.

A well-tended tree is shown by its fruits, so a man’s feelings can be detected in what he says. Praise no one before he has spoken, since this is the acid test.

Saturday, 2 March 2019 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

Sirach 17 : 1-15

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 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.

He said to them, “Keep yourselves from all wrongdoing,” and to each of them He gave commands regarding his neighbour. Their conduct is always before the Lord; they cannot escape His sight.

Friday, 1 March 2019 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 6 : 5-17

A gentle word makes many friends, an agreeable tongue calls forth gracious replies. Let your friends be many; but your counsellors, 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 friend be.