01Jan Mass Readings for January 2019

Readings for January 2019

plus Saints who are listed for this month, in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland


01 January

02 January

03 January

04 January

05 January

06 January

07 January

08 January

09 January

10 January

11 January

12 January

13 January

14 January

15 January

16 January

17 January

18 January

19 January

20 January

21 January

22 January

23 January

24 January

25 January

26 January

27 January

28 January

29 January

30 January

31 January


BIBLE

01 January.
Mary the Holy Mother of God

1st Reading: Numbers 6:22-27

A new-year prayer for God to bless and protect his people

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

2nd Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

The gap between God and mankind is bridged, so we can call God “Abba! Father”>

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Gospel: Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds visit the manger. Later, Jesus is circumcised and named

The shepherds went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the
womb.


BIBLE

02 January.
Wednesday before Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 2:22-28

Abiding in the Holy Trinity, towards eternal life

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.

Gospel: John 1:19-28

John the Baptist is the voice of one crying out in the desert

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am the Messiah. they asked him, “What then? you Elijah? said, not. prophet? answered, “No.” Then said to Let us have an answer for those sent us. do say about yourself? voice of one crying out in desert, ‘Make straight way Lord,'” as prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.


BIBLE

03 January.
Thursday before Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 2:29–3:6

We are God’s children now; when he is revealed, we will be like him

If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him. See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; nobody who sins has either seen him or known him.

Gospel: John 1:29-34

The Baptist bears witness to Jesus, who ranks ahead of him

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away sin world! This he whom I said, ‘After me comes a man ranks ahead because was before me. myself did not know him; but came baptizing with water for reason, that might be revealed to Israel.”

And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”


BIBLE

04 January.
Friday before Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 3:7-10

How we are reborn as children of God

Little children, let nobody deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.

Gospel: John 1:35-42

The calling of Jesus’ first disciples: “Come and See”

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him an said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).


BIBLE

05 January.
Friday before Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 3:11-21

The original Christian message, that we should love one another

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us–and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who as the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

Gospel: John 1:43-51

Jesus promises Nathanael that he will see the heavens opened

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. found Nathanael said to him, “We have him about whom Moses in law also prophets wrote, Jesus son Joseph Nazareth. “Can anything good come out Nazareth? see.”

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”


BIBLE

06 January.
The Epiphany of the Lord

1st Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

The Messiah will reveal his glory to all the nations

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

2nd Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6

Christ is here to save all people, without racial distinction

Surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12

The Magi’s visit shows the light of Christ for all the nations

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”

When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.'”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


BIBLE

07 January.
Monday after Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 3:22 – 4:6

Distinguishing the spirit of truth from the spirit of error

Beloved, we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Responsorial: Psalm 149: 1-6, 9

Response: The Lord takes delight in his people.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its Maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king. (R./)

Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation. (R./)

Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips;
this honour is for all his faithful. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

Jesus went about the country villages, teaching and healing

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, Naphtali, on the road by sea, across Jordan, Galilee Gentiles, people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those region shadow death light has dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” And he went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.


BIBLE

08 January.
Tuesday after Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 4:7-10

Love’s origin and its influence on our lives

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Responsorial: Psalm 71: 1-4, 7-8

Response: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

O God give your judgement to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgement. (R./)

May the mountains bring forth peace for the people
and the hills, justice.
May he defend the poor of the people
and save the children of the needy. (R./)

In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
from the Great River to earth’s bounds. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:34-44

Jesus feeds the hungry crowd with a handful of loaves and fishes

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that can go to surrounding countryside villages, buy themselves something eat.”

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.


BIBLE

09 January.
Wednesday after Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 4:11-18

God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

Responsorial: Psalm 71: 1-2, 10-13

Response: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

O God, give your judgement to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgement. (R./)

The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts
shall pay him tribute.
The kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate,
all nations shall serve him. (R./)

For he shall save the poor when they cry
and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:45-52

Jesus walks on the water and calms the wind

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and wind ceased. they were utterly astounded, for did understand about loaves, but their hearts hardened.


BIBLE

10 January.
Thursday after Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 4:19 – 5:4

Whoever loves God should love Jesus, and all of our fellow-Christians

Beloved, we love God because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not sister or brother whom has seen cannot God seen. This the commandment we have from him: loves must also brother.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

Responsorial: Psalm 71: 1-2, 14-15, 17

Response: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

O God, give your judgement to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgement. (R./)

From oppression he will rescue their lives,
to him their blood is dear.
They shall pray for him without ceasing
and bless him all the day. (R./)

May his name be blessed for ever
and endure like the sun.
Every tribe shall be blessed in him,
All nations bless his name. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 4:14-22

In the Nazareth synagogue, Jesus proclaims the Isaiah prophecy fulfilled

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.


BIBLE

11 January.
Friday after Epiphany

1st Reading: 1 John 5:5-13

God has testified to his Son, Jesus, who grants victory over this world

Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came through water and Blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and Blood.
The Spirit is the one who testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
So there are three who testify,
the Spirit, the water, and the Blood,
and the three are of one accord.
If we accept human testimony,
the testimony of God is surely greater.
Now the testimony of God is this,
that he has testified on behalf of his Son.
Whoever believes in the Son of God
has this testimony within himself.
Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar
by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son.
And this is the testimony:
God gave us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.
Whoever possesses the Son has life;
whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Responsorial: Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20

Response: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
Zion, praise your God!
He has strengthened the bars of your gates,
he has blessed the children within you. (R./)

He established peace on your borders,
he feeds you with finest wheat.
He sends out his word to the earth
and swiftly runs his command. (R./)

He makes his word known to Jacob,
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations;
he has not taught them his decrees. (R./)

Gospel Luke 5:12-16

Jesus heals the man covered in leprosy, and sends him to the priest, to witness it

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made the leprosy left him immediately.

Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.


BIBLE

12 January.
Saturday after Epiphany

1st Reading. 1 Jn 5:14-21

Different sorts of sin, some of which is venial, less deadly to the spirit

Beloved: We have this confidence in him
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask,
we know that what we have asked him for is ours.
If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly,
he should pray to God and he will give him life.
This is only for those whose sin is not deadly.
There is such a thing as deadly sin,
about which I do not say that you should pray.
All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

We know that anyone begotten by God does not sin;
but the one begotten by God he protects,
and the Evil One cannot touch him.
We know that we belong to God,
and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One.
We also know that the Son of God has come
and has given us discernment to know the one who is true.
And we are in the one who is true,
in his Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against idols.

Responsorial: Psalm 149: 1-6

Response: The Lord takes delight in his people.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its Maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king. (R./)

Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation. (R./)

Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips;
this honour is for all his faithful. (R./)

Gospel: John 3:22-30

John the Baptist defers to Jesus as the best man does towards the bridegroom

Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned.

Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew about ceremonial washings. So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across Jordan, to whom testified, here he is baptizing and everyone coming him.” John answered said, “No can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. yourselves testify that I said am not Christ, but sent before bride bridegroom; best man, stands listens for him, rejoices greatly at bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine made complete. must increase; decrease.”


BIBLE

13 January.
The Baptism of the Lord

Jesus brings justice and divine life to the nations. As his baptised family, we seek the kingdom of God through justice and peace.

1st Reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7

A chosen servant of God will courageously help others to find salvation

Thus says the Lord:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,>
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.”

Responsorial: Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-30

Response: Oh, bless the Lord, my soul

Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!
You stretch out the heavens like a tent. (R./)

Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you walk on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servants. (R./)

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting,
living things great and small. (R./)

All of these look to you to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
you open your hand, they have their fill. (R./)

You take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth. (R./)

2nd Reading: Titus (2:11-14; 3:4-7

Purified through the water of rebirth and renewal

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Gospel: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The Baptist points to Jesus the Saviour, whom God calls “my Son, the Beloved”

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”


BIBLE

14 January.
Monday, Week 1

1st Reading: Hebrews (1:1-6

God spoke in many and varied ways, but now through Jesus, his Son and heir

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son; today I have begotten”? >
Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-2, 6-7, 9

Response: Let all his angels worship him.

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
the many coastlands be glad.
Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
his throne, justice and right.(R./)

The skies proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.
All you spirits, worship him.
For you indeed are the Lord
most high above all the earth. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 1:14-20

Jesus begins his mission and calls his first disciples

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.


BIBLE

15 January.
Tuesday, Week 1

1st Reading: Hebrews 2:5-12

Jesus, crowned with glory, having been tested through suffering

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere, “What are human beings that you mindful of them, or mortals, care for them? have made them a little while lower than the angels; crowned with glory and honour, subjecting all things under their feet.”

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”

Responsorial: Psalm 8:2, 5-9

Response: You gave your Son authority over all your creation.

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth.
What is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him? (R./)

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honour you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
put all things under his feet.(R./)

All of them, sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air and fish
that make their way through the waters. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

Jesus teaches with authority and even commands unclean spirits

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”

But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him.” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching, with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.


BIBLE

16 January.
Wednesday, Week 1

1st Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18

Jesus shared our flesh and blood and so is able to help us in our trials

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Responsorial: Psalm 104:1-4, 6-9

Response: The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
tell all his wonderful works.

Be proud of his holy name,
let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.

O children of Abraham his servant,
O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God:
his judgements prevail in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant for ever,
his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
and swore to his son Isaac. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

Jesus cures Peter’s mother-in-law, prays, and preaches the good news

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim message there also; what came out do.” And went throughout Galilee, proclaiming in their synagogues casting demons.


BIBLE

17 January.
Thursday, Week 1

1st Reading: Hebrews 3:7-14

Open our hearts to God, not hardened by sin

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on day of testing desert, where ancestors put me to test, though they had seen my works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, ad said, always go astray their hearts, and have known ways. anger swore, will enter rest.'”

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.

Responsorial: Psalm 94:6-11

Response: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us.
For he is our God and we the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand. (R./)

O that today you would listen to his voice.
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.” (R./)

“For forty years I was wearied of these people
and I said: ‘Their hearts are astray,
these people do not know my ways.’
Then I took an oath in my anger:
‘Never shall they enter my rest.'” (R./)

Gospel: Mark 1:40-45

Jesus touches and cures the leper, who goes and tells everyone about it

A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.


BIBLE

18 January.
Friday, Week 1

1st Reading: Hebrews 4:1-5, 11

Through faith we shall enter into God’s day of rest

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “As in my anger I swore, ‘They shall not enter rest,'” though his works were finished at the foundation of world. For one place it speaks about seventh day follows, “And God rested on from all works. again this says, rest.” Since therefore remains open some to it, those who formerly received good news failed because disobedience, he sets a certain day, “today”, saying through David much later, words already quoted, “Today, if you hear voice, do harden your hearts.”

If Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that nobody may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.

Responsorial: Psalm 77:3-4, 6-8

Response: Do not forget the works of the Lord.

The things we have heard and understood,
the things our fathers have told us
we will not hide from their children.
We will tell them to the next generation:
the glories of the Lord and his might
and the marvellous deeds he has done. (R./)

They too should arise and tell their sons
that they too should set their hope in God.
They should never forget God’s deeds
but keep every one of his commands. (R./)

They must not be like their fathers,
a defiant and rebellious race,
a race whose heart was fickle,
whose spirit was unfaithful to God. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

In Capernaum Jesus heals a paralytic after first forgiving his sins

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy. Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”, he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”


BIBLE

19 January.
Saturday, Week 1

1st Reading: Hebrews 4:12-16

Our merciful high priest has passed into heaven

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Responsorial: Psalm 18:8-10, 15

Response: Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
it gives wisdom to the simple. (R./)

The precepts of the Lord are right,
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes. (R./)

The fear of the Lord is holy,
abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
and all of them just. (R./)

May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight,
O Lord, my rescuer, my rock. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 2:13-17

The call of Levi/ Matthew. Jesus calls sinners, not the self-righteous

Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up followed him.

And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous
but sinners.”


BIBLE

20 January.
2nd Sunday (Year C)

1st Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5

God has prepared joyful feast for his people

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Responsorial: Psalm 95:1-3, 7-10

Response: Proclaim his marvellous deeds to all the nations

O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name. (R./)

Proclaim his help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples. (R./)

Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power,
give the Lord the glory of his name. (R./)

Worship the Lord in his temple.
O earth, tremble before him.
Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’
He will judge the peoples in fairness. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

The many gifts that come from God’s Spirit are meant for the good of all

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who aportions to each one individually as he wills.

Gospel: John 2:1-11

Mary’s intervention at the marriage at Cana evokes Christ’s first miracle

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that you me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. “Fill with water. filled them up brim. them, draw some out, take it chief steward.” So took it. When steward tasted had become wine, did know where came from (though servants who drawn knew), called bridegroom him, “Everyone serves good wine first, then inferior after guests drunk. But kept until now.

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.


BIBLE

21 January.
Monday, Week 2

1st Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10

Jesus is our Priest, and the source of eternal salvation for all

Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honour, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you;” as he says also in another place, a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial: Psalm 109:1-4

Response: You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
‘Sit on my right: I will put your foes beneath your feet.’ (R./)

The Lord will send from Zion your sceptre of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes. (R./)

A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the daybreak I begot you. (R./)

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
‘You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.’ (R./)

Gospel: Mark 2:18-22

While the bridegroom is present, don’t put new wine into old wine skins

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”


BIBLE

22 January.
Tuesday, Week 2

1st Reading: Hebrews 6:10-20

Abraham’s long-delayed son. A lesson in patience

For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had nobody greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you. thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, an oath given as confirmation puts end to all dispute. In same way, when God desired show even more clearly heirs promise unchangeable character his purpose, he guaranteed it oath, so that through two things, which is impossible would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged seize hope set before us. this hope, a sure steadfast anchor soul, enters inner shrine behind curtain, where Jesus, forerunner on our behalf, has entered, become high priest forever according order Melchizedek.

Responsorial: Psalm 110:1-2, 4-5, 9, 10

Response: The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
in the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
to be pondered by all who love them. (R./)

He makes us remember his wonders.
The Lord is compassion and love.
He gives food to those who fear him;
keeps his covenant ever in mind. (R./)

He has sent deliverance to his people
and established his covenant for ever.
Holy his name, to be feared.
His praise shall last for ever. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 2:23-28

Jesus says that sabbath was made for people, not people for sabbath

One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the Bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”


BIBLE

23 January.
Wednesday, Week 2

1st Reading: Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17

The priesthood of Jesus is mysterious and eternal, like Melchisedek’s

This “King Melchizedek of Salem, priest the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating kings and blessed him; to him apportioned “one-tenth everything.” His name, in first place, means righteousness;” next is also that is, peace.” Without father, mother, genealogy, having neither beginning days nor end life, but resembling Son remains a forever.

See how great he is. Even Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils. And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to collect tithes from the people, that is, from their kindred, though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man, who does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case, tithes are received by those who are mortal; in the other, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood, for the people received the law under this priesthood, what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which nobody has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, one who ha become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Responsorial: Psalm 109:1-4

Response: You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

The Lord’s revelation to my Master: ‘Sit on my right:
I will put your foes beneath your feet.’ (R./)

The Lord will send from Zion your sceptre of power;
rule in the midst of all your foes. (R./)

A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the daybreak I begot you. (R./)

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
‘You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.’ (R./)

Gospel: Mark 3:1-6

Good can certainly be done on Sundays; Jesus heals the man with the paralysed hand

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy
him.


BIBLE

24 January.
Thursday, Week 2

1st Reading: Hebrews 7:25-8:6

Jesus our high priest serves in the true tabernacle of heaven

Jesus he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Now the main point is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern was shown on mountain.” But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and degree he is mediator of better covenant, which been enacted through promises.

Responsorial: Psalm 39:7-10, 17

Response: Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead, here am I. (R./)

In the scroll of the book it stands written
that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law
in the depth of my heart. (R./)

Your justice I have proclaimed
in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
you know it, O Lord. (R./)

O let there be rejoicing and gladness
for all who seek you.
Let them ever say: ‘The Lord is great’,
who love your saving help. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 3:7-12

Jesus teaches the people from a boat

Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God.” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.


BIBLE

25 January.
The conversion of Saint Paul

1st Reading: Acts 22:3-16

Paul’s account of his conversion, to his fellow-Jews, on the steps of the Temple

When they heard Paul addressing them in Hebrew, the people became quiet. Then he said: :

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus Cilicia, but brought up this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all you are today. persecuted Way point death by binding both men and women putting them prison, high priest whole council elders can testify about me. From also received letters brothers Damascus, went there order bind those who were bring back Jerusalem punishment.

“While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Then he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. I asked, ‘What am I to do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.’ Since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me took my hand and led me to Damascus.

“A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, came to me; and standing beside me, he said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.'”

Responsorial: Psalm 116: 1-2

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News

Alleluia! Praise the Lord, all you nations;
all you peoples, praise Him.(R./)

How great is His love for us.
His faithfulness lasts forever.(R./)

Gospel: Mark 16:15-18

What missionary apostles will achieve and endure, in the name of Christ

Jesus said to his disciples, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


BIBLE

26 January.
Ss Timothy and Titus, bishops

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-9

Reminder to use the gifts God has given us, for the service of the church

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did, when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.

For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace.

Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a

Proclaim the wonders of God to all the nations

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all you lands.
Sing to the Lord; bless his name. (R./)

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R./)

Give to the Lord, you families of nations,
give to the Lord glory and praise;
give to the Lord the glory due his name! (R./)

Say among the nations: The Lord is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9

Jesus sent out seventy of his followers in pairs to preach the Gospel

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but labourers are few; therefore ask Lord of to send out into his harvest.

Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet nobody on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to
you.’


BIBLE

27 January.
3rd Sunday (Year C)

1st Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10

Ezra the Scribe set out to re-instate the Jewish Laws

The priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed heads and worshiped the Lord with faces to ground.

So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Responsorial: Psalm 18:8-10, 15

Response: Your words, Lord, are spirit and life

The law of the Lord is perfect,
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
it gives wisdom to the simple. (R./)

The precepts of the Lord are right,
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes. (R./)

The fear of the Lord is holy,
abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
and all of them just. (R./)

May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight, O Lord,
my rescuer, my rock! (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30

The Church forms many individuals into a living unity in Christ

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to he hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honourable we invest with the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

Gospel: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

In the Nazareth synagogue Jesus proclaims a time of healing and freedom

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to procaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”


BIBLE

28 January.
Monday, Week 3

1st Reading: Hebrews 9:15, 24-28

Jesus as the mediator of a new covenant

For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Responsorial: Psalm 97:1-6

Response: Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous deeds.

Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation. (R./)

The Lord has made known his salvation;
and shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel. (R./)

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord all the earth,
ring out your joy. (R./)

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
acclaim the King, the Lord. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 3:22-30

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said about Jesus, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of demons casts out demons. called them to him, spoke in parables, “How can Satan cast Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that cannot stand. house will not be able risen up himself divided, stand, but his end come. nobody enter strong man’s plunder property without first tying man; then indeed plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have
forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”


BIBLE

29 January.
Tuesday, Week 3

1st Reading: Hebrews 10:1-10

The temple rituals were a type of the new covenant, brought by Jesus for all

Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body prepared for me; in burnt sin taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, God, come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of book it is written me).”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Responsorial: Psalm 39:2, 4, 7-8, 10-11

Response: Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will

I waited, I waited for the Lord
and he stooped down to me;
he heard my cry.
He put a new song into my mouth,
praise of our God. (R./)

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead, here am I. (R./)

Your justice I have proclaimed
in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
you know it, O Lord. (R./)

I have not hidden your justice in my heart
but declared your faithful help.
I have not hidden your love
and your truth from the great assembly. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 3:31-35

Jesus calls whoever does God’s will his own brothers and sisters

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”


BIBLE

30 January.
Wednesday, Week 3

1st Reading: Hebrews 10:11-18

Jesus offers one sacrifice that sets up a new covenant with God

And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for feet. by single offering perfected all time those who are sanctified. Holy Spirit also testifies to us, after saying, “This is covenant that I will make with them days, says Lord: put my laws in their hearts, write on minds, adds, remember sins lawless deeds no more.” Where there forgiveness these, longer any sin.

Responsorial: Psalm 109:1-4

Response: You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
‘Sit on my right:
I will put your foes beneath your feet.’ (R./)

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the daybreak I begot you. (R./)

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
‘You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.’ (R./)

Gospel: Mark 4:1-20

Parable of the sower and the mystery of the Kingdom of God

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:

“Listen. A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen.”

When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that ‘they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.'”

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, an it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”


BIBLE

31 January.
Thursday, Week 3

1st Reading, Hebrews 10:19-25

We enter the Holy of Holies by the new and living path Jesus has opened for us

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Responsorial: Psalm 23:1-6

Response: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm. (R./)

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things. (R./)

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 4:21-25

The contrast between those who have and the have-nots

Jesus said to those who were with him, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or bed, and not on lampstand? For there nothing hidden, except disclosed; nor anything secret, come light. Let anyone with ears hear listen.”

And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”


Saints’ Days listed for the month of January,
in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland

01 January: Mary, Mother of God

At the Council of Ephesus (451), Mary, the mother of Jesus was proclaimed as Mother of God or Theotokos, acknowledging the very Godhead of her Son, Jesus Christ. Under this splendid title she is still honoured by most Christians around the world, and today’s feast invites us to lay our hopes and plans for the new-starting year under her motherly care and patronage.


02 January: Ss Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

BISHOPS, DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH.
Basil: Born about 330 at Caesarea (Turkey); died there on 1 January 379. First a hermit, then bishop of his native city. Noted for his pioneering monastic rule, and for writings which developed the doctrines of the incarnation and of the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
Gregory: Born at Nazianzus (Turkey) in 329; died there in 389. Also a hermit before becoming bishop of Constantinople. Known as the “Theologian” because of his wisdom and acumen in maintaining orthodox doctrine against the Arians.


03 January: The Most Holy Name of Jesus

Commemorated by religious orders since the 16th century, the feast was extended to the universal Church in 1721 and celebrated in the context of the Christmas season. The monogram IHS was popular in the late medieval and baroque periods. By the Holy Name, Christians honour the person of Jesus, their Lord and Saviour. At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Ph 2: 6-11)


03 January – St Munchin, bishop

Munchin is the patron saint of the diocese of Limerick. He is known only from Dalcassian genealogies and seems to have been born in Dal Cais, where a parish and old graveyard Cell Mainchin (Kilmanaheen) existed. In the seventh century he was granted Inis Sibtonn (Ibton) in the tidal waters of Limerick, in the region of which he founded a church and had a thriving religious community.


05-St Charles of Mount Argus

Charles (John) Houben (1821-1893), was a Dutch Passionist priest who served in Dublin in the late 19th-century. He showed extraordinary compassion for the sick and those in need of guidance. Many came asking his prayers, and in latter life his reputation for healings was such that a reference is made to him by James Joyce in Ulysses. He was canonized in 2007 and his feast day is January 5.


07 January: St Raymond of Penyafort

PRIEST. Born about 1175 near Barcelona (Spain); died there in extreme old age on 6 January 1275. Became a canon of the cathedral but soon after joined the Dominicans, eventually being elected their master general. Noted for his knowledge of canon law, especially in its application to the sacrament of penance, and for his scholarly apostolate to Jews and Muslims.


13 January: St Hilary of Poitiers

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Poitiers (France) about 315; died there on this day in 368. A married man with a family, he became a Christian and was elected bishop of his native city. Called the “Athanasius of the West” because of his strenuous defence of the divinity of Christ against the Arians, for which he was exiled by the emperor. Noted for his gentle, courteous and friendly nature, and for his contribution to the Western understanding of the Trinity.


15 January – St Ita, virgin

Ita was born in County Waterford of noble and Christian parents. Early on she set her mind on serving Christ in religious life. She founded a monastery in Killeedy, County Limerick, which attracted a variety of young people. She was given the title ‘foster-mother of the saints of Ireland’. She died in 570.


16 January – St Fursa, abbot, missionary

Fursa was born in Ireland and became one of the major monastic missionaries abroad. He went first with his brothers Foillan and Ultan to live the monastic life in East Anglia. But as large numbers continued to visit him there he left his brother Foillan as abbot, and sought refuge in France around 644. A patron gave him a hermitage at Lagny on the Marne. He died about 650 at Mezerolles while on a journey. His body was buried in Peronne, which became a centre of devotion to him.


17 January: St Anthony

ABBOT. Born in 251 in upper Egypt; died in 356. At an early age he gave away his possessions and sought the austere life and solitude in the desert. Yet he remained involved in the theological controversies of his day, defending the divinity of Christ. He attracted disciples who formed communities of hermits. The account of his life by Saint Athanasius (2 May) was extremely influential in the development and spread of monasticism. Honoured as the father of western monasticism.


20 January: St Fabian

POPE, MARTYR; died as one of the first victims of the persecution under the emperor Decius in 250. In spite of being “a layman and a stranger” (Eusebius), he became bishop of Rome in 236. Reorganised the Church in Rome. Called by his contemporary, Saint Cyprian, “a man incomparable in the holiness of his life and the glory of his witness.”


20 January: St Sebastian

MARTYR; died perhaps in the late third century. Nothing of his life is known for certain. May have been a soldier who was martyred after sustaining others in their trials. Venerated in Rome since the fourth century.


21 January: St Agnes

VIRGIN, MARTYR; died at Rome, perhaps in the early fourth century. One of the most widely venerated of the Roman martyrs. According to early accounts, she gave her life to preserve her virginity consecrated to Christ. Named in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).


22 January: St Vincent

DEACON, MARTYR; died in 304, martyred in Valencia (Spain) during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian. A deacon of Saragossa. His cult spread rapidly through the whole Church of the West. Honoured as the first martyr of Spain.


24 January: St Francis de Sales

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Savoy (France) in 1567; died in Lyons in 1622. As a presbyter and as bishop of Geneva, he played a major part in the renewal of 17th-century French Catholicism. Seen by many as an early proponent of ecumenical dialogue. Founded the Visitation order with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (12 December). His writings promoted a spirituality for laypeople. Honoured as a most influential preacher, writer, and spiritual director, who combined firmness with patience and gentleness.


25 January: Conversion of St Paul, apostle

This date, first linked with the conversion of Saint Paul in the so-called Martyrdom of Jerome (c. 431), became established in the liturgy of Gaul. Celebrates the work of God’s grace at a major turning point in the life of Paul himself and in the history of the infant Church.


27 January: Ss Timothy and Titus

BISHOPS; died toward the end of the first century. Disciples and associates of Saint Paul the apostle (29 June) who attended the Council of Jerusalem with him. Timothy represented Saint Paul to various communities and, according to tradition, was eventually placed in charge of the Church at Ephesus. Titus was asked to organise the Church in Crete. Honoured as the leaders to whom the pastoral letters of the New Testament are addressed.


27 January: St Angela Merici

VIRGIN. Born in Desenzano (Italy) about 1474; died in Brescia on this day in 1540. She became a Franciscan tertiary and subsequently founded the Company of Saint Ursula (Ursulines). Her vision provided an alternative to the forms of religious life then available for women: members remained in their own homes, living as virgins and observing a rule she composed. Honoured as a woman of prayer, for her evangelical way of life, for her pilgrimages, and for her creative response to the needs of women in the Church.


28 January: St Thomas Aquinas

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born near Aquino (Italy) about 1225; died on his way to the Council of Lyons in 1274. Educated at Monte Cassino, Naples, Paris, and Cologne, he became a Dominican in 1244. Regarded as one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church. Despite ecclesiastical opposition at the time, the substance of his life’s work has endured as an authentic exposition of Christian teaching and carries unique official approval. Noted for his modesty, the prayerfulness of his personal life, and the abiding influence of his thought.


31 January: St John Bosco

PRIEST. Born in Piedmont (Italy) in 1815; died at Turin on this day in 1888. Grew up in extreme poverty and, after ordination, devoted his whole life to educating young people, especially the poor. Founded the Salesians, men and women who continue this work with youth throughout the world. Noted, like the order’s patron, Saint Francis de Sales, for his cheerfulness and trust in the providence of God.



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