01Aug Mass Readings for August 2019

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


01 August

02 August

03 August

04 August

05 August

06 August

07 August

08 August

09 August

10 August

11 August

12 August

13 August

14 August

15 August

16 August

17 August

18 August

19 August

20 August

21 August

22 August

23 August

24 August

25 August

26 August

27 August

28 August

29 August

30 August

31 August



BIBLE

01 August. Thursday, Week 17

1st Reading: Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38

The tabernacle and its contents are consecrated and God’s glory settles there

Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him. In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up. Moses set up the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy seat above the ark; and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the curtain for screening, and screened the ark of the covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Responsorial: Psalm 83:3-6, 8, 11

Response: How lovely is your dwelling-place, Lord, mighty God!

My soul is longing and yearning,
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God. (R./)

The sparrow herself finds a home
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God. (R./)

They are happy, who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
they walk with ever growing strength. (R./)

One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 13:47-53

The reign of God is like a net that hauls in all kinds of fish; and like a storeroom full of objects old and new.

And Jesus said to his disciples,
“The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into sea and caught fish every kind; when it full, they drew ashore, sat down, put good baskets but threw out bad. So will be at end age. angels come separate evil from righteous throw them furnace fire, where there weeping gnashing teeth.

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.


BIBLE

02 August. Friday, Week 17

1st Reading: Leviticus 23:1, 4-11 etc

Sacred festivals of Pasch, Pentecost, Atonement and Tabernacles

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.

The Lord spoke to Moses: Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall raise the sheaf before the Lord, that you may find acceptance; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall raise it.

And from the day after the sabbath, from the day on which you bring the sheaf of the elevation offering, you shall count off seven weeks; they shall be complete. You shall count until the day after the seventh sabbath, fifty days; then you shall present an offering of new grain to the Lord.

Speak to the people of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, and lasting seven days, there shall be the festival of booths to the Lord. The first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. Seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the eighth day you shall observe a holy convocation and present the Lord’s offerings by fire; it is a solemn assembly; you shall not work at your occupations.

These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you shall celebrate as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord offerings by fire, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day.

Responsorial: Psalm 80:3-6, 10-11

Response: Sing with joy to God our help.

Raise a song and sound the timbrel,
the sweet-sounding harp and the lute.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
when the moon is full, on our feast. (R./)

For this is Israel’s law,
a command of the God of Jacob.
He imposed it as a rule on Joseph,
when he went out against the land of Egypt. (R./)

Let there be no foreign god among you,
no worship of an alien god.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you from the land of Egypt. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58

The people of Nazareth reject Jesus; and he could work few miracles there

Jesus came to his home town and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not the carpenter’s son? his mother called Mary? are brothers James Joseph Simon Judas? all sisters with us? then this? they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets without honour except in their own country house. he do many power there, because unbelief.


BIBLE

03 August. Saturday, Week 17

1st Reading: Leviticus (25:1, 8-17

Land can never be sold or mortgaged beyond the next Jubilee year

The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying: “You shall count off seven weeks of years, times so that the period years gives forty-nine years. have trumpet sounded loud; on tenth day seventh month, atonement, throughout all your land. And hallow fiftieth year proclaim liberty land to its inhabitants. It be a jubilee for you: return, every one you, property family. not sow, or reap aftergrowth, harvest unpruned vines. is jubilee; holy eat only what field itself produces.

“In this year of jubilee you shall return, every one of you, to your property. When you make a sale to your neighbour or buy from your neighbour, you shall not cheat one another. When you buy from your neighbour, you shall pay only for the number of years since the jubilee; the seller shall charge you only for the remaining crop years. If the years are more, you shall increase the price, and if the years are fewer, you shall diminish the price; for it is a certain number of harvests that are being sold to you. You shall not cheat one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.”

Responsorial: Psalm 66:2-3, 5, 7-8

Response: O God, let all the nations praise you!

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help. (R./)

Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth. (R./)

The earth has yielded its fruit for God,
our God, has blessed us.
May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12

John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod Antipas, and then beheaded at the dancer’s request

At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus; and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been telling him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet.

But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.


BIBLE

04 August. 18th Sunday (Year C)

The Rich Fool stands as a warning against clinging to our comforts while knowing that others starve. The heartless economic model proposed by globalised capitalism and our accumulative society adds to the world’s inequalities and tensions.

1st Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23

“Vanity of vanities!” You can’t take it with when die

Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. Even one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.

Responsorial: Psalm 89:3-6, 12-14, 17

R./: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge

You turn people back into dust
and say: ‘Go back, children of men.’
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
no more than a watch in the night. (R./)

You sweep men away like a dream,
like grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers:
by evening it withers and fades. (R./)

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity to your servants. (R./)

In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Let the favour of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands. (R./)

2nd Reading: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

Since Christ has returned to the Father, we must seek the things that are above

Since you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Gospel: Luke 12:13-21

The Rich Fool, a warning against greed and selfishness

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”


BIBLE

05 August. Monday, Week 18

1st Reading: Numbers 11:4-15

A rebellion during the Exodus from Egypt

The rabble among the Israelites had a strong craving; and they also wept again, and said, “If only we had meat to eat! remember the fish used eat in Egypt for nothing, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic; but now our strength is dried up, there nothing at all this manna look at. was like coriander seed, its colour of gum resin. people went around gathered it, ground it mills or beat mortars, then boiled pots made cakes it; taste baked with oil. When dew fell on camp night, would fall it.

Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favour in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child,’ to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once – if I have found favour in your sight – and do not let me see such misery as this.”

Responsorial: Psalm 80:12-17

Response: Sing with joy to God our help.

My people did not heed my voice
and Israel would not obey,
so I left them in their stubbornness of heart
to follow their own designs. (R./)

O that my people would heed me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
At once I would subdue their foes,
turn my hand against their enemies. (R./)

The Lord’s enemies would cringe at their feet
and their subjection would last for ever.
But Israel I would feed with finest wheat
and fill them with honey from the rock. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21

Out of compassion, Jesus cures the sick and multiplies food in a deserted place.

When Jesus heard the news of John the Baptis’s death, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.

When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.


BIBLE

06 August. The Transfiguration of the Lord

1st Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Daniel sees the Ancient One giving power to the Son of Man

As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.

As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 97

R.: The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne. (R./)

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
all peoples see his glory. (R./)

For you indeed are the Lord,
most high over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods. (R./)

2nd Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-19

The second coming of Christ is a deep truth for his disciples

We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, Beloved, with whom I am well pleased. ” We ourselves heard voice come from heaven, while were him on the holy mountain. So have prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do to be attentive as a lamp shining in dark place, until day dawns and morning star rises your hearts.

Gospel: Luke 9:28-36

Moses and Elijah talk with Jesus, on the radiant mountain-top

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” ?” not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came an overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told nobody any of the things they had seen.


BIBLE

07 August. Wednesday, Week 18

1st Reading: Numbers 13:1-2, 25, 14:1, 26-29, 34-35

God’s anger at the complaints of the Israelites

The Lord said to Moses [in the wilderness of Paran], “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving Israelites; from each their ancestral tribes you shall a man, every one leader among them.” At end forty days they returned spying land. And came Moses Aaron all congregation Israelites in wilderness Paran, Kadesh; brought back word them congregation, showed fruit

They told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us; it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the land of the Negeb; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea, and along the Jordan.”

;But Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against this people, for they are stronger than we.” So they brought to the Israelites an unfavourable report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size. There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they complain against me. Say to them, “As I live,” says the Lord, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say: your dead bodies shall fall in this very desert; and of all your number, included in the census, from twenty years old and upward, who have complained against me. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.” I the Lord have spoken; surely I will do thus to all this wicked congregation gathered together against me: in this desert they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.

Responsorial: Psalm 105:6-7, 13-14, 21-23

Lord, remember us, for the love you bear your people.

Our sin is the sin of our fathers;
we have done wrong, our deeds have been evil.
Our fathers when they were in Egypt
paid no heed to your wonderful deeds. (R./)

But they soon forgot his deeds
and would not wait upon his will.
They yielded to their cravings in the desert
and put God to the test in the wilderness. (R./)

They forgot the God who was their saviour,
who had done such great things in Egypt,
such portents in the land of Ham,
such marvels at the Red Sea. (R./)

For this he said he would destroy them.
But Moses, the man he had chosen,
stood there in the breach before him,
to turn back his anger from destruction. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus heals the Canaanite woman’s daughter

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.


BIBLE

08 August. Thursday, Week 18

1st Reading: Numbers 20:1-13

Grumbling at the lack of food, the people wished to return to Egypt. Moses will not see the Promised Land

The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there.

Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had died when our kindred before the Lord! Why have you brought assembly of Lord into this wilderness for us and livestock to die here? up out Egypt, bring wretched place? It is no place grain, or figs, vines, pomegranates; there water drink.” Then Moses Aaron went away from entrance tent meeting; they fell on their faces, glory appeared them. spoke Moses, saying: Take staff, assemble congregation, your brother Aaron, command rock eyes yield its water. Thus shall them; provide drink congregation livestock.

So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.

Responsorial: Psalm 94:1-2, 6-9

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

Come, ring out our joy to the Lord:
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord. (R./)

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 of 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./)

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23

Peter’s profession of faith, his pastoral leadership, and his limited understanding

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”


BIBLE

09 August. Saint Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

1st Reading: Hosea 2:16-17; 21-22

God’s love for his people is like a husband’s love for a wife

On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, “My husband,” and no longer will you call me, Baal.”>
For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more. I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety. On that day I will answer, says the Lord, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth;
and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel.”

Responsorial: Psalm 51

R.: Create a clean heart in me, O God

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. (R./)

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you. (R./)

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a humble and contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

On being ready for Christ’s return: the wise and foolish bridesmaids

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. ‘ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. ‘ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves. ‘ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us. ‘ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do no know you. ‘ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.


BIBLE

10 August. Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Whoever sows richly will also reap richly

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows richly will also reap richly. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. who supplies seed sower and bread for food will supply multiply your sowing increase harvest of righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm – – Psalm 112

R.: Blessed are the merciful, who give help to those in need

Blessed are those who revere the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commands.
Their posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed. (R./)

Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be remembered forever. (R./)

An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes. (R./)

Generously he gives to the poor,
his bounty shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory. (R./)

Gospel: John 12:24-26

Those who love their mortal life in the wrong way will lose it

Jesus said to his disciples, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.”


BIBLE

11 August. 19th Sunday (Year C)

As we admire our ancestors in the faith, let us share their faith in God’s direction of our own lives.

1st Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9

Learn from the Exodus: God will save us from all dangers

That night was made known beforehand to our ancestors, so that they might rejoice in sure knowledge of the oaths in which they trusted. The deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of their enemies were expected by your people. For by the same means by which you punished our enemies, you called us to yourself and glorified us. For in secret the holy children of good people offered sacrifices, and with one accord agreed to the divine law, so that the saints would share alike the same things, both blessings and dangers; and already they were singing the praises of the ancestors.

2nd Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

In praise of faith, and of Abraham, our father in faith

(or, shorter version: 11:1-2. 8-12)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old-and Sarah herself was barren ?” because he considered him faithful who had promised.

Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead-and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

Gospel: Luke 12:32-48

Fear not, little flock. But be vigilant, faithful

or, shorter version: 12:35-40

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you,he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”


BIBLE

12 August. Monday, Week 19

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 10:12-22

God’s chosen people must show mercy to foreigners, the orphan and the widow

And Moses said to th people, “So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear God, walk in all his ways, love him, serve with heart and soul, keep commandments decrees that I am commanding you today, for own well-being.

“Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.”

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: Matthew 17:22-27

Why and how Jesus pays the temple tax

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.” And they were greatly distressed.

When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes, he does.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?” When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. But so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.”


BIBLE

13 August. Tuesday, Week 19

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Moses promises that God will lead his people into the promised land

When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them: “I am now one hundred twenty years old. no longer able to get about, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan. your God himself will before you. He destroy these nations you, dispossess them. Joshua also as promised. do them did Sihon Og, kings of Amorites, their land, when destroyed give deal with in full accord command that have given Be strong bold; fear or dread them, because it is who goes you; fail forsake”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Responsorial: from Deuteronomy 32:3-4, 7-9

Response: The portion of the Lord is his people.

I proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, tell the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are Equity. (R./)

Think back on the days of old,
think over the years down the ages.
Ask of your father, let him teach you;
of your elders, let them enlighten you. (R./)

When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
when he divided the children of men,
he fixed their bounds according to their number;
but the Lord’s portion was his people,
Jacob his share of inheritance. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

One lost soul found causes more joy than ninety-nine who never strayed

The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.

What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.


BIBLE

14 August. Wednesday, Week 19

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 34:1-12

The great Moses dies within sight of the Promised Land.

Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, will give it your descendants; have let you see with eyes, but shall not cross over there.” Then Moses, servant Lord, died there in Moab, at Lord’s command. He was buried a valley opposite Beth-peor, nobody knows his burial place day. Moses one hundred twenty years old when died; sight unimpaired vigor had abated. Israelites wept for plains Moab thirty days; period morning ended. Joshua son Nun full spirit wisdom, because laid hands on him; obeyed him, doing as commanded Moses.

Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Responsorial: Psalm 65:1-3, 5, 16-17

Response: Blessed be God who filled my soul with life!

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!’ (R./)

Come and see the works of God,
tremendous his deeds among men.
Come and hear, all who fear God.
I will tell what he did for my soul: to him
I cried aloud, with high praise ready on my tongue. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

Fraternal accountability within the Christian family.

Jesus said to his disciples: “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”


BIBLE

15 August. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1st Reading: Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10

The portent of the woman and the dragon symbolised the persecuted church; later applied to the Assumption

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, “Now have come the salvation and power kingdom of our God authority his Messiah.

Responsorial: Psalm 45

R.: The queen stands at your right hand, robed in gold

The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your own people and your father’s house. (R./)

So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, pay homage to him. (R./)

They are brought in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-25

Christ is first fruits of the resurrection. His Mother already shares the fullness of redemption

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power; for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

Gospel: Luke 1:39-56

During her visit to Elizabeth, Mary recites the Magnificat

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


BIBLE

16 August. Friday, Week 19

1st Reading: Joshua 24:1-13

Joshua narrates God’s help to Israel, from the patriarchs to entering the Promised Land.

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people,

“Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham Nahor, lived beyond Euphrates served other gods. Then I took father from River led him through all land Canaan made offspring many. gave Isaac; to Isaac Jacob Esau. Esau hill country Seir possess, but children went down Egypt. sent Moses Aaron, plagued Egypt with what did in its midst; afterwards brought you out. When ancestors out Egypt, came sea; Egyptians pursued chariots horsemen Red Sea. they cried he put darkness between sea come upon them cover them; eyes saw desert a time. Amorites, who on side Jordan; fought you, handed over possession their land, destroyed before you. King Balak son Zippor Moab, set fight against Israel. invited Balaam Beor curse would not listen Balaam; therefore blessed you; so rescued hand.

“When you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I handed them over to you. I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not laboured, and towns that you had not built, and you live in them; you eat the fruit of vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.

Responsorial: Psalm 135:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24

Response: His love is everlasting.

O give thanks to the Lord for he is good. (R./)

Give thanks to the God of gods. (R./)

Give thanks to the Lord of lords. (R./)

Through the desert his people he led. (R./)

Nations in their greatness he struck. (R./)

Kings in their splendour he slew. (R./)

He let Israel inherit their land. (R./)

On his servant their land he bestowed. (R./)

And he snatched us away from our foes. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 19:3-12

Among the Kingdom signs are marital fidelity and celibacy.

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let nobody separate.”

They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”

His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”


BIBLE

17 August. Saturday, Week 19

(option: Our Lady of Knock, Readings from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lect II, 1421-1449)

1st Reading: Joshua 24:14-29

At the covenant ceremony at Shechem, the whole people promise loyalty to God

Joshua said to all the people: “Revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity faithfulness; put away gods that your ancestors served beyond River Egypt, Lord. Now if you are unwilling to choose this day whom will serve, whether region or of Amorites whose land living; but as for me my household, we”

Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.”

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem. Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of Go; and he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord. Joshua said to all the people, “See, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, if you deal falsely with your God.” So Joshua sent the people away to their inheritances.

After these things Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred ten years old.

Responsorial: Psalm 15:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11

Response: You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.’
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize. (R./)

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. (R./)

You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 19:13-15

The kingdom of God belongs to hearts that are as pure as little children

Little children were being brought to Jesus so that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.


BIBLE

18 August. 20th Sunday (Year C)

Moral courage is in short supply. It may be safer to keep our heads down and go with the herd; but this is not the way to which Christ calls us.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10

Jeremiah is dropped into a well to die, but is saved by a foreigner

The officials said to the king, “This man ought to be put death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in city, and all people, by speaking such words them. For not seeking welfare of but their harm.” King Zedekiah said, “Here is; your hands; powerless against you.” So they took Jeremiah threw him into cistern Malchiah,’s son, which was court guard, letting down ropes. Now there no water cistern, only mud, sank mud.

Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at the Benjamin Gate, So Ebed-melech left the king’s house and spoke to the king, “My lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.” Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.”

Second Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4

Persevere with Jesus, for we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Gospel: Luke 12:49-53

Christ calls for total loyalty, even if it causes severe dissension

Jesus said to his disciples,
“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No,I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”


BIBLE

19 August. Monday, Week 20

1st Reading: Judges 2:11-19

The era of the Judges alternates between falling away and being restored

Then Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and worshipped the Baals; and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they followed other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were all around them, and bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. They abandoned the Lord, and worshipped Baal and the Astartes. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers who plundered them, and he sold them into the power of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them to bring misfortune, as the Lord had warned them and sworn to them; and they were in great distress.

Then the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the power of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen even to their judges; for they lusted after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord; they did not follow their example. Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord would be moved to pity by their groaning because of those who persecuted and oppressed them. But whenever the judge died, they would relapse and behave worse than their ancestors, following other gods, worshipping them and bowing down to them. They would not drop any of heir practices or their stubborn ways.

Responsorial: Psalm 105:34-37, 39-40, 43-44

Response: Lord, remember us, for the love you bear your people.

They failed to destroy the peoples
as the Lord had given command,
but instead they mingled with the nations
and learned to act like them. (R./)

They worshipped the idols of the nations
and these became a snare to entrap them.
They even offered their own sons and daughters
in sacrifice to demons. (R./)

So they defiled themselves by their deeds
and broke their marriage bond with the Lord
till his anger blazed against his people;
he was filled with horror at his chosen ones. (R./)

Time after time he rescued them,
but in their malice they dared to defy him.
In spite of this he paid heed to their distress,
so often as he heard their cry. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22

To follow Jesus, we must share what we have with the poor

Someone came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said him, “Why you ask me about is good? There only one who good. If wish enter into life, keep the commandments. “Which ones? Jesus said, shall not murder; commit adultery; steal; bear false witness; honour your father mother; also, love neighbour as yourself.”

The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.


BIBLE

20 August. Tuesday, Week 20

1st Reading: Judges 6:11-24

When Gideon doubts, his faith is confirmed by a sign from God.

The angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.” Gideon answered him, “But sir, if us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted saying, ‘Did not bring us up from Egypt? now cast off, given into hand of Midian. turned him said, “Go in might yours deliver Israel Midian; I hereby commission you.” He responded, how can Israel? My clan weakest Manasseh, am least family. said will be shall strike down Midianites, every one them. have found favour show me a sign it who speak me. Do depart here until come out present, set before stay return.”

So Gideon went into his house and prepared a kid, and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour; the meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. Then Gideon perceived that it was the angel of the Lord; and Gideon said, “Help me, Lord God! For I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it, The Lord is peace.

Responsorial: Psalm 84:9, 11-14

Response: The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for his people and his friends
and those who turn to him in their hearts. (R./)

Mercy and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
and justice look down from heaven. (R./)

The Lord will make us prosper
and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
and peace shall follow his steps. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30

All is in God’s hands; selfish wealth is destructive. The last shall come first.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”


BIBLE

21 August. Wednesday, Week 20

1st Reading: Judges 9:6-15

In a riddle Jotham curses Abimelech and the people of Shechem

All the lords of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem. When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you lords of Shechem, so that God may you.

The trees once went out to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ The olive tree answered them, ‘Shall I stop producing my rich oil by which gods and mortals are honoured, and go to sway over the trees?’ Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the fig tree answered them, ‘Shall I stop producing my sweetness and my delicious fruit, and go to sway over the trees?’ Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I stop producing my wine that cheers gods and mortals, and go to sway over the trees?’ So all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'”

Responsorial: Psalm 20:2-7

Response: Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.

O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king;
how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart’s desire;
you have not refused the prayer of his lips. (R./)

You came to meet him with the blessings of success,
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given,
days that will last from age to age. (R./)

Your saving help has given him glory.
You have laid upon him majesty and splendour,
you have granted your blessings to him for ever.
You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

The landowner who pays the same agreed wage to the first as to the last.

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because nobody has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


BIBLE

22 August. The Queenship of Mary

1st Reading: Isaiah 9:1-6

God’s promise of joy and restoration to those who sat in darkness

There will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way, the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day, Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Responsorial Psalm – – Psalm 112

R.: Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever

Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed
both now and for evermore! (R./)

From the rising of the sun to its setting
praised be the name of the Lord!
High above all nations is the Lord,
above the heavens his glory. (R./)

Who is like the Lord, our God,
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down,
to look down upon heaven and earth! (R./)

From the dust he lifts up the lowly,
from the dungheap he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
yes, with the princes of his people.
(R./)

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation: God’s Spirit will transform Mary’s life

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel as sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you. ”

She was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God. ” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word. ” Then the angel departed from her.


BIBLE

23 August. Friday, Week 20

1st Reading: Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22

Ruth migrates to Bethlehem, with her widowed mother-in-law

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and gods; return after sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not press me leave you or turn from following you! Where go, I will go; lodge, lodge; shall be my people, God God.

So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Responsorial: Psalm 145:5-10

Response: Praise the Lord, my soul!

He is happy who is helped by Jacob’s God,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who alone made heaven and earth,
the seas and all they contain. (R./)

It is he who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free. (R./)

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger
and upholds the widow and orphan. (R./)

It is the Lord who loves the just
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion’s God, from age to age. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40

Jesus declares as central the love of God and neighbour

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”


BIBLE

24 August. St Bartholomew, apostle

1st Reading: Revelation 21:9-14

The City of God has twelve gates, representing the twelve apostles

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, wife of Lamb.” And in spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain showed holy city Jerusalem coming down out heaven from God. It has glory God radiance like very rare jewel, jasper, clear as crystal. wall with twelve gates, at gates angels, on are inscribed names tribes Israelites; east three north south west gates. foundations, them apostles

Responsorial Psalm – – Psalm 145

R.: Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign

Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and declare your might, o God. (R./)

Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendour of your Kingdom.
Yours is an everlasting Kingdom ,
and your rule lasts through all generations. (R./)

The Lord is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call upon him,
who call upon him from their hearts. (R./)

Gospel: John 1:45-51

The vocation of Nathanael, whose name is linked with Bartholomew

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and 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

25 August. 21st Sunday (Year C)

1st Reading: Isaiah 66:18-21

The returning Jews bring non-Jews to join in the worship of God

The Lord Says: “I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; they shall come see my glory, will set a sign among them. From them send survivors the nations, Tarshish, Put, Lud ?” which draw bow Tubal Javan, coastlands far away that have not heard of fame or seen glory; declare glory nations.

They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.

2nd Reading: Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

As a father disciplines a child, so our God trains us

And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children: “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.”

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

People from every nation can enter in by the “narrow door”

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.

When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”


BIBLE

26 August. Monday, Week 21

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 8-10

Paul recalls the dramatic conversion of the people of Thessalonica

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake.

For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

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 23:13-22

The woes pronounced on the scribes and pharisees

Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom heaven. do not go in yourselves, when others are going in, stop them. cross sea land make a single convert, new convert twice as much child hell yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.’ How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it; and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.”


BIBLE

27 August. Tuesday, Week 21

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

How gently Paul treated the Thessalonians

You yourselves know, my brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Responsorial: Psalm 138:1-3, 4-6

Response: You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar. (R./)

You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you.
Before ever a word is on my tongue you know it,
O Lord, through and through. (R./)

Behind and before you besiege me,
your hand ever laid upon me.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge,
too high, beyond my reach. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26

What counts are justice, mercy and good faith

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, cummin, have neglected the weightier matters of law: justice mercy faith. It is these ought practiced without neglecting others. blind guides! strain out a gnat but swallow camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.


BIBLE

28 August. Wednesday, Week 21

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

The gospel is no mere opinion but is God’s own word

You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.

Responsorial: Psalm 138:7-12

Response: You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

O where can I go from your spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there.
If I lie in the grave, you are there. (R./)

If I take the wings of the dawn
and dwell at the sea’s furthest end,
even there your hand would lead me,
your right hand would hold me fast. (R./)

If I say: ‘let the darkness hide me
and the light around me be night,’
even darkness is not dark for you
and the night is as clear as the day. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 23:27-32

Warning to hypocrites who are not what they seem

Jesus said to his disciples, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they full of bones dead all kinds filth. So also righteous others, hypocrisy lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors.”


BIBLE

29 August. The Passion of St John the Baptist

1st Reading: Jeremiah 1:17-19

Like Jeremiah, we must speak out against domineering rulers

But as for you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them.

And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.

Responsorial Psalm – – Psalm 70

R.: I will sing your salvation

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me. (R./)

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked. (R./)

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help. (R./)

My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still.(R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:17-29

Mark’s grim, laconic account of John the Baptist’s execution

King Herod had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, wanted kill him. But she could not, Herod feared John, knowing that he was righteous holy man, protected When heard greatly perplexed; yet liked listen an opportunity came on his birthday gave banquet courtiers officers the leaders of Galilee. daughter in danced, pleased guests; king said girl, “Ask me whatever wish, I will give it. solemnly swore her, me, you, even half my kingdom. went out her mother, “What should for? replied, head John baptizer.” Immediately rushed back requested, want at once Baptist platter. deeply grieved; regard oaths guests, did refuse her. sent soldier guard with orders bring head. man beheaded him prison, brought platter, girl. Then girl mother. disciples about it, they took body, laid tomb.


Martyred for the truth

John the Baptist was called by God to be the herald or forerunner of Jesus, the Messiah. From his late teenage years he was directed by the Spirit to lead an austere and contemplative life in the desert until he was thirty years of age, when he began to discharge his mission as a preacher of reform and renewal. Clothed in the robes of penance, be invited his people to have their sins washed away by repentance and baptism in the Jordan; and he proclaimed the Messiah who was coming to among them. He was revered by the people as a true prophet of God, and his voice rang out with a clear summons to moral and religious reform. John’s message angered king Herod Antipas and his paramour Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Philip, with whom he lived in defiance of the law. The Baptist boldly reproached them for the scandal of an incest and adultery, and was imprisoned by Herod.

At a splendid entertainment in the royal palace, Salome, the daughter of Philip and Herodias, captivated the company by her dancing, so that Herod promised her to grant whatever she asked. Urged by her mother, the girl demanded the death of John the Baptist, to be brought to her in a dish. Acting on her wishes, Herod had the Saint beheaded in prison. According to Saint Jerome, the furious Herodias made it her pastime to prick that silenced tongue with a dagger. Today’s feast honours this the great forerunner of Jesus, who gave his life for the truth, about a year before the Passion of our blessed Saviour, whose death on the cross he predicted so tellingly as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”


Two men of destiny

We have all seen paintings or mosaics of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. Within a few years of that encounter at the Jordan river, both of them would be put to death by the power of Rome. Jesus was crucified by order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea, and John the Baptist was beheaded by order of Herod Antipas who ruled Galilee on Rome’s behalf. Jesus must have seen his own destiny foreshadowed in what happened to John the Baptist. John was executed for declaring that Herod had broken God’s Law by marrying his brother Philip’s wife. John the Baptist passionately believed that we should seek and do what God wants of us. He stands out as a beacon of light against the others in the story, King Herod, Herodias his wife, and her daughter. Between them they removed one whom the king admitted was a good and holy man, just as Jesus, the ultimate “good and holy man,” would be killed by another coalition of darkness.

The light shines out in darkness. The light of the Lord’s presence shines in our own darkness, in the dark and difficulty experiences of life. Jesus called John a “burning and shining lamp.” John the Baptist is a role model to us to let the light of our faith shine, the light of the gospel, even when it is not popular or convenient to do so. Our calling is to let the light we received shine brightly, in season and out of season. In his first encyclical, about the Light of Faith, Pope Francis wrote that “there is an urgent need to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God.” [MH]


BIBLE

31 August. Saturday, Week 21

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11

To live lovingly and responsibly

Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you.

Responsorial: Psalm 97:1, 7-9

Response: The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

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

Let the sea and all within it, thunder; the world, and all its peoples. Let the rivers clap their hands and the hills ring out their joy at the presence of the Lord. (R./)

For the Lord comes, he comes to rule the earth. He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man, going on journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted property to them; one he gave five talents, another two, one, each according ability. Then went away. The who had received talents off at once traded with them, made more talents. In same way, two But talent dug hole ground hid master’s money. After long time of those came settled accounts them. forward, bringing saying, ‘Master, you handed over me talents; see, I have said him, ‘Well done, good trustworthy slave; been few things, will put charge many things; enter into joy your master. also’

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”


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

01 August: St Alphonsus Ligouri

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Naples (Italy) in 1696; died at Nocera on this day in 1787. A lawyer before ordination. After founding the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), he was for thirteen years bishop of Sant’ Agata dei Goti, but resigned due to ill health. He coped with much internal conflict within the congregation and external opposition. Honoured as a popular preacher and devotional writer and as an influential master of moral theology.


02 August: St Eusebius of Vercelli

BISHOP. Born in Sardinia in the early fourth century; died at Vercelli (Italy) in 371. Educated in Rome, a lector in Vercelli, and then from 345 its first bishop. He was exiled by the emperor Constantius because of his opposition to Arianism, suffered many hardships, but was eventually restored to his diocese. Noted for his preaching, his doctrinal orthodoxy, and his defence of Saint Athanasius (2 May).


02 August: St Peter Julian Eymard

PRIEST. Born in La Mure d’ Isère (France) in 1811; died there on 1 August 1868. A presbyter of the diocese of Grenoble who joined the Society of Mary (Marists) in 1839. Founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (Blessed Sacrament Fathers) in 1856, and in 1858, with Marguerite Guillot, the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament. Both congregations had as their special purpose promotion of perpetual exposition and adoration of the Eucharist. Noted for his lifelong devotion to Christ’s eucharistic presence and for promoting eucharistic adoration among the people.


03 August: St Dominic

PRIEST. Born at Calaruega (Spain) about 1170; died at Bologna (Italy) on 6 August 1221. An Augustinian canon noted for prayer, penance, and an exemplary life. In a time of violent crusades he sought the reconciliation of Albigensian heretics through instruction and prayer. Established the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) to revitalise the Church through study, teaching, preaching, and prayer. Honoured as a preacher, organiser, and patron of learning.


04 August: St John Vianney

PRIEST. Born near Lyons (France) in 1786; died at Ars on this day in 1859. Overcame various obstacles, including little education and lack of means, to be ordained a priest. Served in a remote parish as the Curé of Ars, where his sanctity attracted thousands of visitors. Noted for his preaching and confessional counsel and is honoured as a model for parish clergy.


05 August: Dedication of St Mary Major

This major stational church of the ancient Roman liturgy, erected in the fourth century, was rebuilt and dedicated by Sixtus III following the proclamation at the Council of Ephesus (431) of the doctrine of Mary, Mother of God. It is considered the oldest church dedicated to our Lady in the Western world.


06 August: Transfiguration

This feast had its origin in the East in the fourth century as the commemoration of the dedication of the church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. It was observed in the West from the eighth century and extended to the entire Western Church in the fifteenth century. The feast celebrates the divine radiance shining in Christ’s human flesh and God’s glory shining forth in the lives of Christians.


07 August: Pope St Sixtus & Companions

MARTYRS; died on 6 August 258, martyred the year after his election as bishop of Rome during the persecution of the emperor Valerian. According to his contemporary, Saint Cyprian, he was “not so much killed as crowned,” along with four deacons, while addressing a congregation. Honoured as one of the most popular Roman martyrs, and mentioned in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).


07 August: St Cajetan

PRIEST. Born at Vicenza (Italy) in 1480; died at Naples on this day in 1547. A distinguished theologian and lawyer before becoming a presbyter. Established confraternities of clergy and laity to work among the sick and the poor, and founded the Congregation of Clerks Regular (Theatines) to encourage reform among diocesan clergy.


08 August: St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

RELIGIOUS. Born in Melbourne (Australia) in 1842; died in Sydney on this day in 1909. Took the religious name Mary of the Cross. Responding to the isolation of colonial families, she pioneered a new form of religious life to provide education for their children. She and her sisters shared the life of the poor and the itinerant, offering special care to destitute women and children. Noted for her eagerness to discover God’s will in all things, for her charity in the face of calumny, and for her abiding trust in God’s providence.


09 August: St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Born on 12 October 1891 in Wroclaw (Poland); died on this day in 1942 at Auschwitz/Oswiecim. Edith Stein, born of Jewish parents, became an outstanding philosopher, author and teacher, then discovered Christianity and Teresa of Avila, and so was baptised in 1922. Became a Discalced Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. When the Dutch bishops protested the Nazi persecution of the Jews, she was deported to Auschwitz along with all Dutch Catholics of Jewish extraction. Honoured as a victim of anti-Semitism, a scholar, contemplative and martyr for whom the cross is the key to spiritual understanding.


09 August – St Nathy of Achonry

Nathy is said to have been born in the barony of Leyny, Co. Sligo. He made a foundation in Achonry, where many students gathered to learn from him. He is buried in Achadh Cain.


09 August – St Felim of Kilmore

Felim was born in the sixth century in Breifne. He was a hermit near Kilmore, Co. Cavan, where he later founded a monastery. He is patron of Kilmore diocese.


10 August: St Lawrence

DEACON, MARTYR; died at Rome on this day in 258, four days after Saint Sixtus II (7 August), with whom he was closely associated. Honoured for his almsgiving. Became, after the apostles, the most celebrated martyr of the Church of Rome. His cult spread throughout the Church from the fourth century. Named in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon), and in five ancient Roman churches dedicated to him.


11 August: St Clare

VIRGIN. Born at Assisi (Italy) in 1193 or 1194; died there on this day in 1253. From a well-to-do family, Clare embraced an evangelical way of life after hearing the preaching of Saint Francis of Assisi (4 October). Founded the order of the Poor Ladies, now the Poor Clares. Noted for her life of extreme poverty, austerity, contemplation, and charity.


12 August: St Jane Frances de Chantal

RELIGIOUS. Born in Dijon (France) in 1572; died at Moulins on 13 December 1641. Married Baron Christophe de Chantal at the age of twenty, but after nine years was left a widow with four children. Her friendship with Saint Francis de Sales (24 January) led to the establishment of the Congregation of the Visitation, which offered an alternative form of religious life for women, less severe in its ascetic discipline. Noted for her administrative ability and for her visits to the


12 August – St Muredach of Killala

Muredach is regarded as the founder of the church at Killala. He may also be the founder and patron of the monastery of Inishmurray off the Sligo coast.


12 August – St Attracta of Achonry

Attracta lived in the sixth or seventh century. Local tradition remembers her amazing healing powers. Her convents were famous for hospitality and charity to the poor.


12 August – St Lelia of Thomond

Lelia (Liadain) had a church at Kileely, near Thomond Bridge. She is said to have been baptised by St Patrick.


13 August: Ss Pontian and Hippolytus

PONTIAN, POPE, MARTYR, AND HIPPOLYTUS, PRIEST, MARTYR; died some time in the fourth century after mistreatment in exile and brought back to Rome for burial on this day. Honoured as seekers of the truth. Pontian: Bishop of his native Rome in 230 but exiled to Sardinia, where he abdicated the papacy during the persecution of the emperor Maximinus in 235. Hippolytus: A conservative theologian and presbyter who objected to the teaching of one pope and the election of the next and who, in 217, went into schism. Regarded as the author of the Apostolic Tradition, whose eucharistic prayer forms the basis of Eucharistic Prayer II in the Roman Missal.


13 August – St Fachtna of Roscarberry

Fachtna (Fachanan) founder of the monastery of Ross Carbery (Ross Ailithir). He died around 600. His monastery became the principal monastery of west Cork and later had a famous Scripture school.


14 August: St Maximilian Kolbe

PRIEST, MARTYR. Born near Lódz (Poland) in 1894; died at Auschwitz.Oswiecim on this day in 1941. A Conventual Franciscan priest. Used the printing press in Poland and in Japan to promote devotion to the Virgin Mary. Interned in Auschwitz in 1941, he endured hard labour and offered his life in place of a fellow prisoner who had a family. Condemned to death by starvation and finally killed by lethal injection. Noted for his energy and poverty, his compassionate ministry, and his self-sacrifice.


15 August: Assumption of Our Lady

This feast originated in Jerusalem before the fifth century as the “Falling-Asleep of the Mother of God.” It was adopted in Rome in the mid-seventh century and was renamed the “Assumption” in the next century. It celebrates Mary’s passing over, body and soul, from this world into the glory of her risen Son.


16 August: St Stephen of Hungary

Born in Hungary about 975; died at Szekesfehervar on 15 August 1038. As Duke of the Magyars, he established dioceses and monasteries and used state power to enforce Christianity. Crowned king of Hungary about 1000, with papal approval. Noted for making Christianity the religion of the nation and for his justice to the oppressed and


17 August – Our Lady of Knock.

The story of Knock began on the 21st August 1879 when Our Lady, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. This miraculous apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old. Knock is an internationally recognized Marian Shrine and was visited by St John Paul II, as part of his 1979 papal pilgrimage to Ireland. The date of the memorial is within the annual novena conducted at the Shrine.


19 August: St John Eudes

PRIEST. Born in Normandy (France) in 1601; died at Caen on this day in 1680. Originally an Oratorian, he was active in preaching missions and in caring for the sick. Founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) which is dedicated to the formation of presbyters, and helped to begin a community of women religious (now known as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd) to care for wayward women. Noted also for his promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart.


20 August: St Bernard

ABBOT, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born near Dijon (France) in 1090; died at Clairvaux on this day in 1153. Joined the impoverished, reformed abbey of Citeaux at the age of 21. Soon became the founder and abbot of Clairvaux and pioneered the reform and expansion of the Cistercian Order. A prolific writer on theology and spirituality, an eloquent preacher, and an adviser of popes and kings. Honoured as the most influential churchman of his age, for his inspirational leadership, and for his devotion to the humanity of Christ and to the Blessed Virgin.


21 August: Pope St Pius X

Born Giuseppe Sarto at Riese (Italy) in 1835; died at Rome on 20 August 1914. Elected pope in 1903, after being bishop of Mantua and patriarch of Venice. In pursuit of his motto, “to renew all things in Christ”, he initiated reforms of the liturgy and of canon law and took stern measures against “modernist” trends in theology. His efforts to avert world war were frustrated. Noted for his poverty and for his promotion of liturgical participation, especially of frequent communion, to which he admitted young children.


22 August: Queenship of Mary

This feast was established by Pius XII in 1955 and was celebrated on 31 May. Since 1969 it has been observed on 22 August to stress its relationship to the Assumption (15 August): taken up into glory, Mary became queen of heaven and earth.


23 August: St Rose of Lima

VIRGIN. Born at Lima (Peru) in 1586; died there on 24 August 1617. Chose not to marry, joined the Dominican Third Order and modelled herself on Saint Catherine of Siena (29 April). A recluse and mystic. Noted for her radiant love of God and for the severe penance and hardships she endured during serious illness. The first saint of the Americas to be canonised (1671).


23 August – St Eugene of Tyrone

Eugene (Eoghan) lived in the sixth century and was said to have been taken by pirates to Britain. On obtaining his freedom he went to study at Candida Casa. Returning to Ireland he made a foundation at Kilnamanagh in the Wicklow hills, but his principal foundation was at Ardstraw (Ard Sratha), Co. Tyrone.


24 August: St Bartholomew

APOSTLE. Named in the list of apostles and generally identified with Nathaniel of Cana, the “Israelite without guile” (John 1: 47) who was led to Jesus by the apostle Philip (3 May). Said to have preached the gospel in India and in Armenia, where tradition indicates he was martyred.


25 August: St Louis

Born at Poissy (France) in 1214; died near Tunis (Tunisia) on this day in 1270. As Louis IX, he was a devoted husband and the father of eleven children whom he helped to raise in the Christian faith. Regarded as a model Christian king at a time of high cultural achievement, but led two disastrous crusades, on the second of which he died of typhoid. Noted for his impartial justice, for his care of the poor and the sick, and for honouring his word.


25 August: St Joseph Calasanz

PRIEST. Born in Aragon (Spain) in 1557; died at Rome on this day in 1648. A lawyer, theologian, and presbyter who gave away much of his family fortune and devoted himself to providing free education for poor children in Rome. Founded the Clerks Regular of the Christian Schools (Piarists) and suffered many trials in later life at the hands of jealous colleagues and Church authorities. Noted especially for his patience in the midst of suffering.


27 August: St Monica

Probably born at Tagaste (Algeria) about 331; died at Ostia (Italy) in 387. Before her marriage her faith bore fruit in her recovery from a drinking problem and later helped bring her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Undertook many years of penance and prayer for her brilliant but wayward son Saint Augustine (28 August). Following his conversion and baptism in Milan, she died at the beginning of her journey home to Africa. Noted for her parental devotion, her patience, and her persistence in prayer.


28 August: St Augustine

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Tagaste (Algeria) in 354; died at Hippo (Tunisia) in 430. Though enrolled by his mother Monica as a catechumen, he renounced the Christian faith and espoused Manicheism. Taught in Carthage, Rome, and Milan. Lived for fifteen years with a woman who remains unknown and with whom he had a son, named Adeodatus. Baptised in 387, together with his son, after a long inner struggle and under the influence of Saint Ambrose (7 December) and the prayers of his mother, Saint Monica (27 August). Bishop of Hippo for thirty-four years. Lived a communal life with his clergy and served the many needs of his people at a time of political and cultural collapse. Honoured as a model pastor and as a preacher and writer whose thought has had an enduring influence in Christian history.


29 August: Beheading of John the Baptist

The execution of John the Baptist is recorded in the gospels (Matthew 14; Mark 6) and is placed by the historian Josephus at the fortress of Machaerus near the Dead Sea. As early as the fifth century, a commemoration of John the Baptist was kept on this day at Jerusalem. It probably marks the anniversary of the dedication of the basilica in his honour at Sebaste (Palestine) where, according to tradition, he was buried.


30 August – St Fiacre of Meaux

Fiacre was an Irishman who went abroad to seek a hermitage. He passed through Normandy and eventually met Faro, who was a patron of Irish pilgrims at Meaux. Fiachre was given a hermitage near Breuil and there he stayed until his death around 670.


31 August – St Aidan of Lindisfarne

Aidan was of Irish descent and was a monk of Iona. When Oswald, the exiled King of Northumbria who had fled for refuge to Iona, returned to his throne in 634, he invited Aidan to come to reconvert his people. Aidan made his headquarters at Lindisfarne. With the aid of the king as interpreter he was very successful in his mission. He died in 651.


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