Saint Pius X, Pope
1 Thessalonians 2:2-8
We were eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our whole lives
It was our God who gave us the courage to proclaim his Good News to you in the face of great opposition. We have not taken to preaching because we are deluded, or immoral, or trying to deceive anyone; it was God who decided that we were fit to be entrusted with the Good News, and when we are speaking, we are not trying to please men but God, who can read our inmost thoughts. You know very well, and we can swear it before God, that never at any time have our speeches been simply flattery, or a cover for trying to get money; nor have we ever looked for any special honour from men, either from you or anybody else, when we could have imposed ourselves on you with full weight, as apostles of Christ.
Instead, we were unassuming. Like a mother feeding and looking after her own children, we felt so devoted and protective towards you, and had come to love you so much, that we were eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our whole lives as well.
Psalm or canticle
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;
through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,
that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
and set up your throne through all ages.
‘I have found David my servant
and with my holy oil anointed him.
My hand shall always be with him
and my arm shall make him strong.
‘My truth and my love shall be with him;
by my name his might shall be exalted.
He will say to me: “You are my father,
my God, the rock who saves me.”’
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep
Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’
Saint Bernard, Abbot, Doctor
Whoever grasps the Law will obtain wisdom
Whoever fears the Lord will act like this,
and whoever grasps the Law will obtain wisdom.
She will come to meet him like a mother,
and receive him like a virgin bride.
He will lean on her and will not fall,
he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will raise him high above his neighbours,
and in full assembly she will open his mouth.
He will find happiness and a crown of joy,
he will inherit an everlasting name.
Psalm or canticle
How shall the young remain sinless?
By obeying your word.
I have sought you with all my heart;
let me not stray from your commands.
I treasure your promise in my heart
lest I sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes.
With my tongue I have recounted
the decrees of your lips.
I rejoiced to do your will
as though all riches were mine.
Father, may they be completely one
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
I pray not only for these,
but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us,
as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One,
the world has not known you,
but I have known you,
and these have known that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them
and will continue to make it known,
so that the love with which you loved me may be in them,
and so that I may be in them.’
Monday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, or Saint John Eudes, Priest
The Lord appoints judges to rescue the men of Israel
The sons of Israel did what displeases the Lord, and served the Baals. They deserted the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from the gods of the peoples round them. They bowed down to these; they provoked the Lord; they deserted the Lord to serve Baal and Astarte. Then the Lord’s anger flamed out against Israel. He handed them over to pillagers who plundered them; he delivered them to the enemies surrounding them, and they were not able to resist them. In every warlike venture, the hand of the Lord was there to foil them, as the Lord had warned, as the Lord had sworn to them. Thus he reduced them to dire distress.
Then the Lord appointed judges for them, and rescued the men of Israel from the hands of their plunderers. But they would not listen to their judges. They prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed down before these. Very quickly they left the path their ancestors had trodden in obedience to the orders of the Lord; they did not follow their example. When the Lord appointed judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and rescued them from the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived, for the Lord felt pity for them as they groaned under the iron grip of their oppressors. But once the judge was dead, they relapsed and behaved even worse than their ancestors. They followed other gods; they served them and bowed before them, and would not give up the practices and stubborn ways of their ancestors at all.
Psalm or canticle
They failed to destroy the peoples
as the Lord had given command,
but instead they mingled with the nations
and learned to act as they did.
They worshipped the idols of the nations
and these became a snare to entrap them.
They even offered their own sons
and their daughters in sacrifice to demons.
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.
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.
If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own
There was a man who came to Jesus and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one alone who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said, ‘Which?’ ‘These:’ Jesus replied ‘You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not bring false witness. Honour your father and mother, and: you must love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these. What more do I need to do?’ Jesus said, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard these words he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.