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Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious (Optional Memorial)
The Lord has taken her as his bride for ever
in faithfulness and mercy, alleluia. Cf. Hos 2:21-22
Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord,
the wisdom and strength of the Cross,
with which you were pleased to endow Saint Rita,
so that, suffering in every tribulation with Christ,
we may participate ever more deeply in his Paschal Mystery.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision, “Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.” He settled there for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them.
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal, saying, “This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.” When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, “If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews; but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.” And he drove them away from the tribunal. They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. But none of this was of concern to Gallio.
Paul remained for quite some time, and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.
R. God is king of all the earth.
or R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the Lord, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth. R.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves. R.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the Lord, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise. R.
Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory. Cf. Lk 24:46, 26
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Most merciful God,
who were pleased to create in blessed Saint Rita
the New Man in your image, the old having passed away,
graciously grant, we pray,
that, renewed like her,
we may offer you the acceptable sacrifice of conciliation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord is my portion:
he is good to the soul that seeks him, alleluia. Cf. Lam 3:24-25
Prayer after Communion
By the power of this Sacrament, Lord, we pray,
lead us always in your love,
through the example of blessed Saint Rita,
and bring to fulfillment the good work you have begun in us
until the day of Christ Jesus.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Daily Meditation: John 16:20-23
Your grief will become joy. (John 16:20)
Imagine that you were there in the upper room with the disciples. You have been with Jesus for years, and now he tells you that in a very short time, you will no longer see him. Wouldn’t you be filled with questions, as they were? How could he leave us after we’ve been through so much together? Doesn’t he know that we have left everything to be with him—and now he’s going to abandon us? Doesn’t he know we’ll be devastated?
Jesus understood the disciples’ distress and used that moment to prepare them for the grief that would overtake them upon his death. Jesus didn’t gloss over their grief; he knew that it is a natural part of loss. But he also promised that it would subside. He assured them that their final reunion in heaven would wash away all sadness and bring a joy that would more than surpass whatever they felt at his death.
Whether we lose a parent, a friend, a child, or a spouse, death touches every one of us. And the closer we are to that person, the harder their death hits us. But it is here that Jesus’ words can speak to our pain: “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you” (John 16:22).
God knows that our feelings of grief and loss can be intense. Our pain may never go away completely, and even though we move on with our lives, we are never the same. But God promises that as we lift our tear-stained eyes in faith, we can experience his consolation and mercy and live in the hope that we will see our loved ones again. Then we begin to look at heaven and the Second Coming of Christ—not just as something far-off and unrelated to our lives—but with a deep personal longing. We begin to long to be with the Lord as well as with the ones we love. We look forward to the day when there will be no separation ever again. And that’s when our sorrow turns to full joy.
“Father, I long for the day when you will bring all of us together again. Come, Lord Jesus!”
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