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Saint Henry (Optional Memorial)
In your strength, O Lord, the just one rejoices;
how greatly your salvation makes him glad!
You have granted him his soul’s desire. Cf. Ps 21 (20):2-3
O God, whose abundant grace prepared Saint Henry
to be raised by you in a wonderful way
from the cares of earthly rule to heavenly realms,
grant, we pray, through his intercession,
that amid the uncertainties of this world
we may hasten towards you with minds made pure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hear the word of the Lord,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!
What care I for the number of your sacrifices?
says the Lord.
I have had enough of whole-burnt rams
and fat of fatlings;
In the blood of calves, lambs and goats
I find no pleasure.
When you come in to visit me,
who asks these things of you?
Trample my courts no more!
Bring no more worthless offerings;
your incense is loathsome to me.
New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies,
octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest;
they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
When you spread out your hands,
I close my eyes to you;
Though you pray the more,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.” R.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?” R.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.” R.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:10
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
Prayer over the Offerings
Through the present oblation, O Lord,
which we offer in commemoration of blessed Saint Henry,
bestow on your faithful, we pray,
the gifts of unity and peace.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Whoever wishes to come after me,
must deny himself, take up his cross,
and follow me, says the Lord. Cf. Mt 16:24
Prayer after Communion
May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord,
in commemoration of blessed Saint Henry,
sanctify our minds and hearts,
that we may merit to be made sharers in the divine nature.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 10:34–11:1
Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:38)
Most great love stories involve a lover making huge sacrifices for the sake of the beloved—crossing oceans, losing one’s reputation, forfeiting wealth, even risking death. All such sacrifices are made happily, and boldly, with no regrets—for the sake of the beloved.
But the greatest love story of all is the one of a God who made the most amazing sacrifice imaginable. He took on our humanity, not as a conquering hero, but as a tiny baby. He was willingly mocked, spit on, tortured, and finally crucified, all out of love for each one of us.
How can we possibly respond to so great a love? Can we be like our Savior, the Lover who was happy to sacrifice for the ones he loves? Can we accept and bear our crosses as Jesus did, out of love for the One who sacrificed for us?
We all have crosses to bear; it comes with living in a fallen world. We could grudgingly resign ourselves to them. Or out of love for God, we could accept them with peace and trust and try to be as loving and merciful to those involved as Jesus is to us. So if we are caring for a family member with a mental illness, we can do it lovingly and with prayerful trust in the Lord. If we have to relate to a difficult boss each day, we can do it with forbearance and kindness. If we are serving in a ministry to the poor or the homeless, we can serve even on days when we would rather be doing something else.
The late superior general of the Jesuit order, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, once wrote, “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.” Being in love with God will decide everything in our lives, including how we take up and respond to our crosses each day. The world’s greatest love story is our story as well. Because God loved us first, we are able to bear our crosses with the love and joy of a lover—and that makes all the difference!
“Lord Jesus, help me to take up my cross and follow after you today with a heart full of love.”
Psalm 50: 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
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