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Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
I will look after my sheep, says the Lord,
and I will appoint a shepherd to pasture them,
and I, the Lord, will be their God. Cf. Ez 34:11, 23-24
This is the steward, faithful and prudent,
whom the Lord set over his household
to give them their allowance of food at the proper time. Cf. Lk 12:42
O God, who constantly raise up in your Church new examples of virtue,
grant that we may follow so closely in the footsteps
of the Bishop Saint Alphonsus in his zeal for souls
as to attain the same rewards that are his in heaven.
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.
Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, “This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.” Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people: “It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard. Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord your God, so that the Lord will repent of the evil with which he threatens you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right. But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For in truth it was the Lord who sent me to you, to speak all these things for you to hear.”
Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the Lord, our God, that he speaks to us.”
So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah, so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me. R.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving. R.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the Lord hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.” R.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:10
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, to enkindle our hearts
with the celestial fire of your Spirit,
just as you granted that Saint Alphonsus should celebrate these mysteries
and by them offer himself to you as a holy sacrifice.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
It was not you who chose me, says the Lord,
but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit,
fruit that will last. Cf. Jn 15:16
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord finds awake
when he comes and knocks at the gate. Cf. Lk 12:36-37
Prayer after Communion
O God, who gave us Saint Alphonsus
to be a faithful steward and preacher of this great mystery,
grant that your faithful
may receive it often and, receiving it,
praise you without end.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy. (Jeremiah 26:12)
Jeremiah had the unenviable task of calling his people out on their rebellion against the Lord. All in a day’s work for a prophet, right? Not quite.
Confronting people with their sins doesn’t paint the full picture of what it means to be a prophet. Rather, a prophet’s primary role is to point others to the Lord (and yes, sometimes toward the sin that blocks them from him). We see this expressed in Jeremiah’s exhortation: “Listen to the voice of the Lord your God” (Jeremiah 26:13).
Why is this important? Because our baptism gives each of us a share in the prophetic office of Christ. According to the Catechism, “Lay people . . . fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, ‘that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life.’ For lay people, . . . [this] ‘is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world’” (CCC, 905). This means that when you were baptized, Jesus commissioned you to help direct people to him—within the context of your ordinary, everyday life.
You might think, “I’m no prophet!” But that’s not exactly true. You can fulfill your prophetic mission simply by witnessing to God’s work in your life. When you pray for someone’s healing and they recover more quickly than expected, you can say, “It was the Lord” (Jeremiah 26:15). When you are able to forgive and reconcile with a family member who had been hostile to you, you can tell people, “It was the Lord.”
Of course, you also point to God through your actions. People may notice that there’s something different about you simply by the way you treat others, even if you don’t say anything at all!
There is no shortage of creative ways to point people to Jesus. So take up your prophetic calling today; you can make a difference in people’s lives!
“Lord, show me how I can point people to you today.”
Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
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