Today is the feast day of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591), patron saint of young students and also of plague victims.
Book of Jeremiah 20: 10-13
I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!” All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. “Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!
Psalms 69(68): 8-10, 14, 17, 33-35
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
“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.”
Let the heavens and the earth sing praise,
the seas and whatever moves in them!”
Letter to the Romans 5: 12-15
Brothers and sisters: Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come.
But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 10: 26-33
Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
Saint Patrick (c.385-c.461)
missionary monk, Bishop
The Confessions, § 43-47
“What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops”
It is not I who undertook this work, but it is Christ the Lord who commanded me to come to be with these Irish pagans for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall will it and shield me from every evil (…) But I do not trust myself “as long as I am in this mortal body” (2 Pt 1:13; Rm 7:24) (… )I did not lead a perfect life like other believers, but I confess to my Lord and do not blush in his sight, because I am not lying; from the time when I came to know him in my youth, the love of God and fear of him increased in me, and right up until now, by God’s favour, “I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7).
What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding “the signs and wonders” (Dn 6:27) that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, he who knew everything, even before the beginning of time. Thus, I should give thanks unceasingly to God, who has frequently forgive my folly and my negligence, in more than one instance, and has never been angry with me, who am placed as his helper, though I did not easily assent to what had been revealed to me, as the Spirit was urging. The Lord “took pity” on me “thousands upon thousands” of times, (Ex 20:6) because he saw within me that I was prepared to serve him. (…) Many were trying to prevent this mission; they were talking among themselves behind my back and saying, “Why is this fellow throwing himself into danger among enemies who do not know God?” Not from malice did they say this; as I myself can testify, they perceived my rusticity. And I was not quick to recognize the grace that was then in me; I now know that I should have done so earlier.
Now I have put it frankly to my brothers and co-workers, who have believed me because of what “I have proclaimed and still proclaim” (2 Co 13:2) to strengthen and reinforce your faith. I wish only that you, too, would make greater and better efforts. This will be my pride, for “a wise son makes a proud father”. (Pr 10:1)
Epistle I Peter 5: 6-11
Dearly Beloved, Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation; casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you. Be sober and watch, because your adversary, the devil, as, a roaring lion, goeth about seekinq whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith; knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever, Amen.
Gradual Psalms 54: 23, 17, 19
Cast thy care upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee. When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me.
Lesser Alleluia Psalms 7: 12
Alleluia, alleluia. God is a just judge, strong and patient: is He angry every day? Alleluia.
Gospel Luke 15: 1-10
At that time, the publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear Him: and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. And He spoke to them this parable, saying: What man is there of you that hath a hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing and coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them; Rejoice with me because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you that even so there shall be joy in Heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need no penance. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat doth not light a candle and sweep the house,and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me because I have found the groat which I had lost? So I say to you, there shall be joy before the Angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.