"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS
Caelesti, Domine, Spiritus igne corda nostra clementer exure, qui beato Alfonso Mariae tribuisti et haec mysteria celebrare, et per eadem hostiam tibi sanctam seipsum exhibere.
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
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Deus, qui beatum Alfonsum Mariam fidelem dispensatorem et praeconem tanti mysterii providisti, concede, ut fideles tui illud frequenter percipiant, et, percipiendo, te sine fine collaudent.
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.
Has not God in fact won for himself a claim on all our love? From all eternity he has loved us. And it is in this vein that he speaks to us: “O man, consider carefully that I first loved you. You had not yet appeared in the light of day, nor did the world yet exist, but already I loved you. From all eternity I have loved you.”
Since God knew that man is enticed by favours, he wished to bind him to his love by means of his gifts: “I want to catch men with the snares, those chains of love in which they allow themselves to be entrapped, so that they will love me.” And all the gifts which he bestowed on man were given to this end. He gave him a soul, made in his likeness, and endowed with memory, intellect and will; he gave him a body equipped with the senses; it was for him that he created heaven and earth and such an abundance of things. He made all these things out of love for man, so that all creation might serve man, and man in turn might love God out of gratitude for so many gifts.
But he did not wish to give us only beautiful creatures; the truth is that to win for himself our love, he went so far as to bestow upon us the fullness of himself. The eternal Father went so far as to give us his only Son. When he saw that we were all dead through sin and deprived of his grace, what did he do? Compelled, as the Apostle says, by the superabundance of his love for us, he sent his beloved Son to make reparation for us and to call us back to a sinless life.
By giving us his Son, whom he did not spare precisely so that he might spare us, he bestowed on us at once every good: grace, love and heaven; for all these goods are certainly inferior to the Son: He who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for all of us: how could he fail to give us along with his Son all good things?
The Lord fulfills the desires if those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
- The Lord watches over all who love him.
Everyone who is a child of God does not sin,
for God's seed remains in him.
- The Lord watches over all who love him.
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.
The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.