Readings
for the Feast of

ST JOHN BOSCO
Priest
January 31
+1888

MASS


From the Common of Pastors: For One Pastor; or from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Educators



COLLECT
O God, who raised up the Priest Saint John Bosco
as a father and teacher of the young,
grant, we pray,
that, aflame with the same fire of love,
we may seek out souls and serve you alone.
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.


FIRST READING          Phil 4:4-9
Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          Psalm 103:1bc-2, 3-4,8-9,13-14, 17-18
Benedic anima mea Domino

R. (1) O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills,
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward his children's children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!


ALLELUIA          Matt 23:11,12b
Qui maior est vestrum, erit miníster vester, dicit Dóminus; qui autem se humiliáverit exaltábitur
The greatest among you must be your servant, says the Lord.
Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


GOSPEL          Matthew 18:1-5
The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me."


The Liturgy of the Hours

From the Common of Pastors or of Holy Men: teachers, except as below:


The Office of Readings


From the Spiritual Testament by Saint John Bosco, priest
(Epistolario, Torino 1959, 4, 201-203)

I have always labored out of love
First of all, if we wish to appear concerned about the true happiness of our foster children and if we would move them to fulfil their duties, you must never forget that you are taking the place of the parents of these beloved young people. I have always laboured lovingly for them, and carried out my priestly duties with zeal. And the whole Salesian society has done this with me.

My sons, in my long experience very often I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them.

I give you as a model the charity of Paul which he showed to his new converts. They often reduced him to tears and entreaties when he found them lacking docility and even opposing his loving efforts.

See that no one finds you motivated by impetuosity or wilfulness. It is difficult to keep calm when administering punishment, but this must be done if we are to keep ourselves from showing off our authority or spilling out our anger.

Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons. Let us place ourselves in their service. Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority. Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better.

This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalised, and still others to hope for Godís mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.

They are our sons, and so in correcting their mistakes we must lay aside all anger and restrain it so firmly that it is extinguished entirely.

There must be no hostility in our minds, no contempt in our eyes, no insult on our lips. We must use mercy for the present and have hope for the future, as is fitting for true fathers who are eager for real correction and improvement.

In serious matters it is better to beg God humbly than to send forth a flood of words that will only offend the listeners and have no effect on those who are guilty.


RESPONSORY          Mark 10:13-14; Matthew 18:5
The people brought little children to Jesus that he might touch them,
but the disciples tried to discourage them.
Jesus saw this and said:
- Let the little children come to me, and do not prevent them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

He that receives one such child in my name receives me.
- Let the little children come to me, and do not prevent them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.


COLLECT
O God, who raised up the Priest Saint John Bosco
as a father and teacher of the young,
grant, we pray,
that, aflame with the same fire of love,
we may seek out souls and serve you alone.
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.



 
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