Readings for the Memorial of

St George
Martyr
April 23
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MASS


From the Common of Martyrs: For One Martyr during Easter Time

COLLECT
Extolling your might, O Lord,
we humbly implore you,
that, as Saint George imitated the Passion of the Lord,
so he may lend us ready help in our weakness.
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          Revelation 21:5-7
The One who was seated on the throne said:
"Behold, I make all things new."
Then he said, "Write these words down,
for they are trustworthy and true."
He said to me, "They are accomplished.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the beginning and the end.

To the thirsty I will give a gift
from the spring of life-giving water.
The victor will inherit these gifts,
and I shall be his God,
and he will be my son."


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          Ps 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6
Magnificavit Dominus facere nobiscum.

R. (3) The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.


ALLELUIA          1 Pt 4:14
Si exprobramini in nomine Christi, beati, quoniam Spiritus Dei super vos requiescit.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ,
blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you.


GOSPEL          Luke 9:23-26
Jesus said to all,
"If anyone wishes to come after me,
he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his glory and in the glory
of the Father and of the holy angels."



The Liturgy of the Hours
St. George

From the Common of Martyrs: For One Martyr, except the following:

Office of Readings


From a sermon by Saint Peter Damian, bishop
(Sermo 3, De sancto Georgio: PI. 144, 567-571)


Invincibly defended by the banner of the cross

Dear brothers, our joy in today’s feast is heightened by our joy in the glory of Easter, just as the splendor of a precious jewel enhances the beauty of its gold setting.

Saint George was a man who abandoned one army for another: he gave up the rank of tribune to enlist as a soldier for Christ.  Eager to encounter the enemy, he first stripped away his worldly wealth by giving all he had to the poor.  Then, free and unencumbered, bearing the shield of faith, he plunged into the thick of the battle, an ardent soldier for Christ.

Clearly what he did serves to teach us a valuable lesson: if we are afraid to strip ourselves of our worldly possessions, then we are unfit to make a strong defense of the faith.

As for Saint George, he was consumed with the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Armed with the invincible standard of the cross, he did battle with an evil king and acquitted himself so well that, in vanquishing the king, he overcame the prince of all wicked spirits, and encouraged other soldiers of Christ to perform brave deeds in his cause.

Of course, the supreme invisible arbiter was there, who sometimes permits evil men to prevail so that his will may be accomplished.  And although he surrendered the body of his martyr into the hands of murderers, yet he continued to take care of his soul, which was supported by the unshakable defense of its faith.

Dear brothers, let us not only admire the courage of this fighter in heaven’s army but follow his example.  Let us be inspired to strive for the reward of heavenly glory, keeping in mind his example, so that we will not be swayed from our path, though the world seduce us with its smiles or try to terrify us with naked threats of its trials and tribulations.

We must now cleanse ourselves, as Saint Paul tells us, from all defilement of body and spirit, so that one day we too may deserve to enter that temple of blessedness to which we now aspire.

Anyone who wishes to offer himself to God in the tent of Christ, which is the Church, must first bathe in the spring of holy baptism; then he must put on the various garments of the virtues.  As it says in the Scriptures, Let your priests be clothed in justice.  He who is reborn in baptism is a new man.  He may no longer wear the things that signify mortality.  He has discarded the old self and must put on the new.  He must live continually renewed in his commitment to a holy sojourn in this world.

Truly we must be cleansed of the stains of our past sins and be resplendent in the virtue of our new way of life.  Then we can be confident of celebrating Easter worthily and of truly following the example of the blessed martyrs.


RESPONSORY
For the law of God this holy man engaged in combat even unto death.
He feared no wicked threats;
- his faith was founded on solid rock, alleluia.

He renounced earthly joys,
and so gained the kingdom of heaven.
- His faith was founded on solid rock, alleluia.


COLLECT
Extolling your might, O Lord,
we humbly implore you,
that, as Saint George imitated the Passion of the Lord,
so he may lend us ready help in our weakness.
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.



 
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