Readings
for the Memorial of

St Sebastian
Martyr
January 20
+288


MASS


From the Common of Martyrs: For One Martyr


COLLECT
Praesta nobis, quaesumus, Domine, spiritum fortitudinis, ut, glorioso exemplo beati Sebastiani martyris tui edocti, tibi magis quam hominibus oboedire discamus.
Grant us, we pray, O Lord, a spirit of fortitude,
so that, taught by the glorious example
of your Martyr Saint Sebastian,
we may learn to obey you rather than men.
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          1 Peter 3:14-17
Beloved:
Even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you.
Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them,
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11
Ex omnibus tribulationibus meis eripuit me Dominus.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
praise shall be always in my mouth.
My soul will glory in the LORD
that the poor may hear and be glad.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Magnify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, who answered me,
delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Look to God that you may be radiant with joy
and your faces may not blush for shame.
In my misfortune I called,
the LORD heard and saved me from all distress.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
The angel of the LORD, who encamps with them,
delivers all who fear God.
Learn to savor how good the LORD is;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Fear the LORD, you holy ones;
nothing is lacking to those who fear him.
The powerful grow poor and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.


ALLELUIA          James 1:12
Beatus vir qui suffert temptationem quia cum probatus fuerit accipiet coronam vitae.
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation,
for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life.


GOSPEL          Matthew 10:28-35
Jesus said to the Twelve:
"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."


Liturgy of the Hours
Sebastian

From the Common of One Martyr, except the following:

Office of Readings

From an exposition of Psalm 118 by Saint Ambrose, bishop
(Cap. 20:43-45, 48: CSEL 62, 466-368)

Faithful witnessing to Christ

To enter the kingdom of God we must endure many tribulations.  If there are many persecutions, there are many testings; where there are many crowns of victory, there are many trials of strength.  It is then to your advantage if there are many persecutors; among many persecutions you may more easily find a path to victory.

Take the example of the martyr Sebastian, whose birthday in glory we celebrate today.  He was a native of Milan.  At a time when persecution either had ceased or had not yet begun or was of a milder kind he realized that there was only one slight, if any, opportunity for suffering.  He set out for Rome, where bitter persecutions were raging because of the fervor of the Christians.  There he endured suffering; there he gained his crown. He went to the city as a stranger and there established a home of undying glory.  If there had been only one persecutor, he would not have gained a martyr’s crown.

The persecutors who are visible are not the only ones.  There are also invisible persecutors, much greater in number.  This is more serious.  Like a king bent on persecution, sending orders to persecute to his many agents, and establishing different persecutors in each city or province, the devil directs his many servants in their work of persecution, whether in public or in the souls of individuals.  Of this kind of persecution Scripture says: All who wish to live a holy life in Christ Jesus suffer persecution  “All” suffer persecution; there is no exception.  Who can claim exemption when  the Lord himself endured the testing of persecution?  How many there are today who are secret martyrs for Christ, giving testimony to Jesus as Lord!  The Apostle knew this kind of martyrdom, this faithful witnessing to Christ; he said: This is our boast, the testimony of our conscience.


RESPONSORY           Revelation 2:8-9,10
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.

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


COLLECT
Grant us, we pray, O Lord, a spirit of fortitude,
so that, taught by the glorious example
of your Martyr Saint Sebastian,
we may learn to obey you rather than men.
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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