A. To the Holy Mass
On June 19, 1988, Pope John-Paul II canonized 117 Christians, and on March 5, 2000, he added 1 more to the list of those who shed their blood for the faith in Christ Jesus, the Lord and Savior. These 118 holy martyrs were among thousands of lay, consecrated and clergy Vietnamese and European Catholics killed in Viet Nam during the XVIII and XIX centuries. They are truly those “who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rv 7:14). Together with the holy martyrs in the early Christian communities in Rome and elsewhere, they form the great multitude that no one could count, unceasingly praising God’s merciful love and loudly proclaiming to nations and peoples salvation won for them all by the Lamb.
Today, in this Holy Mass, we pray, through the intercession and the courageous witness of the holy martyrs, for the gift of unwavering faith in God, in order to survive all forms of crisis in our present times.
Let us all stand and join them in singing the triumphant hymn to honor Christ, the Lamb of God, Who was slain for our sins, but now lives to lead us to life everlasting.
B. To the Readings
a) First Reading: 2 Mc7: 1.20-23.27b-29
The first Reading tells us the very inspiring story of the heroic death of the seven brothers and their mother for the just cause of their faith. As believers in Christ, we, too, have to make right decision to choose values that last forever in heaven rather than those short-lived on earth.
b) Responsorial Psalm( see EM page 98)
c) Second Reading: Rom 8:31b-39
Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, urges us, Christians, to strengthen our faith in Christ so that we may remain united with Him in times of trials and persecutions.
Alleluia! Alleluia! If we die with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we persevere, we shall also reign with Him./ Alleluia!
d) Gospel: Jn 17:11b-19
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John
Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.
The Gospel of the Lord
II. Hymns for Holy Mass
a) Entrance: ES #109: “Worthy Is The Lamb”
b) Response to Universal Prayer: “Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, hear us!”
c) Offertory: #298: “All Good Gifts”
d) Communion: ES #160: “Ang Katawan ni Kristo”
e) Recessional: ES #284: “Prayer of Saint Francis”
The Holy Spirit Choir