First Reading – Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar said: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.” King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace. Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Assuredly, O king,” they answered. “But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.” Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
Responsorial Psalm – Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56 (R.52b)
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.” R.
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. R.
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” R.
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” R.
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.” R.
Gospel – Jn 8:31-42
esus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
Blessed Michael Rua, priest (†1910). Disciple and first successor of St. John Bosco; he gave great impetus to the Salesian Order.
St. Peter of Verona, priest and martyr (†1252). Born to Manichean parents, he embraced the Catholic Faith and entered the Dominican Order; he energetically combated heresies until he was killed by enemies of the Church in Milan.
St. Irenaeus of Sirmium, bishop and martyr (†fourth century). He was imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded in Sirmium of Pannonia, present day Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia), during the time of Emperor Maximianus.
St. Eutychius, bishop (†582). Patriarch of Constantinople, he fought tirelessly for doctrinal orthodoxy in a time of widespread heresy.
St. Paul Le Bao Tihn, priest and martyr (†1857). Contemplative monk who was imprisoned and exiled during religious persecution in Vietnam. Granted amnesty seven years later, he was ordained priest and wrote a compendium of Catholic doctrine. He was beheaded during the recommencement of the persecution.
Blessed Notker the Stammerer, monk (†912). He lived almost his entire life in the Abbey of St. Gall, in Swabia, modern Switzerland, where he composed numerous liturgical poems. Of weak constitution, he was nevertheless strong of mind; despite his speech impediment he had ample intelligence, and was assiduous in prayer, reading, and meditation.
St. Philaret, monk (†1076). Although born in a Muslim environment, he followed the true Faith and dedicated himself to prayer. He died in the Monastery of St. Elias in Calabria.
Blessed Zephyrinus Agostini, priest (†1896). He was a dedicated preacher and catechist. He founded the Congregation of the Ursuline Daughters of Mary Immaculate in Verona, Italy.
Blessed Catherine of Pallanza, virgin (+1478). At a young age, she lost her family to the plague, in Novara, Italy. At the age of fifteen, deeply touched by a sermon on Christ’s Passion, she consecrated herself to God and entered into a convent under the Augustinian Rule.
Blessed Pierina Morosini, virgin and martyr (†1957). Twenty-six-year-old laywoman who died defending her virginity, in Fiobbio di Albino (Italy).