August 13

Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Mass Readings

Featured Saints

                               Pope St. Pontian

Sts. Pontian, Pope, and Hippolytus, priest, martyrs (†c. 236 Sardinia – Italy). Optional Memorial.

St. John Berchmans, religious (†1621). Jesuit brother who died in Rome, at 22 years of age, after a brief illness.

Blessed Mark of Aviano, priest  (†1699). Capuchin priest, great preacher and miracle worker. Through his influence on the Holy League, he played an essential role in the victory at the Battle of Vienna.

Blessed Gertrude, abbess (†1297). Daughter of St. Elizabeth of Hungary; she was consecrated to God as a girl, and governed the Premonstratensian convent of Altenberg, Germany, for 48 years.

St. Maximus the Confessor, abbot (†662). Abbot of Chrysopolis Monastery; mutilated, imprisoned and exiled from Constantinople by Emperor Constans II, for his zeal in combatting Monothelitism.

St. Radegund (†587). Queen of the Francs. While her husband, King Clotaire was still alive, she entered the monastery of the Holy Cross of Poitiers, France, where she dedicated herself to prayer and works of charity for more than thirty years.

St. Benilde, religious (†1862). Religious of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, he dedicated his life to youth formation in Saugues, France.

St. Cassian, martyr (†circa 300). Professor who was stabbed to death with pointed iron styli by his students in present-day Imola (Italy), during the Maximian persecution.

Mass Readings

First Reading – Jos 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people: “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: In times past your fathers, down to Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor, dwelt beyond the River and served other gods. But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River and led him through the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. “Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies which I wrought in her midst. Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea with chariots and horsemen. Because they cried out to the LORD, he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians, upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them. After you witnessed what I did to Egypt, and dwelt a long time in the desert, I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power. You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them, the two kings of the Amorites, before you. Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab, prepared to war against Israel. He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you; but I would not listen to Balaam. On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him. Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you, but I delivered them also into your power. And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them (the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites) out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow. “I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 and 24

R. His mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever. R.

Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever. R.

And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever. R.

Gospel – Mt 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,

“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”


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