Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent
St. John Damascene, priest and doctor of the Church. From an Arab Christian family, he was born in Damascus in the mid-seventh century. A close friend of the caliph, he left the court and retired to St. Sabbas Monastery, near Jerusalem. He fought the iconoclastic heresy initiated by Leo III, emperor of Byzantium.
St. Barbara, virgin and martyr († 3rd century). From Nicomedia, currently Izmit (Turkey), her father was enraged when she became a Christian and handed her over to the judges to be killed.
St. Bernard, bishop († 1133). Appointed cardinal by Pope Urban II, he carried out important missions for the Holy See. Named Bishop of Parma, Italy, he governed his diocese with extraordinary discernment.
St. Osmund, bishop († 1099). Bishop of Salisbury, England, he celebrated the cathedral’s dedication and standardized the customs of his diocese.
St. Anno (Annan), bishop († 1075). He founded many churches and monasteries in his Diocese of Cologne, Germany. A man of courage and talent, he won the esteem of many in ecclesiastical and civilian circles, at the time of Emperor Henry IV.
St. John the Wonderworker, Bishop († 9th century). In Phrygia (Turkey) He actively defended the cult of sacred images, opposing the iconoclastic Emperor Leo, the Armenian.
St. John Calabria, priest († 1954). In Verona, Italy, he founded the Congregation of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence.
Blessed Simon Yempo, martyr († 1623). As a Japanese youth he entered a Buddhist monastery, but later embraced the Catholic Faith and became a Jesuit religious. During the anti-Christian persecutions in his country, he was arrested and sentenced to be burned to death.
First Reading – Is 30:19-21, 23-26
Thus says the Lord GOD,
the Holy One of Israel:
O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem,
no more will you weep;
He will be gracious to you when you cry out,
as soon as he hears he will answer you.
The Lord will give you the bread you need
and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or to the left.
He will give rain for the seed
that you sow in the ground,
And the wheat that the soil produces
will be rich and abundant.
On that day your flock will be given pasture
and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows;
The oxen and the asses that till the ground
will eat silage tossed to them
with shovel and pitchfork.
Upon every high mountain and lofty hill
there will be streams of running water.
On the day of the great slaughter,
when the towers fall,
The light of the moon will be like that of the sun
and the light of the sun will be seven times greater
like the light of seven days.
On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people,
he will heal the bruises left by his blows.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R.Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
Praise the LORD, for he is good;
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
he calls each by name.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
Great is our LORD and mighty in power:
to his wisdom there is no limit.
The LORD sustains the lowly;
the wicked he casts to the ground.R.
Gospel – Mt 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”