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Novena Closure: First Mass Readings: 30th August 2021, 3.30AM

THEME: DEFENDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MARRIAGE

First Reading: Tobit 7: 6-14

Raphael and Tobiah entered the house of Raguel and greeted him. Raguel sprang up and kissed Tobiah, shedding tears of joy. But when he heard that Tobit had lost his eyesight, he was grieved and wept aloud. He said to Tobiah: “My child, God bless you! You are the son of a noble and good father. But what a terrible misfortune that such a righteous and charitable man should be afflicted with blindness!” He continued to weep in the arms of his kinsman Tobiah. His wife Edna also wept for Tobit; and even their daughter Sarah began to weep.

Afterward, Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock and gave them a cordial reception. When they had bathed and reclined to eat, Tobiah said to Raphael, “Brother Azariah, ask Raguel to let me marry my kinswoman Sarah.”

Raguel overheard the words; so he said to the boy: “Eat and drink and be merry tonight, for no man is more entitled to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother. Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you, because you are my closest relative. But I will explain the situation to you very frankly. I have given her in marriage to seven men, all of whom were kinsmen of ours, and all died on the very night they approached her. But now, son, eat and drink. I am sure the Lord will look after you both.”

Tobiah answered, “I will eat or drink nothing until you set aside what belongs to me.”

Raguel said to him:  “I will do it. She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses. Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven! Take your kinswoman from now on you are her love, and she is your beloved. She is yours today and ever after. And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace.”

Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him. He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words: “Take her according to the law. According to the decree written in the Book of Moses she is your wife. Take her and bring her back safely to your father. And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity.”

He then called her mother and told her to bring a scroll, so that he might draw up a marriage contract stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife according to the decree of the Mosaic law. Her mother brought the scroll, and he drew up the contract, to which they affixed their seals. Afterward they began to eat and drink.


Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 34

Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech,* who drove him out and he went away.I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall be always in my mouth. My soul will glory in the LORD;

let the poor hear and be glad.Magnify the LORD with me;

and let us exalt his name together.I sought the LORD, and he answered me,

delivered me from all my fears.Look to him and be radiant,

and your faces may not blush for shame.This poor one cried out and the LORD heard,

and from all his distress he saved him. The angel of the LORD encamps

around those who fear him, and he saves them. Taste and see that the LORD is good;

blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy ones;

nothing is lacking to those who fear him. The rich grow poor and go hungry,

but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, children,* listen to me;

I will teach you fear of the LORD. Who is the man who delights in life,

who loves to see the good days?Keep your tongue from evil,

your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good;

seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are directed toward the righteous

and his ears toward their cry.The LORD’s face is against evildoers

to wipe out their memory from the earth.The righteous cry out, the LORD hears

and he rescues them from all their afflictions.The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,

saves those whose spirit is crushed.Many are the troubles of the righteous,

but the LORD delivers him from them all.He watches over all his bones;

not one of them shall be broken.iEvil will slay the wicked;

those who hate the righteous are condemned.The LORD is the redeemer of the souls of his servants;

and none are condemned who take refuge in him.


Second Reading: Romans 12: 1-2, 9-18

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute [you], bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.


Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12

When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.2He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are they who mourn,

for they will be comforted.Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the land.Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be satisfied.Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.Blessed are the clean of heart,

for they will see God.Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


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