Men and women of learning


God our Father,
who gave wisdom and insight to your servant N.
to fathom the depths of your love
and to understand your design for the world you have made:
grant us the help of your Holy Spirit
that we also may come to a full knowledge of your purposes
revealed in your Son Jesus Christ, our Wisdom and our Life;
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

God our Redeemer,
who inspired N. to witness to your love
and to work for the coming of your kingdom:
may we, who in this sacrament share the bread of heaven,
be fired by your Spirit to proclaim the gospel in our daily living
and never to rest content until your kingdom come,
on earth as it is in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A reading from the book Proverbs.

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth — when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil. When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.

This is the word of the Lord.         Proverbs 8. 22–31

A reading from the book Ecclesiasticus.

Let us now sing the praises of famous men, our ancestors in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. There were those who ruled in their kingdoms, and made a name for themselves by their valour; those who gave counsel because they were intelligent; those who spoke in prophetic oracles; those who led the people by their counsels and by their knowledge of the people’s lore; they were wise in their words of instruction; those who composed musical tunes, or put verses in writing; rich men endowed with resources, living peacefully in their homes — all these were honoured in their generations, and were the pride of their times. Some of them have left behind a name, so that others declare their praise. But of others there is no memory; they have perished as though they had never existed; they have become as though they had never been born, they and their children after them.

But these also were godly men, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten; their wealth will remain with their descendants, and their inheritance with their children’s children. Their descendants stand by the covenants; their children also, for their sake. Their offspring will continue forever, and their glory will never be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name lives on generation after generation. The assembly declares their wisdom, and the congregation proclaims their praise.

This is the word of the Lord.         Ecclesiasticus 44. 1–15

Responsorial Psalm

RYour love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
[and your faithfulness to the clouds].

Your righteousness is like the strong mountains,
your justice like the great deep;
you save both human and beast, O Lord. R

How priceless is your love, O God!
your people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
They feast upon the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from the river of your delights. R

For with you is the well of life,
and in your light we see light.
Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you,
and your favour to those who are true of heart. R         From Psalm 36

Responsorial Psalm

RGod will ransom my life
[and will snatch me from the grasp of death].

Hear this, all you peoples;
hearken, all you who dwell in the world,
you of high degree and low, rich and poor together. R

My mouth shall speak of wisdom,
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb
and set forth my riddle upon the harp. R

Why should I be afraid in evil days,
when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,
the wickedness of those who put their trust in their goods
and boast of their great riches? R

We can never ransom ourselves,
or deliver to God the price of our life;
for the ransom of our life is so great,
that we should never have enough to pay it. R

Do not be envious when some become rich,
or when the grandeur of their house increases;
for they will carry nothing away at their death,
nor will their grandeur follow them. R         From Psalm 49

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

This is the word of the Lord.         Philippians 4. 7–8

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.         Matthew 13. 44–46, 52

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. The Jews were astonished at it, saying, ‘How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?’ Then Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.         John 7. 14–18