Saint Brigid, Abbess, Secondary Patron of Ireland
Have I been insensible to the needs of the poor?
Have I been insensible to poor men’s needs,
or let a widow’s eyes grow dim?
Or taken my share of bread alone,
not giving a share to the orphan?
I, whom God has fostered father-like, from childhood,
and guided since I left my mother’s womb.
Have I ever seen a wretch in need of clothing,
or a beggar going naked,
without his having cause to bless me from his heart,
as he felt the warmth of the fleece from my lambs?
Have I put all my trust in gold,
from finest gold sought my security?
Have I ever gloated over my great wealth,
or the riches that my hands have won?
The people of my tent, did they not say,
‘Is there a man he has not filled with meat’?
No stranger ever had to sleep outside,
my door was always open to the traveller.
Psalm or canticle
Psalm 106 (107)
The Lord changes desert into streams,
thirsty ground into springs of water.
There he settles the hungry
and they build a city to dwell in.
They sow fields and plant their vines;
these yield crops for the harvest.
He blesses them; they grow in numbers.
He does not let their herds decrease.
But he raises the needy from distress;
makes families numerous as a flock.
The upright see it and rejoice
but all who do wrong are silenced.
Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.
Ps 106 (107):35-38, 41-42. R/. v. 1
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’