Entrance Antiphon: Psalm 16: 6, 8
To you I call; for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me.
Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First reading: Isaiah 45:1,4-6
Thus, says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he has taken by his right hand to subdue nations before him and strip the loins of kings, to force gateways before him that their gates be closed no more: ‘It is for the sake of my servant Jacob, of Israel my chosen one, that I have called you by your name, conferring a title though you do not know me. I am the Lord, unrivalled; there is no other God besides me. Though you do not know me, I arm you that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that, apart from me, all is nothing.’
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 95(96):1,3-5,7-10
Response: Give the Lord glory and honour.
O sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the earth. Tell among the nations his glory and his wonders among all the peoples. R.
The Lord is great and worthy of praise, to be feared above all gods; the gods of the heathens are naught. It was the Lord who made the heavens. R.
Give the Lord, you families of peoples, give the Lord glory and power; give the Lord the glory of his name. Bring an offering and enter his courts. R.
Worship the Lord in his temple. O earth, tremble before him. Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’ He will judge the peoples in fairness. R.
Second reading: First Thessalonians 1:1-5
From Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonica which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We always mention you in our prayers and thank God for you all, and constantly remember before God our Father how you have shown your faith in action, worked for love and persevered through hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, brothers, that God loves you and that you have been chosen, because when we brought the Good News to you, it came to you not only as words, but as power and as the Holy Spirit and as utter conviction.
Gospel Acclamation: Philippians 2:15-16
Alleluia, alleluia! Shine on the world like bright stars; you are offering it the word of life. Alleluia!
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:15-21
The Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you. Tell us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why do you set this trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.’ They handed him a denarius, and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they replied. He then said to them, ‘Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’
Prayer over the Offerings:
Grant us, Lord, we pray, a sincere respect for your gifts, that, through the purifying action of your grace, we may be cleansed by the very mysteries we serve. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Communion Antiphon: Psalm 32: 18-19
Behold, the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, who hope in his merciful love, to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine.
Prayer after Communion:
Grant, O Lord, we pray, that, benefiting from participation in heavenly things, we may be helped by what you give in this present age and prepared for the gifts that are eternal. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A PRAYER IN A TIME OF A PANDEMIC
Holy God, you are our comfort and strength in times of Crisis, Pandemic and Uncertainty. Surround us now with your grace and peace through this global pandemic of COVID 19. By your Spirit, help those for whom the effects of this pandemic have been severe and even tragic. Sustain those who are working hard through it. Grant your wisdom to those governing and guiding us to a sense of normality. Fill us all with courage and hope of better days ahead. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our rock and redeemer. Amen.