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The Common of Pastors

What Is the Common of Pastors?

The Common of Pastors is a set of readings in the lectionary which are read at Mass for the feast days of priests, bishops, and popes.

Some saints have special readings for their feast days (propers), but most do not. So the presider may choose the readings from the appropriate commons.

As you can see from the quotes below, many of these readings focus on serving God, answering the Lord's call, priesthood, ministry, being a shepherd, and spreading the good news.

Masses Readings for the Common of Pastors

Choices for the First Reading for the Common of Pastors:

  • When it is not the Easter season:
    • Exodus 32:7-14: "Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved."
    • Deuteronomy 10:8-9: "At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him, and to bless in his name, as they have done to this day."
    • 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-13: "The LORD said, "There—anoint him, for this is he!"
    • Isaiah 6:1-8: ""Here I am," I said; "send me!""
    • Isaiah 52:7-10 (for missionaries)
    • Isaiah 61:1-3a: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation."
    • Jeremiah 1:4-9: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you."
    • Ezekiel 3:17-21: "Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel."
    • Ezekiel 34:11-16: "As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep."
  • During the Easter season:
    • Acts 13:46-49 (for missionaries): For so the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth."
    • Acts 20:17-18a, 28-32, 36: "And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated."
    • Acts 26:19-23 (for missionaries): "I preached the need to repent and turn to God, and to do works giving evidence of repentance."

Choices for the Responsorial Psalm for the Common of Pastors:

  • Psalm 16: "You are my inheritance, O Lord."
  • Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."
  • Psalm 40: "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will."
  • Psalm 89: "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."
  • Psalm 96: "Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations."
  • Psalm 106: "Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people."
  • Psalm 110: "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."
  • Psalm 117: "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News." (Mark 16:15)

Choices for the Second Reading for the Common of Pastors:

  • Romans 12:3-13: "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them."
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (for missionaries): "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."
  • 1 Corinthians 4:1-5: "Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."
  • 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23: "If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it!"
  • 2 Corinthians 3:1-6a: "You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all."
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-7; "For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus."
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-20: "So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us."
  • Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13: "But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift."
  • Colossians 1:24-29: "It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ."
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:2b-8: "With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us."
  • 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2:1-3: "And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well."
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-5: "For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths."
  • 1 Peter 5:1-4: "Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing it not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly."

Choices for the Gospel for the Common of Pastors:

  • Matthew 9:35-38: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."
  • Matthew 16:13-19: (for a pope) "I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven."
  • Matthew 23:8-12: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
  • Matthew 28:16-20: (for missionaries) "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."
  • Mark 1:14-20: "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
  • Mark 16:15-20 (for missionaries): "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."
  • Luke 5:1-11 (for missionaries): "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
  • Luke 10:1-9: "Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment."
  • Luke 22:24-30: "I am among you as the one who serves."
  • John 10:11-16: "A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
  • John 15:9-17: "This I command you: love one another."
  • John 21:15-17: (for a pope) "Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep.'"

More About the Lectionary

The Common of Pastors is part of the lectionary. Learn more about how Catholics read from the Bible at Mass. What is the difference between the Bible and a lectionary? How is the lectionary arranged? What translation is used?

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