St Adrian of Canterbury (d. 710)
Feeling called to the monastic life, Adrian left his native North Africa and joined the Benedictines in Italy. Renowned for his scholarship and holiness, he was elected abbot of his monastery and later nominated archbishop of Canterbury. Out of humility he declined the appointment to archbishop, but volunteered to go to England as a missionary. He endured various trials and even imprisonment on his journey to Canterbury, since he was taken for a spy. Once in England, he was appointed abbot of the monastery of Sts Peter and Paul where he lived for 39 years, actively involved in preaching and education. He died in 710.
Entrance Antiphon: Is 9:1
A people who walked in darkness has seen a great light; for those dwelling in a land of deep gloom, a light has shone.
O God, who bestow light on all the nations, grant your peoples the gladness of lasting peace and pour into our hearts that brilliant light by which you purified the minds of our fathers in faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 John 4:11-18
My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another. No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us. We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us because he lets us share his Spirit. We ourselves saw and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God. We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him. Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgement without fear; because even in this world we have become as he is. In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.
Psalm 71 (72):1-2,10-13
R/ All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
1. O God, give your judgement to the king, to a king’s son your justice, that he may judge your people in justice and your poor in right judgement.
2. The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts shall pay him tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring him gifts. Before him all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve him.
3. For he shall save the poor when they cry and the needy who are helpless. He will have pity on the weak and save the lives of the poor.
Gospel Acclamation: Lk4:17
Alleluia, alleluia!The Lord has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 6:45-52
After the five thousand had eaten and were filled, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away. After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray. When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. He could see they were worn out with rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the lake. He was going to pass them by, but when they saw him walking on the lake they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they had all seen him and were terrified. But he at once spoke to them, and said, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded, because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who give us the gift of true prayer and of peace, graciously grant that, through this offering, we may do fitting homage to your divine majesty and, by partaking of the sacred mystery, we may be faithfully united in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 1 Jn 1: 2
That life which was with the Father became visible, and has appeared to us.
Prayer after Communion
May your people, O Lord, whom you guide and sustain in many ways, experience, both now and in the future, the remedies which you bestow, that, with the needed solace of things that pass away, they may strive with ever deepened trust for things eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
For the Jews, the sea represented the world of evil and malefic forces. The struggle of the disciples against the wind and waves of Lake Galilee points to our own struggle against the adversities, difficulties and temptations of life. Life for a Christian is often like rowing against the wind. We suffer persecution because of our convictions, we get into conflict with people, we come up against injustice and oppression. In the midst of these storms, Jesus comes to us and tells us, “Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid”. If we let him into our lives, if we trust in him, he will calm the storms. He will give us the strength to move forward and overcome all our difficulties. If we acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and we live in union with him, loving God and loving our neighbour, he will give us peace and calm in the storms and gales of our earthly life.