Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor, (1567 – 1622)
St Francis is the patron saint of writers and journalists, who would do well to imitate his love and his moderation: as he said, “Whoever wants to preach effectively must preach with love.”
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Sir 15: 5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.
O God, who for the salvation of souls willed that the Bishop Saint Francis de Sales become all things to all, graciously grant that, following his example, we may always display the gentleness of your charity in the service of our neighbour. 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: Hebrews 7:25-8:6
The power of Jesus to save is utterly certain, since he is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him. To suit us, the ideal high priest would have to be holy, innocent and uncontaminated, beyond the influence of sinners, and raised up above the heavens; one who would not need to offer sacrifices every day, as the other high priests do for their own sins and then for those of the people, because he has done this once and for all by offering himself. The Law appoints high priests who are men subject to weakness; but the promise on oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son who is made perfect for ever. The great point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord, and not any man, set up. It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to offer. In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities. For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises.
Psalm 39 (40):7-10,17
R/ Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
1. You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I.
2. In the scroll of the book it stands written that I should do your will. My God, I delight in your law in the depth of my heart.
3. Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord.
4.O let there be rejoicing and gladness for all who seek you. Let them ever say: ‘The Lord is great’, who love your saving help.
Gospel Acclamation : cf.Jn6:63,68
Alleluia, alleluia!Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 3:7-12
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.
Prayer over the Offerings
Through this saving sacrifice which we offer you, O Lord, kindle in our hearts that divine fire of the Holy Spirit with which you wonderfully inflamed the most gentle soul of Saint Francis de Sales. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon Cf. Lk 12: 42
Behold a faithful and prudent steward to give them their allowance of food at the proper time.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that through the Sacrament we have received, we may imitate on earth the charity and meekness of Saint Francis de Sales and so attain like him the glory of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Crowds flock to Jesus to receive his healing. They go to him because they see that he has the power to deliver them from their suffering and solve their problems. But it is the same crowd that will shout later, “Crucify him!” How can we explain such a change of attitude towards Jesus? It can only mean that these people, for the most part, were only interested in the miraculous power of Jesus and his ability to solve their immediate worries. They had no real faith in him. We too are like them. Jesus interests us insofar as he can solve our problems. We pray to him only when we have difficulties; we hawk for churches where we can obtain miracles. May we, like the psalmist, go to Jesus not just to ask for healing and solutions, but more especially to submit ourselves to his will and to obey his commandments.