Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa during the persecutions of Emperor Trajan. Sarbelius, also called Sharbel, was a high priest at Edessa, in Mesopotamia.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 95: 1, 6
O sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth. In his presence are majesty and splendour, strength and honour in his holy place.
Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. 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 10:1-10
Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world: You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin; then I said, just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book, ‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’ Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.
Psalm 39:2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
R/ Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.
1.I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me; he heard my cry. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God.
2.You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I.
3.Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord.
4.I have not hidden your justice in my heart but declared your faithful help. I have not hidden your love and your truth from the great assembly.
Gospel Acclamation : Ps 118:135
Alleluia, alleluia! Let your face shine on your servant, and teach me your decrees. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 3:31-35
The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept our offerings, O Lord, we pray, and in sanctifying them grant that they may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 33: 6
Look toward the Lord and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, receiving the grace by which you bring us to new life, we may always glory in your gift. Through Christ our Lord.
God is not interested in sacrifices, but first and foremost in obedience to his will. None of the sacrifices of the Old Covenant could take away sin; Jesus had to replace them with the sacrifice of obedience. He offered himself as a sacrifice for us in obedience to his Father’s will, and it is this sacrifice made out of obedience that could take our sins away. Jesus declares that the members of his family are those who do God’s will, that is, those who obey God like him. This is an invitation to offer ourselves to God and place our lives entirely at his disposal, like Jesus did. We need to seek to know the will of God through prayer and meditation on his Word, and ask him for the grace to do this will.