St. Cyril, Monk and St Methodius, Bishop (826 – 885)
He was born in Thessalonica. With his brother Cyril he went to Moravia to preach the faith. They translated liturgical texts and invented the Glagolithic and the Cyrillic alphabet. He died in 885.
These are holy men who became friends of God, glorious heralds of divine truth.
O God, who enlightened the Slavic peoples through the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius, grant that our hearts may grasp the words of your teaching, and perfect us as a people of one accord in true faith and right confession. 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: Genesis 2:18-25
The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed: ‘This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man.’ This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body. Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame in front of each other.
R) O blessed are those who fear the Lord.
1)blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways! By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.
2) Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house; your children like shoots of the olive, around your table.
3) Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life!
Gospel Acclamation: Ps. 144:13
Alleluia, alleluia!The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 7:24-30
Jesus left Gennesaret and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognised. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straight-away and came and fell at his feet. Now the woman was a pagan, by birth a Syrophoenician, and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ But she spoke up: ‘Ah yes, sir,’ she replied ‘but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps.’ And he said to her, ‘For saying this, you may go home happy: the devil has gone out of your daughter.’ So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, O Lord, upon the offerings which we bring before your majesty in commemoration of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and grant that these gifts may become the sign of a new humanity, reconciled to you in loving charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Mk 16: 20
The disciples went forth and preached the Gospel, while the Lord worked with them, confirming the word through accompanying signs.
Prayer after Communion
O God, Father of all nations, who make us sharers in the one Bread and the one Spirit and heirs of the eternal banquet, grant in your kindness on this feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, that the multitude of your children, persevering in the same faith, may be united in building up the Kingdom of justice and peace. Through Christ our Lord.
Three important messages stand out in our Gospel of today. First, making demands on behalf of the weak and afflicted requires risk-taking. Then, figures of authority must be open to requests from the weak and despised. Finally, doing good demands persistence. Jesus’ initial response to the woman reminds me of how easy it is for figures of authority to reject requests from people because of their race, education, age, sex, social status, etc. However, unlike most powerful people, Jesus changes course and grants the woman’s request. He doesn’t just walk away or tell his disciples to get rid of her. This should remind decision-makers to LISTEN to petitioners with respect rather than ignore them for an arbitrary reason. Finally, this reading teaches that we must persist when we fight for justice. We shouldn’t fold the first time someone says no. Jesus’ ultimate response to the woman gives us hope that we will win.