Daniel and his four companions (Elias, Isaias, Jeremy and Samuel) were Egyptians who visited Christians condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during Maximus’ persecution, to comfort them. Apprehended, they were all tortured and then beheaded.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 94: 6-7
O come, let us worship God and bow low before the God who made us, for he is the Lord our God.
Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care, that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace, they may be defended always by your protection. 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 3:9-24
The Lord God called to the man. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel. To the woman he said: ‘I will multiply your pains in childbearing, you shall give birth to your children in pain. Your yearning shall be for your husband, yet he will lord it over you.’ To the man he said, ‘Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, ‘Accursed be the soil because of you. With suffering shall you get your food from it every day of your life. It shall yield you brambles and thistles, and you shall eat wild plants. With sweat on your brow shall you eat your bread, until you return to the soil, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return.’ The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live. The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.’ So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Psalm 89 (90):2-6, 12-13
R) O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.
1)Before the mountains were born or the earth or the world brought forth, you are God, without beginning or end.
2) You turn men back to dust and say: ‘Go back, sons of men.’ To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, no more than a watch in the night.
3) You sweep men away like a dream, like the grass which springs up in the morning. In the morning it springs up and flowers: by evening it withers and fades.
4) Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? Show pity to your servants.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt. 4:4
Alleluia, alleluia!Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 8:1-10
A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven baskets full of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, our God, who once established these created things to sustain us in our frailty, grant, we pray, that they may become for us now the Sacrament of eternal life. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 106: 8-9
Let them thank the Lord for his mercy, his wonders for the children of men, for he satisfies the thirsty soul, and the hungry he fills with good things.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who have willed that we be partakers in the one Bread and the one Chalice, grant us, we pray, so to live that, made one in Christ, we may joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world. Through Christ our Lord.
Sin and suffering.Many questions have been asked about sin and suffering, especially innocent suffering or suffering as a consequence of other people’s sin. Some may even question the inheritance of Original Sin for which we should not be liable. We will always have our questions about sin and suffering. But let us listen to what questions God is asking us. In the First Reading, we hear God asking the question: “Where are you?” So even though Adam and Even had sinned, God did not abandon them but searched for them. In the Gospel, we hear Jesus asking another question: “How many loaves have you?” Jesus was not looking at the limitations; he was more interested in possibilities. God is reaching out to us with his questions so that we may look again at our questions about life, about sin and about suffering. Jesus is asking us to put the loaves of our lives with our questions into His hands. From his hands we will receive the Bread of Life that will give us faith and hope.