In St. Matthew’s Gospel, we read of St. Simon who is described as one of our Lord’s brethren or kinsmen. He is one of those brethren of Christ who are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as having received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 30: 3-4
Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name.
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. 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 4:1-15, 25
The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. ‘I have acquired a man with the help of the Lord’ she said. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for the Lord, while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. The Lord asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?’ Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out’; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him. The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I do not know’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’ ‘What have you done?’ the Lord asked. ‘Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood, crying out to me from the ground. Now be accursed and driven from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. When you till the ground it shall no longer yield you any of its produce. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth.’ Then Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. See! Today you drive me from this ground. I must hide from you, and be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!’ ‘Very well, then,’ the Lord replied ‘if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for him.’ So the Lord put a mark on Cain, to prevent whoever might come across him from striking him down. Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth, ‘because God has granted me other offspring’ she said ‘in place of Abel, since Cain has killed him.’
Psalm 49(50):1, 8, 16-17, 20-21
R Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
1)The God of gods, the Lord, has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. ‘I find no fault with your sacrifices, your offerings are always before me.’
2) ‘But how can you recite my commandments and take my covenant on your lips, you who despise my law and throw my words to the winds?
3) ‘You who sit and malign your brother and slander your own mother’s son. You do this, and should I keep silence? Do you think that I am like you?’
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 94:8
Alleluia, alleluia!Harden not your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 8:11-13
The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.
Prayer over the Offerings
May this oblation, O Lord, we pray, cleanse and renew us and may it become for those who do your will the source of eternal reward. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 77: 29-30
They ate and had their fill, and what they craved the Lord gave them; they were not disappointed in what they craved
Prayer after Communion
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, so that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
How many times have you grown envious and resentful of your mate, neighbour or colleague because you feel he is doing better? In the First Reading today, Cain killed Abel because Abel had a clean heart and hands. In the Gospel, the Jews came to question Jesus for signs of authority as the Messiah, for he was displacing them. Naturally, Cain was angry and downcast. God even talked to him, telling him to be well disposed for the sin of resentment and bitterness was waiting to devour him like a crouching beast. But Cain did not listen to God, and letting his anger develop into resentment and bitterness, he committed the first murder which is recorded in the Bible. God is always speaking to us, but are we listening to Him? If only we were aware of the emotions within us, the signs that are in us, then we would know how God speaks to us.