ST ETHELBERT (C.560 – 616)
He was the first king in England to convert to Christianity. According to Bede, this happened shortly after St Augustine arrived on his mission to the English soil.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 12: 6
O Lord, I trust in your merciful love. My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord who has been bountiful with me.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, always pondering spiritual things, we may carry out in both word and deed that which is 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: Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10
All wisdom is from the Lord, and it is his own for ever. The sand of the sea and the raindrops, and the days of eternity, who can assess them? The height of the sky and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss, who can probe them? Before all other things wisdom was created, shrewd understanding is everlasting. For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered? Her resourceful ways, who knows them? One only is wise, terrible indeed, seated on his throne, the Lord. He himself has created her, looked on her and assessed her, and poured her out on all his works to be with all mankind as his gift, and he conveyed her to those who love him.
R/ The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.
1)The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed; the Lord has robed himself with might, he has girded himself with power.
2) The world you made firm, not to be moved; your throne has stood firm from of old. From all eternity, O Lord, you are.
3) Truly your decrees are to be trusted. Holiness is fitting to your house, O Lord, until the end of time.
Gospel Acclamation: 1 P. 1:25
Alleluia, alleluia! The word of the Lord remains for ever: What is this word? It is the Good News that has been brought to you. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 9:14-29
When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’
Prayer over the Offerings
As we celebrate your mysteries, O Lord, with the observance that is your due, we humbly ask you, that what we offer to the honour of your majesty may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 9: 2-3
I will recount all your wonders, I will rejoice in you and be glad, and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we may experience the effects of the salvation which is pledged to us by these mysteries. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer and faith go together. What kind of faith does the Lord Jesus expect of us, especially when we meet challenges and difficulties? Inevitably there will be times when each of us cause disappointment to others. In this Gospel incident, the disciples of Jesus brought disappointment to a pleading father because they failed to heal his epileptic son. Jesus’ response seemed stern; but it was really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once both Jesus’ dismay with the disciples’ lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his anguished father. Jesus recognized the weakness of the father’s faith and at the same time challenged him to pray boldly with expectant faith: “All things are possible to him who believes!” God promises each one of us freedom from oppression, especially from the oppression of sin and the evil one who tries to rob us of faith, hope, and peace with God. The Lord Jesus invites us, as he did this boy’s father, to pray with expectant faith. Do you trust in God’s unfailing love and mercy?