ST ALEXANDER OF ALEXANDRIA (250 – 328)
Alexander played an important role in the growth of the catechetical school at Alexandria. He fought against the heretical teachings of Arius. He died in 328.
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 2:1-11
My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal. Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes. Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured at the end of your days. Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation. Trust him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in him. You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside in case you fall. You who fear the Lord, trust him, and you will not be baulked of your reward. You who fear the Lord hope for good things, for everlasting happiness and mercy. Look at the generations of old and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken? Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored? For the Lord is compassionate and merciful, he forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.
Psalm 36 (37):3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
R/ Commit your life to the Lord, trust him and he will act.
1)If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure. If you find your delight in the Lord, he will grant your heart’s desire.
2) He protects the lives of the upright, their heritage will last for ever. They shall not be put to shame in evil days, in time of famine their food shall not fail..
3) Then turn away from evil and do good and you shall have a home for ever; for the Lord loves justice and will never forsake his friends.
4) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord, their stronghold in time of distress. The Lord helps them and delivers them and saves them: for their refuge is in him.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn. 14:23
Alleluia, alleluia!If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him. They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
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.
There can be no share in God’s glory without the cross. When Jesus prophesied his own betrayal and crucifixion, it did not make any sense to his disciples because it did not fit their understanding of what the Messiah came to do. How ashamed the disciples must have been when Jesus overheard them arguing about who among them was the greatest! But aren’t we like the disciples? We compare ourselves with others and desire their praise. The appetite for glory and greatness seems to be inbred in us. However, Jesus made a gesture by embracing a child to show his disciples who really is the greatest in the kingdom of God. What is the significance of Jesus’ gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honour. Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom? The one who is humble and lowly of heart, who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child. Jesus himself is our model. He came not to be served, but to serve. Paul the Apostle states that Jesus emptied himself and took the form of a servant.