friday 14 February 2020
Sts. Cyril and Methodius
They were born in Thessalonica and preached the faith in Moravia. They translated liturgical texts and invented the Glagolithic and the Cyrillic alphabet.
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: 1 Kings 11:29-32,12:19
One day when Jeroboam had gone out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh accosted him on the road. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves. Ahijah took the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve strips, saying to Jeroboam, ‘Take ten strips for yourself, for thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel, “I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and give ten tribes to you. He shall keep one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.’ And Israel has been separated from the House of David until the present day.
R/ I am the Lord your God: listen to my warning.
- Let there be no foreign god among you. no worship of an alien god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
- But my people did not heed my voice and Israel would not obey, so I left them in their stubbornness of heart to follow their own designs.
- O that my people would heed me, that Israel would walk in my ways! At once I would subdue their foes, turn my hand against their enemies.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn6:63,68
Alleluia, alleluia Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 7:31-37
Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’
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: 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.
It is interesting that Jesus is asked simply to lay his hands on the dumb and deaf man and he decides to take him away from the crowd and then goes through a detailed ritual of healing, very much unlike the case of the ten lepers, whom he simply asks to go and show themselves to the priest. At the end of the healing session, Jesus wants the matter to remain a secret, but the more he wants it a secret the more people talk about it. In all of this, one thing is clear: Whether Jesus heals in public or in secret, he does not want to draw attention to himself; he wants to give glory to his Father. In all the good we do, we need to give glory to God, who inspires and sustains all the good that we do.