monday 17 February 2020
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
In the thirteenth century seven Florentines founded the Servite order. Their feast is celebrated today because one of the seven founders, Saint Alexius Falconieri, died on 17 February 1310
Entrance Antiphon: 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: James 1:1-11
From James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Greetings to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion. My brothers, you will always have your trials but, when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing missing. If there is any one of you who needs wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly; it will be given to him. But he must ask with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea when the wind drives. That sort of person, in two minds, wavering between going different ways, must not expect that the Lord will give him anything. It is right for the poor brother to be proud of his high rank, and the rich one to be thankful that he has been humbled, because riches last no longer than the flowers in the grass; the scorching sun comes up, and the grass withers, the flower falls; what looked so beautiful now disappears. It is the same with the rich man: his business goes on; he himself perishes.
Psalm 118(119):67-68, 71-72, 75-76
R/ Let your love come to me and I shall live.
- Before I was afflicted I strayed but now I keep your word. You are good and your deeds are good; teach me your statutes.
- It was good for me to be afflicted, to learn your statutes. The law from your mouth means more to me than silver and gold.
- Lord, I know that your decrees are right, that you afflicted me justly. Let your love be ready to console me by your promise to your servant.
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: 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.
As brief as the Gospel passage of today is, it presents a deep concern and somewhat downright disappointment on the part of Jesus. Jesus is disappointed with the generation that fails to recognise him and is only interested in external signs and miracles. Of course, miracles come from faith and not vice-versa. It would be interesting if we substituted ‘this generation’ in the Gospel passage with ‘you’, meaning you and I. How much faith do we have in Jesus? Is he our Alpha and Omega? Do we turn to him in joy and sorrow, in season and out of season? If we do not have Jesus as the Guiding Principle of our life, we need to rethink the purpose of our existence.