monday 24February 2020
St. John Theristus
He was a Benedictine monk of Calabrian lineage, born in Sicily. At a young age he became a monk. He helped to miraculously harvest a large crop ahead of destructive weather, saving the locals from starvation. There he remained until his death of natural causes, in 1129.
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 : James 3:13-18
If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions. But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or a self-seeking ambition, never make any claims for yourself or cover up the truth with lies – principles of this kind are not the wisdom that comes down from above: they are only earthly, animal and devilish. Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.
R/ The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
- The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, it gives wisdom to the simple.
- The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes.
- The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding forever. The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.
- May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favour in your sight, O Lord, my rescuer, my rock!
Gospel Acclamation: 1 P 1:25
Alleluia, alleluia! The word of the Lord remains forever: 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.
How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? These are the questions Jesus asks his disciples when confronted with their inability to cast out a deaf and dumb spirit. In many challenging life situations, like the disciples of Jesus, we show a real lack of faith. At such moments, instead of turning to God, with whom everything is possible and no problem lacks a solution, we turn to other sources, sometimes sources that are completely contrary to our faith in God. Imagine Jesus looking at you in such circumstances! He would surely ask you the same questions: How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you?