tuesday 09 June 2020
St Ephraem the Deacon
(306 – 373)
Saint Ephraem was a poet and a theologian. He is famous not only for the beauty of expression of his homilies but also for his hymns, which have spread far beyond his native Syriac church and are in use in East and West alike.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 26: 1-2
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread? When those who do evil draw near, they stumble and fall.
O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it. 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 17:7-16
The stream in the place where Elijah lay hidden dried up, for the country had no rain. And then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Up and go to Zarephath, a Sidonian town, and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to give you food.’ So he went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks; addressing her he said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’ he said ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel: “Jar of meal shall not be spent, jug of oil shall not be emptied, before the day when the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.”’ The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.
R/ Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord.
- When I call, answer me, O God of justice; from anguish you released me, have mercy and hear me! O men, how long will your hearts be closed, will you love what is futile and seek what is false?
- It is the Lord who grants favours to those whom he loves; the Lord hears me whenever I call him. Fear him; do not sin: ponder on your bed and be still.
- ‘What can bring us happiness?’ many say. Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord. You have put into my heart a greater joy than they have from abundance of corn and new wine.
Gospel Acclamation: Ph 2:15-16
Alleluia, alleluia! You will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men. ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look kindly upon our service, O Lord, we pray, that what we offer may be an acceptable oblation to you and lead us to grow in charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 17: 3
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my saving strength.
Prayer after Communion
May your healing work, O Lord, free us, we pray, from doing evil and lead us to what is right. Through Christ our Lord.
After the beatitudes, Jesus presents to us some images that make his message clearer: “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt is a very important ingredient in most cooked food as it provides taste. This aspect might be conflicting to people who for health reasons no longer eat food with salt. However, we know the importance of salts in our food and the difference it makes in the taste. Salt was also used to preserve foodstuff from decay and this was an added advantage. For salt to be tasteless means it implies that it is useless. For a Christian to be able to give taste, he must be totally involved in his or her community. In our social life, we cannot live in indifference or as it said, we cannot afford to sit on the fence. I would like to share these sayings from Martin Luther King Jr, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” and “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Being tasteless is like keeping silent when the truth needs to be spoken out boldly. This kind of silence turns one into an accomplice.