wednesday 05 August 2020
The Dedication of the
Basilica of St Mary Major
The Council of Ephesus in 431 formally proclaimed the mother of Jesus as the Mother of God, and the church (basilica) of St Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill in Rome was built shortly afterwards to celebrate her motherhood. This is the oldest church in the West that is dedicated to Our Lady.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 69: 2, 6
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me! You are my rescuer, my help; O Lord, do not delay.
Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored. 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: Jeremiah 31:1-7
I will be the God of all the clans of Israel – it is the Lord who speaks – they shall be my people. The Lord says this: They have found pardon in the wilderness, those who have survived the sword. Israel is marching to his rest. The Lord has appeared to him from afar: I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I am constant in my affection for you. I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt, virgin of Israel. Adorned once more, and with your tambourines, you will go out dancing gaily. You will plant vineyards once more on the mountains of Samaria the planters have done their planting: they will gather the fruit. Yes, a day will come when the watchmen shout on the mountains of Ephraim, ‘Up! Let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God!’ For the Lord says this: Shout with joy for Jacob! Hail the chief of nations! Proclaim! Praise! Shout: ‘The Lord has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!’
Jeremiah 31:10-12, 13
R/ The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
- O nations, hear the word of the Lord, proclaim it to the far-off coasts. Say: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and guard him as a shepherd guards his flock.’
- For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, has saved him from an overpowering hand. They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion, they will stream to the blessings of the Lord.
- Then the young girls will rejoice and will dance, the men, young and old, will be glad. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console them, give them gladness for grief.
Gospel Acclamation : James 1:18
Alleluia, alleluia! By his own choice the Father made us his children by the message of the truth, so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he created. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.
Prayer over the Offerings
Graciously sanctify these gifts, O Lord, we pray, and, accepting the oblation of this spiritual sacrifice, make of us an eternal offering to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Wis 16: 20
You have given us, O Lord, bread from heaven, endowed with all delights and sweetness in every taste.
Prayer after Communion
Accompany with constant protection, O Lord, those you renew with these heavenly gifts and, in your never-failing care for them, make them worthy of eternal redemption. Through Christ our Lord.
At times, God’s silence torments us. We have often complained of such silence, haven’t we? But the Canaanite woman kneels before Jesus. It is the worshipping position. He replies that it is not right to take the bread from the children to throw it to the dogs. And she answers: «It is true, Sir, but even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table» (Mt 15:26-27). This woman neither gets angry, nor loses her temper, but she actually admits that He is right. «It is true, Sir». But her continuous persistence wins for her the desire of her heart. Can we do likewise? Be persistent in prayer and never get tired of asking.