friday 14 August 2020
St Maximilian Kolbe (1894 – 1941)
He was born on 8 January 1894 in occupied Poland: he joined the Franciscans in Lwów in 1910. In 1941 he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. A prisoner escaped, and in reprisal the authorities were choosing ten people to die by starvation. One of the men had a family, and Maximilian Kolbe offered to take his place. He died in the man’s place.
Entrance Antiphon: Mt 25: 34, 40
Come, you blessed of my Father, says the Lord. Amen I say to you: Whatever you did for one of the least of my brethren, you did it for me.
O God, who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe with a burning love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary and with zeal for souls and love of neighbour, graciously grant, through his intercession, that, striving for your glory by eagerly serving others, we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born. ‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord who speaks – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord who speaks. ‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
Canticle: Isaiah 12
R/ Your anger has passed, O Lord, and you give me comfort.
- Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
- Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name.
- Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds; make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps110:7,8
Alleluia, alleluia! Your precepts, O Lord, are all of them sure; they stand firm for ever and ever. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 19:3-12
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’ The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’
Prayer over the Offerings
We present our oblations to you, O Lord, humbly praying that we may learn from the example of Saint Maximilian to offer our very lives to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 15: 13
Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
We pray, O Lord, that, renewed by the Body and Blood of your Son, we may be inflamed with the same fire of charity that Saint Maximilian received from this holy banquet. Through Christ our Lord.
The first reading is compared to an adult on the run. But we also know that God is always willing to forgive and welcome us whenever we run away, whenever we go astray. But this must be on the condition that we return, as to show remorse for our misdeeds and faults. But let us equally think how we handle problems when we face them, especially family issues which sounds frustrating? Do we leave them to remedy themselves or do we try to find solutions to these issues that affect us and even those around us? In the gospel Jesus also urges us to cherish our relationships with our spouses and be ready to do everything possible to keep them, for God himself does not abandon us, but cherishes the bond that exists between Himself and us. Spouses must seek to be one as the Father and the Son are one.