St. Ita (c.475 – 570)
She was born in County Waterford and founded a community of women in County Limerick, at a place now called Killeedy after her. She was known for her sanctity and for her gift of prophecy and was held in veneration by a large number of saints, both men and women.
Upon a lofty throne, I saw a man seated, whom a host of angels adore, singing in unison: Behold him, the name of whose empire is eternal.
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen. 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 : Hebrews 4:1-5,11
Be careful: the promise of reaching the place of rest that God had for the Israelites still holds good, and none of you must think that he has come too late for it. We received the Good News exactly as they did; but hearing the message did them no good because they did not share the faith of those who listened. We, however, who have faith, shall reach a place of rest, as in the text: And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. God’s work was undoubtedly all finished at the beginning of the world; as one text says, referring to the seventh day: After all his work God rested on the seventh day. The text we are considering says: They shall not reach the place of rest I had for them. We must therefore do everything we can to reach this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of disobedience and be lost.
Psalm 77 (78) :3-4,6-8
R/ Never forget the deeds of the Lord.
- The things we have heard and understood, the things our fathers have told us, these we will not hide from their children but will tell them to the next generation: The glories of the Lord and his might and the marvellous deeds he has done.
- They too should arise and tell their sons that they too should set their hope in God and never forget God’s deeds but keep every one of his commands,
- So that they might not be like their fathers, a defiant and rebellious race, a race whose heart was fickle, whose spirit was unfaithful to God.
Gospel Acclamation : cf. Ep 1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia! May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 2:1-12
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves, ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’ Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he turned to the paralytic – ‘I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’ And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May your people’s oblation, O Lord, find favour with you, we pray, that it may restore them to holiness and obtain what they devoutly entreat. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Ps 35: 10
With you, O Lord, is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.
Prayer after Communion
Humbly we ask you, almighty God, be graciously pleased to grant that those you renew with your Sacraments may also serve with lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
The words of Christ, “My child, your sins are forgiven”, shocks the scribes. For them, only God can forgive and Jesus was not God to them, thus Jesus was blaspheming. Jesus shocks them further not only by revealing his knowledge of their thoughts but also by healing the paralytic. By Jesus’ action, he makes it clear to the scribes that he is the healer of body and soul; he is God. As Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic and heals him, so does he forgive our sins and heal us whenever we turn to him in faith.