St. Scholastica (480 – 547
She was born in Nursia in about 480, the twin sister of St. Benedict. She was dedicated to God from an early age and followed her brother to Cassino, where she died in about 547.
Here is a wise virgin, from among the number of the prudent, who went forth with lighted lamp to meet Christ.
As we celebrate anew the Memorial of the Virgin St. Scholastica, we pray, O Lord, that, following her example, we may serve you with pure love and happily receive what comes from loving 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 : Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-17
At the time when the Lord God made earth and heaven there was as yet no wild bush on the earth nor had any wild plant yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, nor was there any man to till the soil. However, a flood was rising from the earth and watering all the surface of the soil. The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. The Lord God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it. Then the Lord God gave the man this admonition, ‘You may eat indeed of all the trees in the garden. Nevertheless of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat, for on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die.’
Psalm 103(104):1-2, 27-30
R/ Bless the Lord, my soul!
1. Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe!
2. All of these look to you to give them their food in due season. You give it, they gather it up: you open your hand, they have their fill.
3. You take back your spirit, they die, returning to the dust from which they came. You send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.
Gospel Acclamation : cf. 2 Tim 1:10
Alleluia, alleluia! Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death and he has proclaimed life through the Good News. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 7:14-23
Jesus called the people to him and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’ When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean, because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.) And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’
Prayer over the Offerings
As we proclaim your wonders, O Lord, in the Virgin, St. Scholastica, we humbly implore your majesty, that, as her merits are pleasing to you, so, too, our dutiful service may find favour in your sight. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Mt 25: 6
Behold, the Bridegroom is coming; come out to meet Christ the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Renewed by partaking of this divine gift, we pray, O Lord our God, that by the example of the St. Scholastica, bearing in our body the Death of Jesus, we may strive to hold fast to you alone. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus’ teaching concerns laws about food, as it affects the state of grace, not of nature. It should not be mistaken to mean that anything can be eaten. The notion that eating a certain food makes you a sinner is false. Jesus points to where sin resides: in the heart of men. The Church teaches that mortal sin and some venial sins too, starts from within. To be right with God, and to carry out the right actions, one has to keep his thoughts and intentions in check.