TUESday 07 febRuary
A Briton who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick, his uncle. He was ordained in Ardagh. He is one of the earliest Irish saints and gave the religious veil to Saint Brigid.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 94: 6-7
O come, let us worship God and bow low before the God who made us, for he is the Lord our God.
Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care, that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace, they may be defended always by your protection. 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 1: 20- 2: 4
God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth within the vault of heaven.” And so it was. God created great sea-serpents and every kind of living creature with which the waters teem, and every kind of winged creature. God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply upon the earth.” Evening came and morning came: the fifth day. God said, “Let the earth produce every kind of living creature: cattle, reptiles, and every kind of wild beast.” And so it was. God made every kind of wild beast, every kind of cattle, and every kind of land reptile. God saw that it was good. God said, “Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.” God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.” God said, “See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are upon the whole earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. To all wild beasts, all birds of heaven and all living reptiles on the earth I give all the foliage of plants for food.” And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day. Thus, heaven and earth were completed with all their array. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested after all his work of creating. Such were the origins of heaven and earth when they were created.
Psalm 8: 4-9
R/ How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!
When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him little less than a god; with glory and honour you crowned him, gave him power over the works of your hand, put all things under his feet.
All of them, sheep and cattle, yes, even the savage beasts, birds of the air, and fish that make their way through the waters.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 118: 24
Alleluia, alleluia! Train me, Lord, to observe your law, to keep it with my heart. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 7: 1-13
The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place, they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?” He answered, “It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture: This people honour me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations. You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.” And he said to them, “How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition! For Moses said: ‘Do your duty to your father and your mother’, and, ‘Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Corban (that is, dedicated to God), then he is forbidden from that moment to do anything for his father or mother.’ In this way you make God’s word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down. And you do many other things like this.”
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, our God, who once established these created things to sustain us in our frailty, grant, we pray, that they may become for us now, the Sacrament of eternal life. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 106: 8-9
Let them thank the Lord for his mercy, his wonders for the children of men, for he satisfies the thirsty soul, and the hungry he fills with good things.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who have willed that we be partakers in the one Bread and the one Chalice, grant us, we pray, so to live that, made one in Christ, we may joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus confronts the Jewish Law. What a travesty it would be to prioritize arbitrary human traditions over the clearly expressed will of God! Many traditional rituals of Jesus’ time had lost touch with the core virtues taught by Moses and the prophets. We need to re-examine our legal and social traditions so that they may reflect genuine values today. The Holy Spirit is always at work in the Church. That is why Vatican Council II valiantly invited Church Leaders to discuss creative ways of renewing the practices and liturgy of the Church.