WEDNESday 08 febRuary
SAINT Josephine Bakhita
She was born in Darfur (Sudan). She was kidnapped and sold as a slave. Rescued by an Italian family she became a Christian and joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity. She died in 1947.
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 2: 4-9, 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: 1-2, 27-30
R/ Bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory,wrapped in light as in a robe!
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.
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
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.
Eating (with someone) has a deeper meaning in scripture than just consuming food. It could mean communing with another person or being in an intimate relationship with them. For the Jews in Jesus’ time and for some of us today, what a person eats, and with whom he does so are significant and essential. When Jesus said that nothing which goes into a man from outside can make him unclean, he dismissed one of the cultural and religious pillars of the Jewish tradition. Everything we eat or drink is clean and healthy; they are gifts from the God of life. Without wisdom, wicked impulses can take hold of our hearts. Jesus names some of these: theft, fornication, murder, greed, arrogance, and an obtuse spirit. In the Eucharist, we gather as a family to partake of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life. Let us always keep good and loving hearts.