FRIday 10 febRuary
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 3: 1-8
The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, “Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths. The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Psalm 31: 1-2, 5-7
R/ Happy the man whose offence is forgiven.
Happy the man whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is remitted. O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile.
But now I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide. I said: ‘I will confess
my offence to the Lord.’ And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.
So let every good man pray to you in the time of need. The floods of water may reach high
but him they shall not reach.
You are my hiding place, O Lord; you save me from distress. You surround me with cries of deliverance.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Jn 6: 63, 68
Alleluia, alleluia! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 7: 31-37
Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, “Ephphatha”, that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. “He has done all things well,” they said. “He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
Prayer over the Offerings
As we proclaim your wonders, O Lord, in the Virgin, Blessed 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 Blessed Scholastica, bearing in our body the Death of Jesus, we may strive to hold fast to you alone. Through Christ our Lord.
Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be lured by the half-truths of Satan, to gain knowledge that exposed their nakedness and made them afraid of God. They try to hide from God, losing paradise with the certainty of dying. But Jesus brings a paradise gained. The man cured of deafness and dumbness tosses embarrassment to the wind. He goes dancing, singing, leaping, shouting and proclaiming the Good News. In Adam and Eve, we lose paradise and our will, but here comes someone who does all things right and makes us hopefully re-enter the paradise once lost. So while we are encouraged to have a sense of gratitude to God, the source of all our good, we are also reminded that the word of Jesus and the action of his grace can free us from sin and its harmful effects. Ephphata! Open up! Let us open ourselves to his word and his grace.