FRIDAY 17 febRuary
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
In the thirteenth century seven Florentines founded the Servite order. Their feast is celebrated today because one of the seven founders, Saint Alexius Falconieri, died on 17 February 1310.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 30: 3-4
Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name.
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to 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 11:1-9
Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards, they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.” (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). “Come,” they said, “let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.” Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. “So they are all a single people with a single language!” said the Lord. “This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.” The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.
Psalm 32(33): 10-15
R/ Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.
He frustrates the designs of the nations, he defeats the plans of the peoples. His own designs shall stand for ever, the plans of his heart from age to age.
They are happy, whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his own. From the heavens the Lord looks forth, he sees all the children of men.
From the place where he dwells, he gazes on all the dwellers on the earth; he who shapes the hearts of them all; and considers all their deeds.
Gospel Acclamation: 1 Jn 2: 5
Alleluia, alleluia! Whenever anyone obeys what Christ has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 8: 34- 9:1
Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed, what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May this oblation, O Lord, we pray, cleanse and renew us and may it become for those who do your will the source of eternal reward. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 77: 29-30
They ate and had their fill, and what they craved the Lord gave them; they were not disappointed in what they craved.
Prayer after Communion
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, so that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
We see already in the early chapter of Genesis how fast and wide sin spread, and now the tower of Babel paints man’s insatiable quest for power and fame. This will be reversed by the defeat of powerful nations and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. There will be many nations, tribes, peoples, languages and ways of expression, but the Spirit will give understanding to the words of the preacher because of the inner disposition of men’s hearts. It is a necessity to lose oneself like Abraham and Moses did; and allow God to take control. One ought to rid oneself of this temporary existence so as to be reborn in God and of God. Jesus says to follow him is to take the same path that brought him to Calvary. Spiritual maturity therefore demands that we renounce our life, and risk it for something noble. Instead of being concerned about our future, we must find and adopt a lifestyle that will help us excel in the way of love, thus letting our life be a failure according to others’ thoughts. Live without fear of what may be said of you, living in and for Christ.