by | Aug 8, 2023 | Evangelium

SAINT Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

She was born into a Jewish family. She had a distinguished career as a philosopher and received a doctorate at Freiburg. She entered a Carmelite monastery in Cologne and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teresa Benedicta was taken to Auschwitz and killed on 9 August 1942.

Entrance Antiphon: Ps 69: 2, 6        

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me! You are my rescuer, my help; O Lord, do not delay.


Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored. 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: Numbers 13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35

The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Paran and said, “Send out men, one from each tribe, to make a reconnaissance of this land of Canaan which I am giving to the sons of Israel. Send the leader of each tribe.” At the end of forty days, they came back from their reconnaissance of the land. They sought out Moses, Aaron and the whole community of Israel, in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They made their report to them, and to the whole community, and showed them the produce of the country. They told them this story, “We went into the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey; this is its produce. At the same time, its inhabitants are a powerful people; the towns are fortified and very big; yes, and we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekite holds the Negeb area, the Hittite, Amorite and Jebusite the highlands, and the Canaanite the sea coast and the banks of the Jordan.” Caleb harangued the people gathered about Moses: “We must march in,” he said, “and conquer this land: we are well able to do it.” But the men who had gone up with him answered, “We are not able to march against this people; they are stronger than we are.” And they began to disparage the country they had reconnoitred to the sons of Israel, “The country we went to reconnoitre is a country that devours its inhabitants. Every man we saw there was of enormous size. Yes, and we saw giants there (the sons of Anak, descendants of the Giants). We felt like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” At this, the whole community raised their voices and cried aloud, and the people wailed all that night. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said: “I have heard the complaints which the sons of Israel make against me. Say to them, ‘As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – I will deal with you according to the very words you have used in my hearing. In this wilderness your dead bodies will fall, all you men of the census, all you who were numbered from the age of twenty years and over, you who have complained against me. For forty days you reconnoitred the land. Each day shall count for a year: for forty years you shall bear the burden of your sins, and you shall learn what it means to reject me.’ I, the Lord, have spoken: this is how I will deal with this perverse community that has conspired against me. Here in this wilderness, to the last man, they shall die.”

Psalm 105(106):6-7,13-14,21-23

R/ O Lord, remember me out of the love you have for your people.

Our sin is the sin of our fathers; we have done wrong, our deeds have been evil. Our fathers when they were in Egypt paid no heed to your wonderful deeds.

They soon forgot his deeds and would not wait upon his will. They yielded to their cravings in the desert and put God to the test in the wilderness.

They forgot the God who was their saviour, who had done such great things in Egypt, such portents in the land of Ham, such marvels at the Red Sea.

For this he said he would destroy them, but Moses, the man he had chosen, stood in the breach before him, to turn back his anger from destruction.

Gospel Acclamation: James1:18    

Alleluia, alleluia! By his own choice the Father made us his children by the message of the truth, so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he created. Alleluia!

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, “Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.” But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. “Give her what she wants,” they said, “because she is shouting after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “help me.” He replied, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.” She retorted, “Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.” And from that moment her daughter was well again.

Prayer over the Offerings              

Graciously sanctify these gifts, O Lord, we pray, and, accepting the oblation of this spiritual sacrifice, make of us an eternal offering to you. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Wis 16: 20   

You have given us, O Lord, bread from heaven, endowed with all delights and sweetness in every taste.

Prayer after Communion              

Accompany with constant protection, O Lord, those you renew with these heavenly gifts and, in your never-failing care for them, make them worthy of eternal redemption. Through Christ our Lord.


The woman in the Gospel shows great obstinacy. She does not accept the disciples’ irritation or Jesus’ remark to dismiss her. She knows what she wants and trusts that Jesus will help her. Like her, I come to Jesus bringing along others in my prayer of intercession. As I pray for those I love, I develop an appreciation for their goodness and ask for them to be blessed. I think about how they are examples for me and give thanks to God for them.