SAINT Maurice and the Theban Legion
Maurice was a native of Egypt. He was conscripted into the Roman army. The emperor ordered his soldiers to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods but the Theban Legion, headed by Maurice, refused. Their allegiance to Christ earned them the crown of martyrdom in the year 287.
Entrance Antiphon: Sir 36: 18
Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you, that your prophets be found true. Hear the prayers of your servant, and of your people Israel.
Look upon us, O God, Creator and ruler of all things, and, that we may feel the working of your mercy, grant that we may serve you with all our heart. 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: 1 Timothy 6:2-12
This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit – with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit. Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. ‘The love of money is the root of all evils’ and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds. But, as a man dedicated to God, you must avoid all that. You must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses.
Psalm 48(49): 6-10, 17-20
R/ How happy are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Why should I fear in evil days the malice of the foes who surround me, men who trust in their wealth, and boast of the vastness of their riches?
For no man can buy his own ransom, or pay a price to God for his life. The ransom of his soul is beyond him. He cannot buy life without end, nor avoid coming to the grave.
Then do not fear when a man grows rich, when the glory of his house increases. He takes nothing with him when he dies, his glory does not follow him below.
Though he flattered himself while he lived: ‘Men will praise me for all my success,’ yet he will go to join his fathers, who will never see the light anymore.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps94:8
Alleluia, alleluia! Harden not your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 8:1-3
Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look with favour on our supplications, O Lord, and in your kindness accept these, your servants’ offerings, that what each has offered to the honour of your name may serve the salvation of all. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 35: 8
How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men seek shelter in the shadow of your wings.
Prayer after Communion
May the working of this heavenly gift, O Lord, we pray, take possession of our minds and bodies, so that its effects, and not our own desires, may always prevail in us. Through Christ our Lord.
Pray for the grace to understand your mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Jesus understood that he had to carry his mission with others, never on his own. Those he chose form quite an unlikely group for the task. So what could be his message through this choice? This passage illustrates the role of the women who followed Jesus, and how people who had the means came to support the Lord’s mission; Jesus and the Christian community depended on the generosity of the people to sustain their mission. In what ways do I support the mission of the Church? The generous women who cared for Jesus are usually out of sight – like so many women today who offer their services for the good of others. Note that Jesus did not just proclaim the Good News – he himself was the Good News. As I receive the word of God, I pray that I may embody it and proclaim it.