SAINT Daniel Comboni
Daniel Comboni was born in Italy in 1831. He felt the call to evangelize the peoples of Central Africa. He set off to Africa and established several missions. Faithful to his motto “Africa or death” and his plan for the salvation of Africa, he lived and worked for the success of the mission until he died in Khartoum (Sudan) on 10 October 1881, at the age of fifty.
Entrance Antiphon: Est 4: 17
Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all.
Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask. 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: Jonah 3:1-10
The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: “Up!” he said “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.” Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, “Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.” And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: “Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?” God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.
R/ If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt: Lord, who would survive?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.
If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive? But with you is found forgiveness: for this we revere you.
Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption, Israel indeed he will redeem from all its iniquity. If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt: Lord, who would survive?
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 15: 15
Alleluia, alleluia! I call you friends, says the Lord, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 10:38-42
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered: “Martha, Martha,” he said, “you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, we pray, the sacrifices instituted by your commands and, through the sacred mysteries, which we celebrate with dutiful service, graciously complete the sanctifying work by which you are pleased to redeem us. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Lam 3: 25
The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him.
Prayer after Communion
Grant us, almighty God, that we may be refreshed and nourished by the Sacrament which we have received, so as to be transformed into what we consume. Through Christ our Lord.
We know the story; it has given rise to many interpretations over the centuries and each one is worth pondering. Is prayer better than action? No. Contemplative life versus active life? No. Is sitting down better than serving guests? Again, no! Jesus’ gentle reproach to Martha is about hoarding, seeking for notice. What she is doing is necessary and good, but it takes up too much of her being, making her unavailable to listen to the Word. Worry and restlessness become her masters to the point of altering her judgement and taking Jesus as judge and witness for herself. Of course, it is good to serve, but to remain free for the only Master. We are busy. Let us remain free to take the time to love and listen!