SAinT FuRSA (- c.650)
He was an Irish monk who did much to establish Christianity throughout the British Isles and particularly in East Anglia, at a time when a high Christian civilization existed in Ireland but had been largely wiped out elsewhere.
Entrance Antiphon : Ps 65: 4
All the earth shall bow down before you, O God, and shall sing to you, shall sing to your name, O Most High!
Almighty ever-living God, who govern all things, both in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the pleading of your people and bestow your peace on our times. 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 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you go on mourning over Saul when I
have rejected him as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’ Samuel replied, ‘How can I go? When Saul hears of it he will kill me.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and then I myself will tell you what you must do; you must anoint to me the one I point out to you.’ Samuel did what the Lord ordered and went to Bethlehem. The elders of the town came trembling to meet him and asked, ‘Seer, have you come with good intentions towards us?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ He purified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed one stands there before him’, but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his appearance or his height for I have rejected him; God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse then called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel, who said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one either.’ Jesse then presented Shammah, but Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one either.’ Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’ At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on. As for Samuel, he rose and went to Ramah.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 88(89) : 20-22, 27-28 R/ I have found David, my servant.
- Of old you spoke in a vision. To your friends the prophets you said: ‘I have set the crown on a warrior, I have exalted one chosen from the people.
- ‘I have found David my servant and with my holy oil anointed him. My hand shall always be with him and my arm shall make him strong.
- ‘He will say to me: “You are my father, my God, the rock who saves me.” And I will make him my first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth.’
Gospel Acclamation : Ps118:18
Alleluia, alleluia! Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may consider the wonders of your law. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 2:23-28
One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him? ‘And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that we may participate worthily in these mysteries, for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is accomplished. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 22: 5
You have prepared a table before me, and how precious is the chalice that quenches my thirst. Prayer after Communion
Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love, and in your kindness make those you have nourished by this one heavenly Bread one in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus once again reminds the Pharisees of what true religion consists of. It is not by merely meticulously keeping the rules and regulations of the Church. Nor is it just in attending worship on Sundays and refraining from work. Nor is it in just saying my prayers and reading my bible daily. Does it mean that all those things are unnecessary? Not at all! It simply means that love, compassion, forgiveness and service are at the heart of Christianity. And when these things are lacking, our religious practices become sterile. The Lord makes the same point in the First Reading when he reminds Samuel that he does not judge by physical appearance but looks at the heart. Therein lies the true devotion to God, which manifests itself in service to the brethren – especially to the needy, the abandoned and the downtrodden. How can one call himself a Christian when he leaves a wounded man on the road while hurrying to Church when he can assist? When that sacred period is used to attend to an emergency that saves a life, it demonstrates that the
Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath