Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr
Saint Ansgar, Bishop
Saint Blaise was bishop of Sebaste and was martyred in the fourth century. Devotion to him spread throughout the Church during the middle Ages. He is invoked for disorders of the throat.
Entrance Antiphon : Ps 105: 47
Save us, O Lord our God! And gather us from the nations, to give thanks to your holy name, and make it our glory to praise you.
Grant us, Lord our God, that we may honour you with all our mind, and love everyone in truth of 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 Kings 3:4-13
King Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, since that was the greatest of the high places – Solomon offered a thousand holocausts on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared in a dream to Solomon during the night. God said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Solomon replied, ‘You showed great kindness to your servant David, my father, when he lived his life before you in faithfulness and justice and integrity of heart; you have continued this great kindness to him by allowing a son of his to sit on his throne today. Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?’ It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this. ‘Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you. What you have not asked I shall give you too: such riches and glory as no other king ever had.’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118(119):9-14
R/ Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall the young remain sinless? By obeying your word. I have sought you with all my heart; let me not stray from your commands.
I treasure your promise in my heart lest I sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes.
With my tongue I have recounted the decrees of your lips. I rejoiced to do your will as though all riches were mine.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn10:27
Alleluia, alleluia! The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me.Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, we bring to your altar these offerings of our service: be pleased to receive them, we pray, and transform them into the Sacrament of our redemption. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 30: 17-18
Let your face shine on your servant. Save me in your merciful love. O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by these redeeming gifts, we pray, O Lord, that through this help to eternal salvation true faith may ever increase. Through Christ our Lord.
There is a happy report from the mission, but Jesus makes the disciples realise that there is no rest when the people of God are hungry for his word. This could have been a real time of temptation as the apostles began to glory in their new-found power and the resultant fame and popularity, obeyed even by demons. Wow! And we also see the balance in Jesus’ life. He was available to all those in need, the poor, the sick, and the outcasts. However, there was a limit to his availability, prayer time, and going away to some lonely place. A real shepherd! Pope Francis says pastors should know the ‘smell of the sheep’. It means they should know the people’s needs, frustrations, poverty, hopes and dreams. They should know and accept people at their worst. Sheep don’t smell good! Today, the Church reaches out to the messiness and injustices of society. It is not just a place for the elite of God but also for ordinary sinful people trying to do their best for their families, students, parishioners and themselves.