Virgin and Martyr
She was martyred at Catania in Sicily, probably during the persecution of Decius (250-253). Devotion to her was widespread in the Church in the earliest times and she is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
Behold, now she follows the Lamb who was crucified for us, powerful in virginity, modesty her offering, a sacrifice on the altar of chastity.
May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray, for she found favour with you by the courage of her martyrdom and the merit of her chastity. 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 8:1-7, 9-13
Solomon called the elders of Israel together in Jerusalem to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord up from the Citadel of David, which is Zion. All the men of Israel assembled round King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, at the time of the feast (that is, the seventh month), and the priests took up the ark and the Tent of Meeting with all the sacred vessels that were in it. In the presence of the ark, King Solomon and all Israel sacrificed sheep and oxen, countless, innumerable. The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the Debir of the Temple, that is, in the Holy of Holies, under the cherubs’ wings. For there where the ark was placed the cherubs spread out their wings and sheltered the ark and its shafts. There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets Moses had placed in it at Horeb, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt; they are still there today. Now when the priests came out of the sanctuary, the cloud filled the Temple of the Lord, and because of the cloud the priests could no longer perform their duties: the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s Temple. Then Solomon said: ‘The Lord has chosen to dwell in the thick cloud. Yes, I have built you a dwelling, a place for you to live in forever.’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm
R/ Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest!
At Ephrata we heard of the ark; we found it in the plains of Yearim. ‘Let us go to the place of his dwelling; let us go to kneel at his footstool.’
Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength. Your priests shall be clothed with holiness; your faithful shall ring out their joy. For the sake of David your servant do not reject your anointed.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn8:12
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; anyone who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 6:53-56
Having made the crossing, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up. No sooner had they stepped out of the boat than people recognised him, and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, to village, or town, or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were cured.
Prayer over the Offerings
May the offerings we bring in celebration of St. Agatha win your gracious acceptance, O Lord, we pray, just as the struggle of her suffering and passion was pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Rv 7: 17
The Lamb who is at the centre of the throne will lead them to the springs of the waters of life.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who bestowed on St. Agatha a crown among the Saints for her twofold triumph of virginity and martyrdom, grant, we pray, through the power of this Sacrament, that, bravely overcoming every evil, we may attain the glory of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Today we have a beautiful passage summarising what Jesus came to do for the people. It indicates the tremendous hunger of the people to be healed and made whole by Jesus. The people recognise him immediately and go everywhere, bringing along those needing healing. Jesus, in turn, was visiting towns and villages. The sick, strong in their faith, only asked to be allowed to touch the edges of his garment, and everyone who touched him was well again. Come then to Jesus and be satisfied.