(480 – 547)
She was born in Nursia in about 480, the twin sister of St Benedict. She was dedicated to God from an early age and followed her brother to Cassino, where she died in about 547.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 94: 6-7
O come, let us worship God and bow low before the God who made us, for he is the Lord our God.
Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care, that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace, they may be defended always by your protection. 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 12:26-32,13:33-34
Jeroboam thought to himself, ‘As things are, the kingdom will revert to the House of David. If this people continues to go up to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, the people’s heart will turn back again to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will put me to death.’ So the king thought this over and then made two golden calves; he said to the people, ‘You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, Israel; these brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ He set up one in Bethel and the people went in procession all the way to Dan in front of the other. He set up the temple of the high places and appointed priests from ordinary families, who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam also instituted a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth of the month, like the feast that was kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar. That was how he behaved in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made; and at Bethel he put the priests of the high places he had established. Jeroboam did not give up his wicked ways but went on appointing priests for the high places from the common people. He consecrated as priests of the high places any who wished to be. Such conduct made the House of Jeroboam a sinful House, and caused its ruin and extinction from the face of the earth.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 105(106):6-7, 19-22
R/ O Lord, remember me out of the love you have for your people.
Our sin is the sin of our fathers; we have done wrong, our deeds have been evil. Our fathers when they were in Egypt paid no heed to your wonderful deeds.
They fashioned a calf at Horeb and worshipped an image of metal, exchanging the God who was their glory for the image of a bull that eats grass.
They forgot the God who was their saviour, who had done such great things in Egypt, such portents in the land of Ham, such marvels at the Red Sea.
Gospel Acclamation : Mt4:4
Alleluia, alleluia! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 8:1-10
A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.
Prayer over the Offerings
O Lord, our God, who once established these created things to sustain us in our frailty, grant, we pray, that they may become for us now the Sacrament of eternal life. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 106: 8-9
Let them thank the Lord for his mercy, his wonders for the children of men, for he satisfies the thirsty soul, and the hungry he fills with good things.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who have willed that we be partakers in the one Bread and the one Chalice, grant us, we pray, so to live that, made one in Christ, we may joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world. Through Christ our Lord.
Today’s well-known narrative of Jesus feeding a multitude of thousands with seven loaves of bread and a few fish exemplifies Jesus’ reliability. He not only saw the hunger and misery his disciples were going through, but he also took action. He doubled the scant resources to feed his people. He quenched their hunger and gave them the energy they needed to get home safely. We might pause to consider our capacity to TRUST that God would provide for us entirely. When did God bless me with strength and nourishment? It’s wonderful to feel cared for, powerful, and fed. It is now our responsibility to feed the hungry both physically and spiritually.