Saint Catherine de Ricci
(1522 – 1589)
Catherine was born Alexandrina in 1522 in Florence, Italy. Catherine entered a convent at Prat in Tuscany and became known for her great sanctity. She is known for her “Ecstasy of the Passion, which she experienced from noon on Thursday till four o’clock on Friday.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 30: 3-4
Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name.
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. 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 : James 1:12-18
Happy the man who stands firm when trials come. He has proved himself, and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him. Never, when you have been tempted, say, ‘God sent the temptation’; God cannot be tempted to do anything wrong, and he does not tempt anybody. Everyone who is tempted is attracted and seduced by his own wrong desire. Then the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it too has a child, and the child is death. Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers: it is all that is good, everything that is perfect, which is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change. By his own choice he made us his children by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he had created.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 93(94):12-15, 18-19
R/ Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord.
Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord, whom you train by means of your law; to him you give peace in evil days while the pit is being dug for the wicked.
The Lord will not abandon his people nor forsake those who are his own; for judgement shall again be just and all true hearts shall uphold it.
When I think: ‘I have lost my foothold’; your mercy, Lord, holds me up. When cares increase in my heart your consolation calms my soul.
Gospel Acclamation : cf.Ac16:14
Alleluia, alleluia! Open our heart, O Lord, to accept the words of your Son. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 8:14-21
The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear? Or do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’
Prayer over the Offerings
May this oblation, O Lord, we pray, cleanse and renew us and may it become for those who do your will the source of eternal reward. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 77: 29-30
They ate and had their fill, and what they craved the Lord gave them; they were not disappointed in what they craved.
Prayer after Communion
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, so that we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
Despite all the miracles Jesus had performed, the disciples still did not understand him. Jesus chastises the disciples for their lack of comprehension. They appear to be frustrating Jesus by being oblivious to his message to them. They seemed to have overlooked who he was and what he was ultimately all about. Up to this point in the gospel, Jesus has gained a following among the people; they appear to be drawn to or intrigued by him. However, beginning in chapter 8, Jesus encounters people turning away from him (including the disciples themselves). It must have irritated Jesus to see how profoundly they misunderstood him. He’s spent so much time with them, taught them well, nurtured them, and probably expected them to understand his message. But they did not. Let us ask God to open our hearts to always trust in God.