01Feb Mass Readings for February 2019

Readings for February 2019

plus Saints who are listed for this month, in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland


01 February

02 February

03 February

04 February

05 February

06 February

07 February

08 February

09 February

10 February

11 February

12 February

13 February

14 February

15 February

16 February

17 February

18 February

19 February

20 February

21 February

22 February

23 February

24 February

25 February

26 February

27 February

28 February



BIBLE

01 February.
Saint Brigid, Abbess. Feast

1st Reading: Job 31:16-20; 24-25; 31-32

Job’s generosity towards the needy, like St Brigid’s works of charity

I have never withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, or have eaten my morsel alone, and the orphan has not eaten from it. For from my youth I reared the orphan like a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow. I have never seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or a poor person without covering, whose loins have not blessed me, and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep. I have never made gold my trust, or called fine gold my confidence. I have never rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much.. Those in my tent never said, ‘O that we might dine upon his food!.’ The stranger has not lodged in the street, for I have opened my doors to the traveler.

[OR] 1st Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

May you grasp the depth of Christ’s love, beyond all knowing

I pray that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory,
he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being
with power through his Spirit,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,
as you are being rooted and grounded in love.

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints,
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial: Psalm 106

Response: Remember us, O Lord, for the love you have for your people

Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock. (R./)

They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Marvellous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea. (R./)

Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
stood before him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 6:32-38

In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus calls for unselfish generosity

“If you love those who you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners them. do good the same. lend from whom hope receive, sinners, receive as much again. But your enemies, good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. reward will be great, children of Most High; he kind ungrateful wicked. merciful, just Father merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”


BIBLE

02 February.
The Presentation of the Lord. Feast

1st Reading: Malachi 3:1-4

When his Temple-messenger comes, God will again receive our worship

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight–indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.

Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

2nd Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18

Our perfect mediator has deeply shared in the human experience

Since all the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Responsorial: Psalm 24

R.: Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord

O gates, lift high your heads;
reach higher, ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in! (R./)

Who is this king of glory?
The Lord, powerful and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle. (R./)

Lift up, O gates, your heads;
reach higher, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in! (R./)

Who is this king of glory?
The Lord of hosts; he is the king of glory. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

The child Jesus is welcomed by the devout elders, Simeon and Anna

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according what is stated in law of Lord, pair turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed–and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.


BIBLE

03 February.
4th Sunday (Year C)

1st Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19

Jeremiah is commissioned by God, as a prophet

In the days of Josiah, the word of the Lord came to me saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb knew you, and were born consecrated you; appointed a prophet to nations.” But gird up your loins; stand tell them everything that command you. Do not break down them, or will them. for my part have made today fortified city, an iron pillar, bronze wall, against whole land-against kings of Judah, its princes, priests, people land. They fight shall prevail am with says Lord, deliver

Responsorial: Psalm 70:1-6, 15, 17

Response: I will sing of your salvation forever, o Lord

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
in your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me. (R./)

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked. (R./)

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help. (R./)

My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

(or, shorter version: 13:4-13, omitting the text in italics)

Paul’s hymn to love, as the highest virtue

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Gospel: Luke 4:21-30

Jesus shares the fate of prophets, rejected by his own people

Jesus began to say to them in the synagogue, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.


BIBLE

04 February.
Monday, Week 4

1st Reading: Hebrews 11:32-40

Great past examples of faith and fidelity

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted and tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 30:20-24

LResponse: et your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. (R./)

How great is the goodness, Lord,
that you keep for those who fear you,
that you show to those who trust you in the sight of men. (R./)

You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plotting of men:
you keep them safe within your tent
from disputing tongues. (R./)

Blessed be the Lord who has shown me
the wonders of his love in a fortified city. (R./)

‘I am far removed from your sight’
I said in my alarm.
Yet you heard the voice of my plea
when I cried for help. (R./)

Love the Lord, all you saints.
He guards the faithful
but the Lord will repay to the full
those who act with pride. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 5:1-20

Jesus cures the Gerasene demoniac

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and nobody could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and nobody had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure by God, not torment me.” For he had said him, “Come out man, unclean spirit.” Then Jesus asked is your name? replied, “My Legion; we are many. begged him earnestly send them country. Now there on hillside a great herd swne was feeding; and spirits us into swine; let enter them.” So gave permission. came entered herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down steep bank sea, were drowned sea.

The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighbourhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.


BIBLE

05 February.
Tuesday, Week 4

1st Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4

Around us a cloud of witnesses, and Jesus himself, to encourage us

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 21:26-28, 30-32

Response: They will praise you, Lord, who long for you.

My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever. (R./)

All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him.
They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust. (R./)

And my soul shall live for him,
my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
declare his faithfulness to peoples (R./)

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43

Jesus cures the hemorraging woman and restores the twelve year old daughter of Jairus

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, live. he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?'” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed nobody to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and waiing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha kum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that nobody should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.


BIBLE

06 February.
Wednesday, Week 4

1st Reading: Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

Trials will come but they yield spiritual fruit

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children, “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child accepts.”

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which nobody will see the Lord. See to it that nobody fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitteness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 102:1-2, 13-14, 17-18

Response: The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings. (R./)

As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust. (R./)

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children
when they keep his covenant in truth. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:1-6

When the people of Nazareth reject Jesus he is amazed at their unbelief

Jesus left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.


BIBLE

07 February.
Thursday, Week 4

1st Reading: Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24

The sacrificial blood of Jesus opens up a new Covenant

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of living God, heavenly Jerusalem, innumerable angels in festal gathering, assembly firstborn who are enrolled heaven, God judge all, spirits righteous made perfect, Jesus, mediator a new covenant, sprinkled blood that speaks better word than Abel. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 47:2-4, 9-11

Response: God, in your temple, we ponder your love.

The Lord is great and worthy to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain rises in beauty,
the joy of all the earth. (R./)

Mount Zion, true pole of the earth,
the Great King’s city.
God, in the midst of its citadels,
has shown himself its stronghold. (R./)

As we have heard, so we have seen
in the city of our God,
in the city of the Lord of hosts
which God upholds for ever. (R./)

O God, we ponder your love within your temple.
Your praise, O God, like your name
reaches to the ends of the earth.
With justice your right hand is filled. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:7-13

Jesus sends out the twelve in pairs, to preach, anoint and heal

He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.


BIBLE

08 February.
Friday, Week 4

1st Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8

A call to hospitality, contentment, care of prisoners and the persecuted

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honour by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; not be afraid. What anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 26:1, 3, 5, 8-9

Response: The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink? (R./)

Though an army encamp against me
my heart would not fear.
Though war break out against me
even then would I trust. (R./)

For there he keeps me safe in his tent
in the day of evil.
He hides me in the shelter of his tent,
on a rock he sets me safe. (R./)

It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
you have been my help. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:14-29

Background to the martyrdom of John the Baptist

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.


BIBLE

09 February.
Saturday, Week 4

1st Reading: Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21

God raised up Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep

Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing, for that would be harmful to you.

Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 22

Response: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
to revive my drooping spirit. (R./)

He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort. (R./)

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. (R./)

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:30-34

Jesus takes the apostles aside. The people are as sheep without a shepherd

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest while.” For many were coming going, so that they had no leisure even eat. went in the boat themselves. Now saw them going recognized them, hurried there on foot from towns arrived ahead of them.

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.


BIBLE

10 February.
5th Sunday (Year C)

1st Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah responds to God’s call with enthusiasm

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; whole earth full his glory.”

The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Responsorial: Psalm 137:1-5, 7-8

Response: In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the words of my mouth.
Before the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple. (R./)

I thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul. (R./)

All earth’s kings shall thank you
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the Lord’s ways:
‘How great is the glory of the Lord!’ (R./)

You stretch out your hand and save me,
your hand will do all things for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal,
discard not the work of your hands. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Paul (least of the apostles) came late to faith in Christ

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast-unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11

Awed by the miraculous catch of fish, Peter is called to follow Christ

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.


BIBLE

11 February.
Monday, Week 5

1st Reading: Genesis 1:1-19

God creates light, sky, earth and sun, moon and stars, in the act of creation

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light” and was light. God saw that the good; separated from darkness. called Day, darkness he Night. evening morning, first day.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 103:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 35

Response: May the Lord be glad in his works.

Bless the Lord, my soul.
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe. (R./)

You founded the earth on its base,
to stand firm from age to age.
You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak:
the waters stood higher than the mountains. (R./)

You make springs gush forth in the valleys:
they flow in between the hills.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
from the branches they sing their song. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 6:53-56

The sick were brought to Jesus and whoever touched him with faith was healed

Having made the crossing, Jesus and his disciples came came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, the people laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.


BIBLE

12 February.
Tuesday, Week 5

1st Reading: Genesis 1:20, 2:4

After forming man and woman to the divine likeness, God rested on the seventh day

And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and birds fly above earth across dome sky.” So God created great sea monsters every creature that moves, kind, with which swarm, winged bird kind. saw it was good. blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful multiply fill in seas, on earth. there evening morning, fifth day.

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that hehad made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 8:4-9

Response: O Lord our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth.

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him? (R./)

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honour you crowned him.
You gave him power over the works of your hand,
put all things under his feet. (R./)

All of them, sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
that make their way through the waters. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 7:1-13

Not letting tradition nullify the plain sense of God’s word

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,’This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘honour your father and your mother;’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God), then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”


BIBLE

13 February.
Wednesday, Week 5

1st Reading: Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17

God creates Adam and sets him in the garden to cultivate it

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was nobody to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground, then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree the garden; but knowledge good and evil shall not eat, for in day that it die.”

Responsorial: Psalm 103:1-2, 27-30

Response: Bless the Lord, my soul.

Bless the Lord my soul.
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe. (R./)

All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
you open your hand, they have their fill. (R./)

You take back your spirit, they die,
returning from the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 7:14-23

What renders us impure is not what enters us from outside but what’s in the heart

Jesus called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


BIBLE

14 February.
Thursday. Saints Cyril and Methodius

1st Reading: Acts (13:46-49

The missionary courage of the apostles, later emulated by the mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs

Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject and judge yourselves unworthy eternal life, we are now turning Gentiles. For so Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have set a light Geniles, may bring salvation ends earth.'”

When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region.

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9

Jesus sends out seventy missionaries, forerunners of so many others in later centuries

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet nobody on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.’


BIBLE

15 February.
Friday, Week 5

1st Reading: Genesis 3:1-8

Woman and man disobey God and try to hide from him in the garden

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden woman said to serpent, “We may of fruit trees garden; but said, that is middle garden, nor touch it, or die. serpent woman, will die; for knows when it your eyes be opened, and like God, knowing good evil.” So saw was food, a delight eyes, desired make one wise, she took its ate; also gave some her husband, who with her, he ate. Then both were they knew naked; sewed fig leaves together made loincloths themselves.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 31:1-2, 5-7

Response: Happy are those who sins are forgiven.

Happy the man whose offence is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile. (R./)

But now I have acknowledged my sins;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said: ‘I will confess my offence to the Lord.’
And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin. (R./)

So let every good man pray to you
in the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high
but him they shall not reach. (R./)

You are my hiding place, O Lord;
you save me from distress.
You surround me with cries of deliverance. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 7:31-37

Jesus cures a man who was deaf and dumb

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”


BIBLE

16 February.
Saturday, Week 5

1st Reading: Genesis 3:9-24

The Lord sentences the serpent, and Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden

The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in garden, and was afraid, because naked; hid myself. “Who told that were naked? Have eaten from tree which commanded not to eat? man woman whom gave be with me, she me fruit tree, ate.” Then Lord God said woman, “What is this done? serpent tricked”

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

And to the man he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.

Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”, therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 89:2-6, 12-13

Response: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth,
you are God, without beginning or end. (R./)

You turn men back into dust and say:
‘Go back, sons of men.’
To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone,
no more than a watch in the night. (R./)

You sweep men away like a dream,
like grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers:
by evening it withers and fades. (R./)

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent. Is your anger for ever?
Show pity on your servants. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 8:1-10

Jesus multiplies bread and fish for about four thousand people

A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way, and some of them have come from a great distance.” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?”

Jesus asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his discipls and went to the district of Dalmanutha.


BIBLE

17 February.
6th Sunday (Year C)

Jeremiah warns about putting our trust in mere human resources. Even powerful and famous personalities can lead us astray. We should put our primary trust in the Lord, and be grateful for his guidance in our lives.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-8

Trust in human resources is like a withering shrub in the arid desert

Thus says the Lord:

“Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord. They shall be like a shrub desert, not see when relief comes. live parched places of wilderness, an uninhabited salt land. Blessed Lord, is tree planted by water, sending out its roots stream. It fear heat comes, leaves stay green; year drought anxious, does cease to bear fruit. ”

Responsorial: Psalm 1:1-4

Response: Happy are they who hope in the Lord

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night. (R./)

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper. (R./)

Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20

Paul clear reply to some who were sceptical about resurrection

If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Gospel: Luke 6:17, 20-26

Luke has just four Beatitudes, and four corresponding ‘woes’

Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.


BIBLE

18 February.
Monday, Week 6

1st Reading: Genesis 4:1-15

Cain’s jealousy leading to the murder of his brother Abel

Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of Lord.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was keeper sheep, and Cain tiller ground. In course time brought to Lord an offering fruit ground, for part firstlings flock, their fat portions. had regard offering, but he no regard. So very angry, countenance fell. said Cain, “Why are you has your fallen? If do well, will not be accepted? sin is lurking at door; its desire you, must master it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so. Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that nobody who came upon him would kill him.

Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.”

Responsorial: Psalm 49:1, 8, 16-17, 20-21

Response: Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
I find no fault with your sacrifices,
your offerings are always before me. (R./)

But how can you recite my commandments
and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise my law
and throw my words to the winds. (R./)

You who sit and malign your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
You do this, and should I keep silence?
Do you think that I am like you? (R./)

Gospel: Mark 8:11-13

Jesus refuses to give spectacular signs

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.


BIBLE

19 February.
Tuesday, Week 6

1st Reading: Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

The universal flood; the Lord’s regret at creating the human race

The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth human beings have created, people together with animals and creeping things birds of air, for am sorry that made them.” But Noah found favour in sight Lord.

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 28:1-4, 9-10

Response: The Lord will bless his people with peace.

O give the Lord you sons of God,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.
Adore the Lord in his holy court. (R./)

The Lord’s voice resounding on the waters,
the Lord on the immensity of the waters;
the voice of the Lord, full of power,
the voice of the Lord, full of splendour. (R./)

The God of glory thunders.
In his temple they all cry: ‘Glory.’
The Lord sat enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits as king for ever. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 8:14-21

Jesus is amazed at the blindness of his disciples

The disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then Jesus gave them this warning, “Watch out, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”


BIBLE

20 February.
Wednesday, Week 6

1st Reading: Genesis 8:6-13, 20-22

The Lord promises never again to destroy the earth

At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

In the six hundred first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for inclination human heart is evil from youth; nor ever destroy every living creature as have done. long earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold heat, summer winter, day night, shall not cease.”

Responsorial: Psalm 115:12-15, 18-19

Response: To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name. (R./)

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful. (R./)

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 8:22-26

Jesus cures the blind man with spittle and the touch of his hands

They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”


BIBLE

21 February.
Thursday, Week 6

1st Reading: Genesis 9:1-13

The rainbow, a perpetual sign of God’s covenant with Noah and the human race

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth. fear dread of you shall rest on every animal earth, bird air, everything that creeps ground, all fish sea; into your hand they are delivered. moving thing lives food for you; just as I gave green plants, give everything. Only, not eat flesh with its life, is, blood. own lifeblood will surely require a reckoning: from it human beings, each one blood another, reckoning life. Whoever sheds human, by person’s shed; in his image God made humankind. you, abound earth multiply it.”

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Responsorial: Psalm 101:16-21, 29, 22-23

Response: From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

The nations shall fear the name of the Lord
and all the earth’s kings your glory,
when the Lord shall build up Zion again
and appear in all his glory.
Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless;
he will not despise their prayers. (R./)

Let this be written for ages to come
that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;
for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high.
He looked down from heaven to the earth
that he might hear the groans of the prisoners
and free those condemned to die. (R./)

The sons of your servants shall dwell untroubled
and their race shall endure before you,
that the name of the Lord may be proclaimed in Zion
and his praise in the heart of Jerusalem,
when peoples and kingdoms are gathered together
to pay their homage to the Lord. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 8:27-33

Peter confesses Jesus as the Messiah, and is reprimanded

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”


BIBLE

22 February.
The Chair of St Peter, apostle

1st Reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4

Peter’s advice to his fellow Church leaders: feed God’s flock with loving respect

Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it, not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.

Responsorial: Psalm 23

R.: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose;
Near restful waters he leads me;
to revive my drooping spirit. (R./)

He guides me along the right path
for the sake of his name.
Though I walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your rod and your staff
with these you give me courage. (R./)

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes;
my head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. (R./)

Surely goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life;
In the house of the Lord shall I dwell
for ever and ever. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19

Jesus appoints Peter as the Rock on which the Church will be built

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some John Baptist, but others Elijah, still Jeremiah or one prophets.” He said to them, you I am?” Simon Peter answered, are Messiah, living God. Jesus answered him, “Blessed you, Jonah! For flesh blood has not revealed this my Father in heaven. tell Peter, on rock will build church, gates Hades prevail against it. give keys kingdom heaven, whatever bind earth be bound loose loosed”


BIBLE

23 February.
Saturday, Week 6

1st Reading: Hebrews 11:1-7

By faith we understand that the world is ruled by God’s will

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it attested before away that pleased God.” And without faith is impossible to please God, whoever would approach him must believe exists rewards those who seek By Noah, warned about events as yet unseen, respected the warning built an ark save his household; this condemned world became eir righteousness in accordance with faith. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 144:2-5, 10-11

Response: I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is great, highly to be praised,
his greatness cannot be measured. (R./)

Age to age shall proclaim your works,
shall declare your mighty deeds, s
hall speak of your splendour and glory,
tell the tale of your wonderful works. (R./)

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 9:2-13

Jesus’ transfiguration, between his fore-runners, Moses and Elijah

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as nobody on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw nobody with them any more, but only Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell nobody about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.”


BIBLE

24 February.
7th Sunday (Year C)

Today we celebrate Jesus as the Lord of compassion and love. We cannot honestly approach his altar if we are still bearing grudges against others. We ask him to rid us of our petty vengefulness

1st Reading:1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23

Saul, jealous of the young David, wants to kill him

Saul rose and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph, with three thousand chosen men of Israel, to seek David in the Wilderness of Ziph. So David and Abishai went to the army by night; there Saul lay sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the army lay around him.

Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into hand today; now therefore let me pin him to the ground with one stroke of spear; I will not strike twice.” But David said Abishai, “Do destroy him; for who can raise his against Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” So took spear that was at Saul head water jar, they went away. No saw it, or knew nor did anyone awake; were all asleep, because a deep sleep from had fallen upon them.

Then David went over to the other side, and stood on top of a hill far away, with a great distance between them. David replied, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and get it. The Lord rewards everyone for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord gave you into my hand today, but I would not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed.

Responsorial: Psalm 102:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13

Response: The Lord is kind and merciful

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings. (R./)

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion. (R./)

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repays us according to our faults. (R./)

As far as the east is from the west
so far does he remove our sins.
As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him. (R./)

2nd Reading:1 Corinthians 15:45-49

Paul’s parallel and contrast between Adam and Christ

It is written, “The first man Adam became a living being;” the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Gospel: Luke 6:27-38

Instead of revenge, we need to show compassion to all

Jesus said to his disciples, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged;do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”


BIBLE

25 February.
Monday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10

All wisdom comes from God and returns to him

All wisdom is from the Lord, and with him it remains forever. The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity, who can count them? The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom, who can search them out?

Wisdom was created before all other things, and prudent understanding from eternity. The root of wisdom, to whom has it been revealed? Her subtleties, who knows them? There is but one who is wise, greatly to be feared, seated upon his throne, the Lord.

It is he who created her; he saw her and took her measure; he poured her out upon all his works, upon all the living according to his gift; he lavished her upon those who love him. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 92:1-2, 5

Response: The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed;
the Lord has robed himself with might,
he has girded himself with power. (R./)

The world you made firm, not to be moved;
your throne has stood firm from of old.
From all eternity, O Lord, you are. (R./)

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.
Holiness is fitting to your house, O Lord,
until the end of time. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 9:14-29

The mute spirit which convulses the boy is driven out by Jesus’ prayer

When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes dashes down; foams grinds his teeth becomes rigid; asked your disciples cast out, but they could not do so. them, faithless generation, how much longer must be among you? put up Bring me. boy him. When saw immediately convulsed boy, fell on ground rolled about, foaming at mouth. Jesus father, long this been happening him? said, childhood. often into fire water, destroy him; butif able anything, have pity us help us. said “If able., All things can done for one who believes. father of child cried believe; unbelief. came running together, rebuked unclean spirit, saying it, keeps speaking hearing, command you, come out never enter again.” After crying convulsing terribly, was like corpse, so most them is dead. took by hand lifted up, stand. had entered house, privately, “Why we out? kind only through prayer.”


BIBLE

26 February.
Tuesday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach 2:1-11

Those who hope in the Lord are not forsaken

My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing.
Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous.
Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient.
For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not stray, or else you may fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?
Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 36:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40

Response: Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.

If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart’s desire. (R./)

He protects the lives of the upright,
their heritage will last for ever.
They shall not be put to shame in evil days,
in time of famine their food shall not fail. (R./)

Then turn away from evil and do good
and you shall have a home for ever;
for the Lord loves justice
and will never forsake his friends. (R./)

The salvation of the just comes from the Lord,
their stronghold in time of distress.
The Lord helps them and delivers them and saves them:
for their refuge is in him. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 9:30-37

Whoever welcomes a child for Jesus’ sake welcomes Jesus himself

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, three days after being killed, he rise again.” But did not understand what was saying were afraid ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”


BIBLE

27 February.
Wednesday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach 4:11-19

Seeking wisdom brings happiness and reveals life’s deepest secrets

Wisdom teaches her children
and gives help to those who seek her.
Whoever loves her loves life,
and those who seek her from early morning are filled with joy.
Whoever holds her fast inherits glory,
and the Lord blesses the place she enters.
Those who serve her minister to the Holy One;
the Lord loves those who love her.
Those who obey her will judge the nations,
and all who listen to her will live secure.
If they remain faithful, they will inherit her;
their descendants will also obtain her.

For at first she will walk with them on tortuous paths; she will bring fear and dread upon them, and will torment them by her discipline until she trusts them, and she will test them with her ordinances. Then she will come straight back to them again and gladden them, and will reveal her secrets to them. If they go astray she will forsake them, and hand them over to their ruin. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 118:165, 168, 171-2, 174-5

Response: O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.

The lovers of your law have great peace;
they never stumble. I obey your precepts and your will;
all that I do is before you. (R./)

Let my lips proclaim your praise
because you teach me your statutes.
Let my tongue sing your promise
for your commands are just. (R./)

Give life to my soul that I may praise you.
Let your decrees give me help.
Lord, I long for your saving help
and your law is my delight. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 9:38-40

Jesus corrects the apostles for blocking outsiders from acting in his name

John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do him; for nobody who does a deed of power my will be able soon afterward speak evil me. Whoever is against us


BIBLE

28 February.
Thursday, Week 7

1st Reading: Sirach 5:1-8

Rely not on your wealth nor on your strength

Do not rely on your wealth, or say, “I have enough.”>
Do not follow your inclination and strength in pursuing the desires of your heart.
Do not say, “Who can have power over me?” for the Lord will surely punish you.
Do not say, “I sinned, yet what has happened to me?” for the Lord is slow to anger.
Do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add sin to sin.
Do not say, “His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins,”
for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger will rest on sinners.
Do not delay to turn back to the Lord, and do not postpone it from day to day;
for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come upon you,
and at the time of punishment you will perish.
Do not depend on dishonest wealth,
for it will not benefit you on the day of calamity. (R./)

Responsorial: Psalm 1:1-4, 6

Response: Happy are they who hope in the Lord.

Happy indeed is the person who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night. (R./)

He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall prosper. (R./)

Not so are the wicked, not so.
For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 9:41-50

A drink of water given to a follower of Christ will be rewarded

For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.

And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”


 

Saints’ Days listed for February,
in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland

01 February – St Brigid, Abbess

Brigid is renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving and care of the sick. When she was a young girl her father wished to make a very suitable marriage for her but she insisted on consecrating her virginity to God. She received the veil and spiritual formation probably from Mel. Others followed her example and this led her to found a double monastery in Kildare with the assistance of Bishop Conleth. She died in 524 and her cult is widespread not only throughout Ireland but in a number of continental European lands.


02 February: Presentation of the Lord

Forty days ago we celebrated the joyful feast of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we recall the holy day on which he was presented in the temple, fulfilling the law of Moses and at the same time going to meet his faithful people. Led by the Spirit, Simeon and Anna came to the temple, recognized Christ as their Lord, and proclaimed him with joy. United by the Spirit, may we now go to the house of God to welcome Christ the Lord.


03 February: St Blaise

BISHOP, MARTYR; died in the early fourth century, believed to have been martyred during the persecution of the emperor Licinius. Bishop in Armenia, known as a healer, venerated since the eighth century and specially invoked to intercede for protection against diseases of the throat.


03 February: St Ansgar

BISHOP. Born at Amiens (France) in 801; died on this day at Bremen (Germany) in 865. A monk and then a bishop in north Germany, eloquent in his preaching and austere in his lifestyle. Noted for opposing slavery and for persevering in his evangelisation of Denmark and Sweden in the face of major setbacks.


05 February: St Agatha

VIRGIN, MARTYR; died in Sicily, perhaps during the persecutions of the third century. Venerated in Rome as a virgin martyr on this day since the sixth century and included by name in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon). Noted in legend for her faith and for remaining resolute under torture.


06 February: Ss Paul Miki and companions

MARTYRS; died on 5 February 1597, a group of twenty-six martyrs crucified at Nagasaki (Japan). Most were Japanese and most were laypeople, some still youths. The first of many martyrs in a young Church. Paul Miki, aged thirty-five years at his death, was a Jesuit scholastic from an aristocratic Japanese family. Paul Miki was a notable preacher who inspired the local Church in his own time and in the centuries that followed to be strong in faith during persecution.


08 February: St Jerome Emiliani

Born in Venice (Italy) in 1486; died of the plague on this day in 1537 near Bergamo. An army officer who, after imprisonment, began a new life of service among the sick and destitute. Noted for his care and education of orphaned and homeless children, a ministry continued by the Somaschi, an order of clergy which he founded.


08 February: St Josephine Bakhita

Born in 1869 at Oglassa (Sudan); died on this day in 1947 at Schio (Italy). Kidnapped by slave traders at the age of 9 and treated cruelly, she was eventually acquired by the Italian consul and taken to Italy. Baptised Josephine in 1890, she joined the Canossan sisters several years later. ‘Mother Moretta’ (our black mother) is remembered for her gentle good nature, humble faith, and gospel charity towards the poor and suffering.


10 February: St Scholastica

Born at Norcia (Italy) about 480; died near Monte Cassino in the 540s. Like Saint Benedict (11 July), her brother and by tradition her twin, she dedicated herself to God through the monastic life. Noted for her part in establishing Benedictine monasticism.


11 February: Our Lady of Lourdes

Observed since 1907, this memorial celebrates the immaculate Virgin Mary as honoured in Lourdes (France). This site of apparitions to the young Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 has become a focus of devotion to Mary. It is a place of prayer and pilgrimage, of conversion and healing for Christians from every land.


14 February: Ss Cyril and Methodius

CYRIL, MONK, AND METHODIUS, BISHOP. Cyril: Born about 826 in Thessalonica (Greece); died at Rome in 869. His brother, Methodius: Born about 815; died in Velehrad (Czech Republic) in 885. With papal approval they preached the gospel in Moravia using their own translations of the Scriptures and the liturgy in the local language. These translations into Slavonic were based on an alphabet they invented, now called Cyrillic. The success of their preaching aroused jealous Frankish opposition. Honoured as apostles of the Slavic peoples, for their contribution to Slavic culture, their missionary inculturation of the Christian faith, and for establishing links between East and West.


17 February – St Fintan, abbot

Fintan was born in Leinster. He received his religious formation in Terryglass, County Tipperary under the abbot Colum, and was deeply influenced by his penitential practices and the severity of the Rule. Fintan made his own foundation in Clonenagh, County Laois. He died in 603.


17 February: Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

In 1233 these prominent businessmen from Florence (Italy) withdrew to a life of solitude, prayer, and penance. They developed into an order of mendicant friars (Servants of Mary). Noted for their radical response to the demands of the gospel.


21 February: St Peter Damian

PETER DAMIAN, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Ravenna (Italy) in 1007; died on 22 February 1072. Became a hermit monk after a career as a professor. Ardent, energetic, and strict, an outspoken reformer of Church life and discipline. Appointed cardinal-bishop of Ostia, he became a diplomat and ecclesiastical statesman, a scholarly reformer devoted to Christ.


22 February: Chair of Peter

The chair (cathedra) of a bishop is a pre-eminent sign of his teaching authority and pastoral oversight of a local Church. This feast, observed in Rome since the fourth century, celebrates Peter, first among the apostles, as founder of the See of Rome and the focus of unity in the communion of one faith.


23 February: St Polycarp

POLYCARP, BISHOP, MARTYR. Born about the year 69; died on this day about 155 at Smyrna (Turkey), where he had been the beloved and respected bishop. A disciple of Saint John the apostle (27 December) who wrote to the Philippians to strengthen their faith and to defend the Church against heresy. Noted for his fearless acknowledgment of Christ, and honoured as one of the apostolic fathers of the Church.


23 February: St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Francesco Possenti, or Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862) was an Italian from Assisi. Born to a well-off family, he gave up all career ambitions to join the Passionists as a clerical student. Though his life in the monastery was humdrum, he was notable for his devotion to the sorrows of Mary and the Passion of Jesus. He died aged 23 (tuberculosis) in Isola del Gran Sasso, in the province of Teramo. He was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, who declared him a patron saint of Catholic youth, and of students. In 1959, he was named patron of the Abruzzi region, where he spent the last two years of his life.


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