Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin




Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 334

1st Reading – 1 KGS 12:26-32; 13:33-34

Jeroboam thought to himself:
“The kingdom will return to David’s house.
If now this people go up to offer sacrifices
in the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem,
the hearts of this people will return to their master,
Rehoboam, king of Judah,
and they will kill me.”
After taking counsel, the king made two calves of gold
and said to the people:
“You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough.
Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
And he put one in Bethel, the other in Dan.
This led to sin, because the people frequented those calves
in Bethel and in Dan.
He also built temples on the high places
and made priests from among the people who were not Levites.
Jeroboam established a feast in the eighth month
on the fifteenth day of the month
to duplicate in Bethel the pilgrimage feast of Judah,
with sacrifices to the calves he had made;
and he stationed in Bethel priests of the high places he had built.

Jeroboam did not give up his evil ways after this,
but again made priests for the high places
from among the common people.
Whoever desired it was consecrated
and became a priest of the high places.
This was a sin on the part of the house of Jeroboam
for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the earth.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 106:6-7AB, 19-20, 21-22

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
We have sinned, we and our fathers;
we have committed crimes; we have done wrong.
Our fathers in Egypt
considered not your wonders.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Alleluia – MT 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 8:1-10

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat,
Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity 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 collapse on the way,
and some of them have come a great distance.”
His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread
to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
They replied, “Seven.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them,
and gave them to his disciples to distribute,
and they distributed them to the crowd.
They also had a few fish.
He said the blessing over them
and ordered them distributed also.
They ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets.
There were about four thousand people.

He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples
and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Drawn to Jesus, Drawn to Mercy for Others

Saint Scholastica, Virgin – Memorial

“My heart is moved with pity 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 collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” Mark 8:2-3

This passage reveals some interesting points to reflect upon. Let’s look briefly at three of them.

First, it’s important to note that the crowds were so drawn to Jesus that they were willing to spend three days with Him, listening to Him in a deserted place despite the fact that they were without food. They chose Jesus and His teaching over food and over the comfort of their own homes. This reveals the unwavering interest that the people had in Jesus and in His teaching. It reveals how drawn they were to Him. It’s as if nothing else mattered. They simply wanted to be with Jesus.

Secondly, this passage reveals Jesus’ deep concern for the people. His heart was moved with pity for them. He was grateful for their presence but He was more concerned for their physical well-being than they were.

Third, it also reveals something quite subtle but profound. Jesus, in identifying the problem of people being without food for so long, invites the Apostles to see the problem. Note that He doesn’t solve the problem right away. He doesn’t immediately tell them what to do. Instead, He simply explains the problem. Why is that?

Perhaps one reason is that Jesus was trying to foster love and concern for the people in the hearts of the Apostles. Perhaps it was a moment in which He was testing them and training them to think about the needs of the people. By simply posing the question at first, the people were set before the Apostles so that they, too, could grow in heartfelt compassion for them. Jesus may have wanted their hearts to be “moved with pity for the crowd” just as His was.

Reflect, today, upon three things. First, are you drawn to Jesus with such intensity that He becomes the central focus of your life? Does a longing for Him flood your heart and consume your soul? Second, are you aware of the deep concern that Jesus has for you? Are you aware that His heart is “moved with pity” for you every day? Third, are you able to allow the love and compassion that Jesus offers to you, in turn be offered to others? Can you see the “dilemma” of the needs of others? And as you see these needs, do you seek to be there for them in their need? Commit yourself to these three teachings. If you do, you will also be worthy of being called one of His disciples.

Lord, help me to be drawn to You with intensity and longing. Help me to see You as the source of all that I long for and need in life. May I choose You above all else, trusting and knowing that You will satisfy my every desire. As I turn intensely to You, fill my heart with an abundance of mercy for all. Jesus, I trust in You.

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