Saturday, October 19, 2019

16th February 2019: Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time Year C

Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 334

1st Reading – GN 3:9-24

The LORD God called to Adam and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with meB
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
On your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you 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 at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”

To the woman he said:

“I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing;
in pain shall you bring forth children.
Yet your urge shall be for your husband,
and he shall be your master.”

To the man he said: “Because you listened to your wife
and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,

“Cursed be the ground because of you!
In toil shall you eat its yield
all the days of your life.
Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you,
as you eat of the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
shall you get bread to eat,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dirt,
and to dirt you shall return.”

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

For the man and his wife the LORD God made leather garments,
with which he clothed them.
Then the LORD God said: “See! The man has become like one of us,
knowing what is good and what is evil!
Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand
to take fruit from the tree of life also,
and thus eat of it and live forever.”
The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden,
to till the ground from which he had been taken.
When he expelled the man,
he settled him east of the garden of Eden;
and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword,
to guard the way to the tree of life.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 90:2, 3-4ABC, 5-6, 12-13

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

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

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Drawn to Jesus, Drawn to Mercy for Others

Saint for Today

“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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