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Mass Reading & Meditation for January 20, 2020 View another date

Meditation: Mark 2:18-22

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Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

Entrance Antiphon

This holy man fought to the death for the law of his God
and did not fear the words of the godless,
for he was built on solid rock.
OR
The Lord granted him a stern struggle,
that he might know that wisdom is mightier than all else. Cf. Wis 10:12

Collect

O God, glory of your Priests,
grant, we pray,
that, helped by the intercession of your Martyr Saint Fabian,
we may make progress by communion in the faith
and by worthy service.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Samuel 15:16-23

Samuel said to Saul: “Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul replied, “Speak!” Samuel then said: “Though little in your own esteem, are you not leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them.’ Why then have you disobeyed the Lord? You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the Lord.” Saul answered Samuel: “I did indeed obey the Lord and fulfill the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban. But from the spoil the men took sheep and oxen, the best of what had been banned, to sacrifice to the Lord their God in Gilgal.” But Samuel said:

“Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as in obedience to the command of the Lord?
Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission than the fat of rams.
For a sin like divination is rebellion,
and presumption is the crime of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”

Psalm 50

R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.” R.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?” R.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.” R.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. Heb 4:12
Alleluia, alleluia.

Mark 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

Prayer over the Offerings

Sanctify our offerings by your blessing,
O Lord, we pray,
and by your grace may we be set afire
with that flame of your love
through which Saint Fabian overcame every bodily torment.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
OR
May the offerings we bring in commemoration of blessed Saint Fabian
be acceptable to you, we pray, O Lord,
so that they may be pleasing to your majesty
just as the shedding of this Martyr’s blood
was precious in your sight.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Communion Antiphon

Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me, says the Lord. Cf. Mt 16:24
OR
Whoever loses his life for my sake,
will find it in eternity, says the Lord. Mt 10:39

Prayer after Communion

May the sacred mysteries of which we have partaken,
O Lord, we pray,
give us that determination which made your blessed Martyr Saint Fabian
faithful in your service
and victorious in suffering.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Daily Meditation: Mark 2:18-22

New wine is poured into fresh wineskins. (Mark 2:22)

What’s new with you?

That kind of question might make us uncomfortable. Does there need to be anything new with us? We might really appreciate the predictability of life, with all our comfortable routines and friendships and activities. But do the dependable boundaries surrounding our lives hide or even stifle the vibrant life of Christ that we received in Baptism?

Think about the powerful effect that new life had on the people who encountered Jesus in the Gospels. It healed ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19). It enabled Zacchaeus not only to ask forgiveness but to offer restitution to his victims (19:1-10). It gave James and John and Matthew new careers (Mark 1:19-21; 2:13-21). It brought Mary of Bethany into the role of a disciple (Luke 10:39). It released Paul and Silas from jail and enabled their captors to accept Christ (Acts 16:16-40).

What about you? You have received the same Holy Spirit who was so active in Jesus and his first followers. So how can you be like that flexible wineskin, ready to expand in new, unexpected directions? What might it look like for you?

For one believer, it involved inviting neighbors into her home every week to share coffee and study the Scriptures. It led a certain barber to offer his skills to prison inmates as a way to boost their sense of dignity. For a mom used to making school lunches for her children, it led her to bring her family to a local homeless shelter and pack bagged meals for children. She even tucked a small toy and an encouraging message into each one.

These and many other, smaller examples can give you a glimpse of the “new wine” of the Holy Spirit (Mark 2:22)—the vibrant, vital life that has been poured into your own heart. The opportunities to stretch and allow that life to flow from you and bless the people around you are endless. Think of how this might be already happening in your life. Then dare to ask God what new thing he may want to do through you this week. Ask him to show you how you can stretch enough to cooperate with him.

“Holy Spirit, expand my heart and my vision to make more room for the new life you have given me.”

1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23

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