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Ordinary Time: February 7th

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

MASS READINGS

February 07, 2004 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Lord our God, help us to love you with all our hearts and to love all men as you love them. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Old Calendar: St. Romuald, abbot

"As he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length." (Mk 6:34) "Jesus is moved by hunger and sorrow, but what moves him most is ignorance" (J. Escriva "Christ is passing by", 109).

Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar this was the feast of St. Romuald, abbot, the anniversary of the translation of his relics in 1481. His feast has been transferred to June 19, the day he died in 1027.


Meditation on the Gospel - Mark 6:30-34
In today's Gospel we can see here the intensity of Jesus' public ministry. Such was his dedication to souls that St Mark twice mentions that the disciples did not even have time to eat (cf. Mk 3:20). A Christian should be ready to sacrifice his time and even his rest in the service of the Gospel. This attitude of availability will lead us to change our plans whenever the good of souls so requires.

But Jesus also teaches us here to have common sense and not to go to such extremes that we physically cannot cope: "The Lord makes his disciples rest, to show those in charge that people who work or preach cannot do so without breaks" (St Bede, In Marci Evangelium expositio, in loc.). "He who pledges himself to work for Christ should never have a free movement, because to rest is not to do nothing: it is to relax in activities which demand less effort" (J. Escriva, The Way, 357).

Our Lord had planned a period of rest, for himself and his disciples, from the pressures of the apostolate (Mk 6:31-32). And he has to change his plans because so many people come, eager to hear him speak. Not only is he not annoyed with them: he feels compassion on seeing their spiritual need. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hos 4:6). They need instruction and our Lord wants to meet this need by preaching to them. — The Navarre Bible - St. Mark

Things to Do:

  • If you have young children, realize your role as their primary instructor, particularly regarding truths of the faith. Imitate Christ's deep concern for children and for the ignorant by forming your little ones first in knowledge of God and His love for them. The activities links here give some guidelines as to how religious training in the home ought to be done.


      The Supreme Lover
      The Goodness of God means that God gives us what we need for our perfection, not what we want for our pleasure and sometimes for our destruction. As a sculptor, He sometimes applies the chisel to the marble of our imperfect selves and knocks off huge chunks of selfishness that His image may better stand revealed. Like a musician, whenever He finds the strings too loose on the violin of our personality, He tightens them even though it hurts, that we may better reveal our hidden harmonies.

      As the Supreme Lover of our soul, He does care how we act and think and speak. What father does not want to be proud of his son? If the father speaks with authority now and then to his son, it is not because he is a dictator, but because he wants him to be a worthy son. Not even progressive parents, who deny discipline and restraint, are indifferent to the progress of their children. So long as there is love, there is necessarily a desire for the perfecting of the beloved.

      That is precisely the way God's goodness manifests itself to us. God really loves us and, because He loves us, He is not disinterested. He no more wants you to be unhappy than your own parents want you to be unhappy. God made you not for His happiness, but for yours, and to ask God to be satisfied with most of us as we really are, is to ask that God cease to love.

      — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen