Sunday, July 29, 2012


A Prayer to St. Martha

O blessed St. Martha, 
your faith led Jesus to proclaim, 
“I am the resurrection and the life”; 
and faith let you see beyond his humanity when you cried out, 
“Lord I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 
With firm hope you said, 
“I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him”, 
and Jesus called your brother Lazarus back from the dead. 
With pure love for Jesus you welcomed him into your home.
Friend and servant of our Saviour, I too am “troubled about many things”. 
(mention your intentions) 
Pray for me that I may grow in faith, 
hope and love, 
and that Jesus, 
who sat at your table, 
will hear me and grant me a place at the banquet of eternal life. 



Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
2 Kgs 4:42-44

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God,
twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits,
and fresh grain in the ear.
Elisha said, "Give it to the people to eat."
But his servant objected,
"How can I set this before a hundred people?"
Elisha insisted, "Give it to the people to eat."
"For thus says the LORD,
'They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'"
And when they had eaten, there was some left over,
as the LORD had said.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Reading 2
Eph 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:

I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip,

"Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"

He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
"Two hundred days?' wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.'"
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?"

Jesus said,

"Have the people recline."

Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.

When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,

"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted."

So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves
that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.


July 29

St. Martha

Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.

No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.

Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a).

Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: 
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: 
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: 
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: 
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: 
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: 
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
Be thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of Heaven, thou Heaven’s bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won!;
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Psalm 1
The two paths

The cross of the Lord is become the tree of life for us.

Blessed the man who does not follow the counsels of the wicked,
or stand in the paths that sinners use,
or sit in the gatherings of those who mock:
his delight is the law of the Lord,
he ponders his law day and night.
He is like a tree planted by flowing waters,
that will give its fruit in due time,
whose leaves will not fade.
All that he does will prosper.
Not thus are the wicked, not thus.
They are like the dust blown by the wind.
At the time of judgement the wicked will not stand,
nor sinners in the council of the just.
For the Lord knows the path of the just;
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The cross of the Lord is become the tree of life for us.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor

It is I who have set up my king on Sion.

Why are the nations in a ferment?
Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
the leaders have united against the Lord,
against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

It is I who have set up my king on Sion.

Psalm 3
The Lord is my protector

You, Lord, are my salvation and my glory: 
you lift up my head.

Lord, how many they are, my attackers!
So many rise up against me, so many of them say:
“He can hope for no help from the Lord.”
But you, Lord, are my protector, my glory:
you raise up my head.
I called to the Lord,
and from his holy mountain he heard my voice.
I fell asleep, and slept;
but I rose, for the Lord raised me up.
I will not fear when the people surround me in their thousands.
Rise up, O Lord;
bring me to safety, my God.
Those who attacked me – you struck them on the jaw,
you shattered their teeth.
Salvation comes from the Lord:
Lord, your blessing is upon your people.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

You, Lord, are my salvation and my glory: 
you lift up my head.

May the word of the Lord find a true home in you.
– Teach and advise one another in all wisdom.

2 Corinthians 7:2-16

Keep a place for us in your hearts. We have not injured anyone, or ruined anyone, or exploited anyone. I am not saying this to put any blame on you; as I have already told you, you are in our hearts – together we live or together we die. I have the very greatest confidence in you, and I am so proud of you that in all our trouble I am filled with consolation and my joy is overflowing.

Even after we had come to Macedonia, however, there was no rest for this body of ours. Far from it; we found trouble on all sides: quarrels outside, misgivings inside. But God comforts the miserable, and he comforted us, by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his arrival but also by the comfort which he had gained from you. He has told us all about how you want to see me, how sorry you were, and how concerned for me, and so I am happier now than I was before.

But to tell the truth, even if I distressed you by my letter, I do not regret it. I did regret it before, and I see that that letter did distress you, at least for a time; but I am happy now – not because I made you suffer, but because your suffering led to your repentance. Yours has been a kind of suffering that God approves, and so you have come to no kind of harm from us. To suffer in God’s way means changing for the better and leaves no regrets, but to suffer as the world knows suffering brings death. Just look at what suffering in God’s way has brought you: what keenness, what explanations, what indignation, what alarm! Yes, and what aching to see me, what concern for me, and what justice done! In every way you have shown yourselves blameless in this affair. So then, though I wrote the letter to you, it was not written for the sake either of the offender or of the one offended; it was to make you realise, in the sight of God, your own concern for us. That is what we have found so encouraging.

With this encouragement, too, we had the even greater happiness of finding Titus so happy; thanks to you all, he has no more worries; I had rather boasted to him about you, and now I have not been made to look foolish; in fact, our boasting to Titus has proved to be as true as anything that we ever said to you. His own personal affection for you is all the greater when he remembers how willing you have all been, and with what deep respect you welcomed him. I am very happy knowing that I can rely on you so completely.


The sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation, and there is no regret in it, but worldly sadness leads to death.

Our sadness is used by God, and so we suffer no harm, but worldly sadness leads to death.

From a homily on the 2nd letter to the Corinthians 
by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

I rejoice exceedingly in all my tribulations

Again Paul turns to speak of love, softening the harshness of his rebuke. For after convicting and reproaching them for not loving him as he had loved them, breaking away from his love and attaching themselves to troublemakers, he again takes the edge off the reproach by saying: Open your hearts to us, that is, love us. He asks for a favour which will be no burden to them but will be more profitable to the giver than to the receiver. And he did not use the word “love” but said, more appealingly: Open your hearts to us.

Who, he said, has cast us out of your minds, thrust us from your hearts? How is it that you feel constraint with us? For, since he has said earlier: You are restricted in your own affection, he now declares himself more openly and says: Open your heart to us, thus once more drawing them to him. For nothing so much wins love as the knowledge that one’s lover desires most of all to be himself loved.

For I said before, he tells them, that you are in our hearts to die together or live together. This is love at its height, that even though in disfavour, he wishes both to die and to live with them. For you are in our hearts, not just somehow or other, but in the way I have said. It is possible to love and yet to draw back when danger threatens; but my love is not like that.

I am filled with consolation. What consolation? That which comes from you because you, being changed for the better, have consoled me by what you have done. It is natural for a lover both to complain that he is not loved in return and to fear that he may cause distress by complaining too much. Therefore, he says: I am filled with consolation, I rejoice exceedingly.

It is as if he said, I was much grieved on your account, but you have made it up for me in full measure and given me comfort; for you have not only removed the cause for any grief but filled me with a richer joy.

Then he shows the greatness of that joy by saying not only I rejoice exceedingly but also the words which follow: in all my tribulations. So great, he says, was the delight that you gave me that it was not even dimmed by so much tribulation, but overcame by its strength and keenness all those sorrows which had invaded my heart, and took away from me all awareness of them.


These things that prove that I am an apostle were done with all patience among you, with signs and wonders and miracles.

I will be glad to spend all I have, and myself as well, in order to help you, with signs and wonders and miracles.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.

Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Lord God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing holy,
support us always with your love.
Guide us so to use the good things of this world,
that even now we may hold fast to what endures for ever.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.