Wednesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time
Optional memorials:St. Jerome Emiliani, priest (†1537). As a soldier of dissolute life, he was taken prisoner during combat. After being freed by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he underwent a complete conversion, and dedicated the rest of his life to serving care of orphans, poor and the sick, founding the Congregation of Regular Clerics for this end.
St. Josephine Bakhita, virgin (†1947). Born in Sudan, she was kidnapped as a child by Arab slave traders, and sold repeated repeatedly until finally reaching Italy, where she was declared free. During a stay with the Canossian Sisters, she learned of God, was baptized, and entered the community as a religious, where she remained for the next 50 years until her death, with a reputation for sanctity. Canonized in 2000.
First Reading – Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17
At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens — while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground — the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and He placed there the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 104:1-2a, 27-28, 29bc-30 (R. 1a)
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, You are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak. R.
All creatures look to You
to give them food in due time.
When You give it to them, they gather it;
when You open Your hand, they are filled with good things. R.
If You take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When You send forth Your spirit, they are created,
and You renew the face of the earth. R.
Gospel – Mk 7:14-23
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear Me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” When He got home away from the crowd His disciples questioned Him about the parable. He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) “But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”
St. Juventius, Bishop (†397). He was appointed Bishop of Pavia by St. Ambrose. He participated in the Councils of Aquileia and Milan.
St. Honoratus, bishop (†c. 570). In the imminence of a Lombard invasion, he endeavoured to save the populace, procuring refuge for them in Genoa.
St. Paul of Verdun, Bishop (†c. 647). Having embraced monastic life, he was elected Bishop of Verdun, France, where he promoted the dignity of divine worship and the regular observance of the canons.
St. Stephen, abbot (†1124). Founder of the Order of Grandmont, near Limoges, France. He attracted many disciples with his austere life.
St. Cointha, martyr (†249). During the persecution of Emperor Decius, in Alexandria, Egypt, he refused to offer incense to the gods and was tied to a horse, dragged through the streets and finally stoned to death.
Blessed Peter Igneus, bishop (†1089). Benedictine monk from Vallombrosa, Italy, disciple of St. John Gualbert; he was created Cardinal by St. Gregory VII and appointed Bishop of Albano, Italy.