Thursday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
St. Fabian, Pope and martyr. Optional Memorial. According to the historian Eusebius, he was elected Pope by divine inspiration when he was but a simple layman. It is said that a dove descended over his head during the conclave assembled to elect the successor of Pope Anterus. He died as a victim of the persecution of Decius, in 250.
St. Sebastian, martyr († fourth century). Optional Memorial. As a Praetorian guard in the Imperial palace and friend of Emperor Maximian, he took advantage of his position to aid Christians and convert other soldiers. Accused before the emperor, he was condemned to being bound to a tree trunk and shot with arrows.
St. Wulfstan , Bishop (†1095). Benedictine religious appointed as Bishop of Worcester by recommendation of King S. Edward III. He opposed the trafficking of slaves and supported the Gregorian reforms.
St. Henry of Uppsala, bishop and martyr (†c. 1157). Of English origin, he was appointed Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden. He was cruelly assassinated in Finland by a man whom he had reproached.
St. Asclas, martyr (†fourth century). He was subjected to cruel tortures and finally thrown into the Nile River in Antinoopolis,Egypt.
St. Stephen Min Kuk-ka, martyr (†1840). Catechist beheaded in prison in Seoul, Korea, for defending the Catholic Faith.
St. Eustochia Calafato, abbess (†1485). Daughter of a wealthy merchant from Messina (Italy), she entered the Clarist Order and founded the Monastery of Montevergine, where she worked at restoring the primitive discipline of regular life.
St. Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, virgin (†1906). She dedicated her life to the Christian formation of children in Casoria, Italy, and founded the Congregation of Sisters, Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, dedicated to Perpetual Adoration and to teaching children.
Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi, presbítero (†1964). Cistercian religious born in the region of Onitsha, Nigeria. Once baptized as a schoolboy, he dedicated himself to the catechizing others. He became a priest and then a Trappist monk, and was later sent to Mount St. Bernard in England where he lived for the last 14 years of his life.
First Reading – 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7
When David and Saul approached
(on David’s return after slaying the Philistine),
women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul,
singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums.
The women played and sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”
Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought:
“They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me.
All that remains for him is the kingship.”
And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.
Saul discussed his intention of killing David
with his son Jonathan and with all his servants.
But Saul’s son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him:
“My father Saul is trying to kill you.
Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning;
get out of sight and remain in hiding.
I, however, will go out and stand beside my father
in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you.
If I learn anything, I will let you know.”
Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him:
“Let not your majesty sin against his servant David,
for he has committed no offense against you,
but has helped you very much by his deeds.
When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine,
and the LORD brought about a great victory
for all Israel through him,
you were glad to see it.
Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood
by killing David without cause?”
Saul heeded Jonathan’s plea and swore,
“As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed.”
So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him.
Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 56:2-3, 9-10a, 10b-11, 12-13 (R.5b)
R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
THave mercy on me, O God, for men trample upon me;
all the day they press their attack against me.
My adversaries trample upon me all the day;
yes, many fight against me. R.
My wanderings you have counted;
my tears are stored in your flask;
are they not recorded in your book?
Then do my enemies turn back,
when I call upon you. R.
Now I know that God is with me.
In God, in whose promise I glory,
in God I trust without fear;
what can flesh do against me? R.
I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
your thank offerings I will fulfill.
For you have rescued me from death,
my feet, too, from stumbling;
that I may walk before God in the light of the living. R.
Gospel – Mk 3:7-12
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples.
A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
Hearing what he was doing,
a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem,
from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan,
and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,
so that they would not crush him.
He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases
were pressing upon him to touch him.
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him
and shout, “You are the Son of God.”
He warned them sternly not to make him known.