First Reading – Heb 9:15, 24-28
Christ is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but Heaven itself, that He might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that He might offer Himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, He would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all He has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by His sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6 (R. 1a)
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for He has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
His holy arm. R.
The LORD has made His salvation known:
in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice.
He has remembered His kindness and His faithfulness
toward the house of Israel. R.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise. R.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. R.
Gospel – Mk 3:22-30
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons He drives out demons.” Summoning them, He began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
St. Ildephonsus, Bishop (†667). Successor of St. Eugenius as head of the Archdiocese of Toledo, Spain; he authored several liturgical books and texts and venerated the ever-Virgin Mary with admirable zeal and devotion.
St. Emerentiana, martyr (†circa fourth century). A reputed companion of St. Agnes, she was martyred in Rome stoned to death by pagan fanatics.
Sts. Clement, bishop, and Agathangelus, martyrs (†fourth century). Killed in Ankara, Turkey, during the Diocletian persecution.
St. Severianus, martyr (†third century). Burned to death in Cesarea in Mauritania (Algeria) with his wife, St. Aquila, for upholding the Faith.
St. Andrew Chong Hwa-gyŏng, martyr (†1840). Catechist tortured and strangled in prison, during the persecution in Korea.