Friday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time
Optional Memorial of St. Ephrem, deacon and Doctor of the Church (†373). An eminent theologian and hymnodist, he was the first Father of the Church to declare himself a servant of Mary. He died in Edessa, present-day Turkey.
First Reading – Tb 11:5-17
Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come. When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father, “Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!” Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: “I am certain that his eyes will be opened. Smear the fish gall on them. This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes; then your father will again be able to see the light of day.” Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, “Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!” And she sobbed aloud. Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate. Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand, and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes. “Courage, father,” he said. Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart. Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit’s eyes, Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts. When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept. He exclaimed, “I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!” Then he said: “Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be praised throughout all the ages, Because it was he who scourged me, and it is he who has had mercy on me. Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!” Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice for everything that had happened. Tobiah told his father that the Lord God had granted him a successful journey; that he had brought back the money; and that he had married Raguel’s daughter Sarah, who would arrive shortly, for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh. Tobit and Anna rejoiced and went out to the gate of Nineveh to meet their daughter-in-law. When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit walking along briskly, with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed. Before them all Tobit proclaimed how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes. When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah, he greeted her: “Welcome, my daughter! Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter! Blessed is your father, and blessed is my son Tobiah, and blessed are you, daughter! Welcome to your home with blessing and joy. Come in, daughter!” That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 146:1b-2, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10 (R. 1b)
R.Praise the Lord, my soul!
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live. R.
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free. R.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers. R.
The fatherless and the widow He sustains,
but the way of the wicked He thwarts
The LORD shall reign forever,
your God, O Zion, through all generations! Alleluia. R.
Gospel – Mk 12:35-37
As Jesus was teaching in the temple area He said, “How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?” The great crowd heard this with delight.
St. Joseph Anchieta, priest (†1597). Jesuit priest, born in the Canary Islands, Spain, he dedicated most of his life evangelizing in Brazilian Central-Eastern region, earning the title “Apostle of Brazil”, and is considered the founder of the city of São Paulo.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (†1837). She patiently bore the irascible temperament of her husband and dedicated herself to the education of her seven children. Favoured with the gift of prophecy, she became the adviser for saints and illustrious ecclesiastics.
St. Columba, abbot (†597). Feast in Ireland. Great apostle of Ireland and Scotland; he founded the monastery of Iona which had more than forty convents under its jurisdiction.
St. Richard of Andria, bishop (†twelfth century). English priest elected Bishop of Andria, Italy. He was credited with many miracles.
Blessed Robert Salt, monk and martyr (†1537). Carthusian monk imprisoned during the reign of Henry VIII of England. He died of starvation in prison.
Blessed Joseph Imbert, priest and martyr (†1794). Jesuit religious appointed vicar-apostolic of Moulins by Pius VI during the French Revolution. He was imprisoned in inhuman conditions on a galley in Rochefort, where he died.
Blessed Luigi Boccardo (†1936). Priest from the Diocese of Turin, founder of the Institute of the Daughters of Christ the King and Priest, blind nuns of contemplative life.