FIRST READING
Through faith they conquered kingdoms. God will provide something better for us.
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 11:32-40) 

Brethren: What more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won  strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated — of whom the world was not worthy— wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 31 :20.21.22.23.24 (R. 25)
R/. Be strong, let your heart take courage,
all who hope in the Lord.

How great is the goodness, LORD,
that you keep for those who fear you,
that you show to those who trust you
in the sight of the children of men. R.

You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
secure from human scheming;
you keep them safe within your tent
from disputing tongues. R.

R/. Be strong, let your heart take courage,
all who hope in the Lord.

Blest be the Lord for
he has wondrously shown me
his merciful love in a fortified city! R.

“I am far removed from your sight,”
I said in my alarm.
Yet you heard the voice of my plea
when I cried to you for help. R.

Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord guards the faithful.
But the Lord will repay to the full
the one who acts with pride. R.

ALLELLUIA   Luke 7: 16
Alleluia. A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited his people. Alleluia

GOSPEL
“Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.’ ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 5: 1-20)

At that time: Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones.  And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him; and crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” And he   begged him eagerly’ not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him, “Send us to the swine, let us enter them.” So he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighbourhood. And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for, you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marvelled.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
In the readings of today, we are taught that we should accept the crosses of our lives without grumbling. David does not despair even when events go against him because he realizes that this is the consequence of his sin against God. Thus, as he flees the rebellion of Absalom his son, he accepts everything with a humble and contrite heart. Jesus in the Gospel established the fact that only God has the power to subdue all forces of darkness that no human being has. Also, that no matter the economic importance or nutritional value of any object, the salvation of the human soul is the ultimate. May we, as Christians, always cherish and value the human life above all material things.

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