Sunday, February 1, 2015:  (FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)  Readings for today:  Deuteronomy 18:15-20  /  1 Corinthians 7:32-35 /  Mark 1:21-28:


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Reading 1 - A reading from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 18:15-20):

Moses spoke to all the people, saying:
“A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen.
This is exactly what you requested of the LORD, your God, at Horeb
on the day of the assembly, when you said,
‘Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God,
nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.’
And the LORD said to me, ‘This was well said.
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin,
and will put my words into his mouth;
he shall tell them all that I command him.
Whoever will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name,
I myself will make him answer for it.
But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name
an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak,
or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die.’”


Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 95: "If Today You Hear His Voice" by David Haas):


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 Refrain: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (repeat)

1. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord. Hail the Rock who saves us. Let us come now before him. With songs let us hail the Lord.

Refrain: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (repeat)

2. Come, let us bow and bend low. Let us kneel before him who made us, for he is our God, we his people, the flock that is led by his hand.

Refrain: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (repeat)

3. O that today you would hear his voice, "Harden not your hearts, as on that day in the dessert, when your parents put me to the test."

Refrain: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (repeat)


Reading 2 - A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:32-35):


Brothers and sisters:

I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.


Alleluia (Matthew 4:16)

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R. Alleluia, alleluia, Alleluia.

The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light;
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death,
light has arisen.

R. Alleluia, alleluia, Alleluia.



Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 1:21-28):


Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.




02/01/2015: St. Joan (Jeanne or Jane) of Valois  - 1464-1505 - (Feast Day: February 4) - This saint should be called the Patron Saint of People with Deformities, because she herself, was born with deformities.



February 4, 2015
St. Joan of Valois

Joan, or Jane, the physically deformed daughter of King Louis XI of France, was endowed with wonderful gifts of mind and heart. Although she suffered much throughout her life, she accepted her disabilities with patience and spent many of her days in prayer and meditation.
Under the guidance of her spiritual director, a Franciscan priest from whom she received the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis, young Joan prepared to give her life in service to God as a member of a religious community.

But her father had other plans. He announced that Joan would marry the Duke of Orleans, and no objections were to be voiced. Joan dutifully obliged, though her marriage was not a happy one. When the duke ascended the throne as King Louis XII, his first act was to divorce the queen on the grounds that he had only agreed to the marriage to escape the anger of the king, his predecessor. The pope agreed that compulsion had been involved, and declared the marriage null and void.

Joan felt an immediate sense of relief and made her way to Bourges. There she lived a secluded life of prayer and, in 1501, founded a contemplative order of nuns—the Sisters of the Annunciation. God called Joan home only a few years later.

She was canonized in 1950.


Life dealt Joan a bad hand from the beginning. Born with deformities, she yearned to seek the arms of the only Lover who could see her real beauty, but her royal father had other plans for her. Only when she was at last ejected from her unhappy marriage was she free to devote herself to conversation with God. Life doesn’t always deal us the cards we want either but like Joan, we can play them with grace.