Saturday 7 October 2023
Our Lady of the Rosary
Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29. The Lord listens to the poor – Psalm 68(69):33-37. Luke 10:17-24.
Prayer can heal
The first reading today is a lamentation from Baruch. It possibly recalls the weeping and sorrows, of the bereaved and desolate widows of the Babylonian exile. It laments the reality of sin, division and war, but is confident of the everlasting joy that God still offers. Today’s Gospel tells of the disciples’ return after their mission, saying: ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ Pope Francis referred to the devil as the great divider – one that tears communities apart. But prayer can heal. On October 2023 7, 1571, Christian naval forces defeated the Turkish Ottoman naval forces at Lepanto halting the advance of Islam on Christian Europe. Pope Pius V initiated this feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in thanksgiving for the victory. Perhaps many rosaries saved Christian Europe that day, not to mention the armada of oared fighting ships belonging to Venice, Spain, Malta and the Papal States.