St Francis of Paola (1436 – 1507)
He was born in Paola in Calabria. He founded the Order of Minims. He died on Good Friday, 2 April 1507, at Plessis in France.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Is 55: 1
All who are thirsty, come to the waters, says the Lord. Though you have no money, come and drink with joy.
May the venerable exercises of holy devotion shape the hearts of your faithful, O Lord, to welcome worthily the Paschal Mystery and proclaim the praises of your salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Ezekiel 47:1-9,12
The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’
Psalm 45 (46):2-3, 5-6, 8-9
R/ The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
1) God is for us a refuge and strength, a helper close at hand, in time of distress, so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea.
2) The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within, it cannot be shaken; God will help it at the dawning of the day.
3) The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Come, consider the works of the Lord, the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 50:12, 14
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus! A pure heart create for me, O God, and give me again the joy of your help. Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Gospel: John 5:1-3, 5-16
There was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem there is a building, called Bethzatha in Hebrew, consisting of five porticos; and under these were crowds of sick people – blind, lame, paralysed – waiting for the water to move. One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years, and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in this condition for a long time, he said, ‘Do you want to be well again?’ ‘Sir,’ replied the sick man ‘I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets there before me.’ Jesus said, ‘Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk.’ The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and walked away. Now that day happened to be the sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been cured, ‘It is the sabbath; you are not allowed to carry your sleeping-mat.’ He replied, ‘But the man who cured me told me, “Pick up your mat and walk.”’ They asked, ‘Who is the man who said to you, “Pick up your mat and walk”?’ The man had no idea who it was, since Jesus had disappeared into the crowd that filled the place. After a while Jesus met him in the Temple and said, ‘Now you are well again, be sure not to sin any more, or something worse may happen to you.’ The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him. It was because he did things like this on the sabbath that the Jews began to persecute Jesus.
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer to you, O Lord, these gifts which you yourself have bestowed; may they attest to your care as Creator for this our mortal life, and effect in us the healing that brings us immortality. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 22: 1-2
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose, near restful waters he leads me.
Prayer after Communion
Purify our minds, O Lord, we pray, and renew them with this heavenly Sacrament, that we may find help for our bodies now and likewise in times to come. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Grant, O merciful God, that your people may remain always devoted to you and may constantly receive from your kindness whatever is for their good. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The prophecy of Ezekiel consists of a vision which announces that the body of Christ is the temple. From it, the living water of baptism springs and floods all the peoples of the earth with its sap of new life. Whether they come from the West, from the South, from the North, or from the East, all will be partakers of the Lord’s banquet. The cross whose fruit will nourish the righteous is a remedy for the sick. In the same way, the word of Jesus is an effective treatment that gives healing to the patient of Bethesda. Jesus is at the door of our heart; let us open up with confidence and tenderness to his mercy.