friday 21 August 2020
Pope St Pius X (1835 – 1914)
He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 23. He was successively bishop of Mantua and of Venice, and was elected Pope, against his wishes, in 1903. He lived in great poverty even when he was Pope, and preached sermons every Sunday. The clamour for his canonization started immediately after his death.
The Lord chose him for himself as high priest, and, opening his treasure house, made him rich in all good things.
O God, who to safeguard the Catholic faith and to restore all things in Christ, filled Pope Saint Pius the Tenth with heavenly wisdom and apostolic fortitude, graciously grant that, following his teaching and example, we may gain an eternal prize. 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 37:1-14
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army. Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
R/ O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
- Let them say this, the Lord’s redeemed, whom he redeemed from the hand of the foe and gathered from far-off lands, from east and west, north and south.
- Some wandered in the desert, in the wilderness, finding no way to a city they could dwell in. Hungry they were and thirsty; their soul was fainting within them.!
- Then they cried to the Lord in their need and he rescued them from their distress and he led them along the right way, to reach a city they could dwell in.
- Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for men: for he satisfies the thirsty soul; he fills the hungry with good things.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 118:18
Alleluia, alleluia! Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may consider the wonders of your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive with kindness our oblations and grant, O Lord, we pray, that, following the teachings of Pope Saint Pius, we may celebrate these divine mysteries with sincere reverence and receive them in a spirit of faith. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 10: 11
The Good Shepherd has laid down his life for his sheep.
Prayer after Communion
Celebrating the Memorial of Pope Saint Pius, we pray, O Lord our God, that by the power of this heavenly table we may be made constant in the faith and be of one accord in your love. Through Christ our Lord.
when we look at the cross, don’t we see these two commandments inseparably connected? The upright beam placed in the soil is vertical, pointing heavenwards, towards God (our relationship with God). The crossbar placed horizontally shows the relationship with our brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends (shows our relationship with one another as humans). So, the more we desire to raise the level of our service to others (horizontality), the taller our love for God must go. As St. John of the Cross says: «The more a soul loves, the more perfect is in what it loves; this is why in this soul that is already perfect, is entirely love and all its actions are love». And so, the cross is also a symbol of Love.