thursday 02 April 2020
St Francis of Paola (1436 – 1507)
He was born in Paola in Calabria. He founded the Order of Minims who considered themselves the least of all, and therefore are outstanding in their humility and readiness to do even the meanest job for the poorest of people. He died on Good Friday, 2 April 1507, at Plessis in France.
Entrance Antiphon: Heb 9: 15
Christ is mediator of a New Covenant, so that by means of his death, those who are called may receive the promise of an eternal inheritance.
Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you,and look kindly on those who place their hope in your mercy, that, cleansed from the stain of their sins, they may persevere in holy living and be made full heirs of your promise. 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: Genesis 17:3-9
Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, ‘Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you most fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.’
R/ The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
- Consider the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, the judgements he spoke.
- O children of Abraham, his servant, O sons of the Jacob he chose. He, the Lord, is our God: his judgements prevail in all the earth.
- He remembers his covenant for ever, his promise for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 6:63, 68
Glory and praise to you, O Christ! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: John 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews: ‘I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.’ The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’ Jesus answered: ‘If I were to seek my own glory that would be no glory at all; my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, “He is our God” although you do not know him. But I know him, and if I were to say: I do not know him, I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves. But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad.’ The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, before Abraham ever was, I Am.’ At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look with favour, Lord, we pray, on these sacrificial offerings, that they may profit our conversion and the salvation of all the world. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Rm 8: 32
God did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all; with him, he has given us all things.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by your saving gifts, we beseech your mercy, Lord,that by this same Sacrament, with which you feed us in the present age, you may make us partakers of life eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
In our First Reading, Yahweh changed the name of Abram to Abraham, the father of a multitude of peoples. This was a reward for Abram’s patience and continuous trust in God even when it seemed hopeless to do so. With God, nothing is impossible. God has no time since he acts always in an eternal NOW, so if we trust in Him, even when it seems humanly impossible, God will act to show us that He alone is Lord and Master of all creation. Many of us easily give up when things do not go our way. We need to learn from Abram to continue trusting. God’s ways are not our ways; and that is why we sometimes find it difficult to understand Him. The Jews in the Gospel today did not accept or understand the fact that Jesus was God-made-Man, hence the conflict that arose between them and him. If we learn to see reality from the perspective of God, we will never have some of the problems that we have today.