tuesday 28 April 2020
St Peter Chanel (1803 – 1841)
Saint Louis Marie Grignion
Peter Chanel was born in France in 1803. He had been a priest for three years when he was accepted by the Marists and sent to evangelize the Pacific. There he was killed, becoming the first martyr of the South Seas.
Entrance Antiphon: Rv 19: 5; 12: 10
Sing praise to our God, all you who fear God, both small and great, for now salvation and strength have come, and the power of his Christ, alleluia.
O God, who open wide the gates of the heavenly Kingdom to those reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, pour out on your servants an increase of the grace you have bestowed, that, having been purged of all sins, they may lack nothing that in your kindness you have promised. 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: Acts 7:51-8:1
Stephen said to the people, the elders and the scribes: ‘You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Can you name a single prophet your ancestors never persecuted? In the past they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers. You who had the Law brought to you by angels are the very ones who have not kept it.’ They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’; and with these words he fell asleep. Saul entirely approved of the killing.
R/ Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
- Be a rock of refuge for me, a mighty stronghold to save me, for you are my rock, my stronghold. For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
- Into your hands I commend my spirit. It is you who will redeem me, Lord. As for me, I trust in the Lord: let me be glad and rejoice in your love.
- Let your face shine on your servant. Save me in your love. You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plotting of men.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 10:14
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own sheep and my own know me. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 6:30-35
The people said to Jesus, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ ‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we pray, these offerings of your exultant Church, and, as you have given her cause for such great gladness, grant also that the gifts we bring may bear fruit in perpetual happiness. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Rm 6: 8
If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Christ, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Look with kindness upon your people, O Lord, and grant, we pray, that those you were pleased to renew by eternal mysteries may attain in their flesh the incorruptible glory of the resurrection. Through Christ our Lord.
Dear friends, today the Church honours the memory of St Peter Channel, the first martyr from the Southern Sea. He eagerly went to proclaim the Good News in the same land where he would be killed. The Christian who wants to follow Jesus Christ must always remember his exhortation for each of us to deny himself, take up the cross daily and come after the Lord. Like it happened to the master so it is likely to happen to the servant. No servant is greater than his master. So, in the world we shall have difficulties as Christians but we should not despair. Christ has overcome the world. The first Reading today reminds us of the martyrdom of Stephen, underlining his firmness and conviction while suffering, as well as his magnanimity and readiness to forgive the very people who were killing him. Love shines through the suffering of each Christian. In and through persecutions for the Gospel, we share in the salvific mission of Christ. That is why Jesus assures us in the Gospel today that He is the eternal Bread that comes from heaven. Anyone who eats of this bread will have eternal life. This is our mission on earth – to gain that bread and to give it to others.