thursday 30 April 2020
Pope St. Pius V (1504 – 1572)
A Dominican, he was elected Pope in 1566. He strenuously promoted the Catholic Reformation that was started by the Council of Trent. He encouraged missionary work and reformed the liturgy.
Entrance Antiphon Cf. Ex 15: 1-2
Let us sing to the Lord, for he has gloriously triumphed. The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation, alleluia.
Almighty ever-living God, let us feel your compassion more readily during these days when, by your gift, we have known it more fully, so that those you have freed from the darkness of error may cling more firmly to the teachings of your truth. 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 8:26-40
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Be ready to set out at noon along the road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.’ So he set off on his journey. Now it happened that an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he was a eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia, and was in fact her chief treasurer. He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and meet that chariot.’ When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ ‘How can I’ he replied ‘unless I have someone to guide me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side. Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this: Like a sheep that is led to the slaughter-house, like a lamb that is dumb in front of its shearers, like these he never opens his mouth. He has been humiliated and has no one to defend him. Who will ever talk about his descendants, since his life on earth has been cut short! The eunuch turned to Philip and said, ‘Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?’ Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the Good News of Jesus to him. Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘Look, there is some water here; is there anything to stop me being baptised?’ He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and Philip baptised him. But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Philip found that he had reached Azotus and continued his journey proclaiming the Good News in every town as far as Caesarea.
Psalm 65(66):8-9, 16-17,20
R/ Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.
1) Peoples, bless our God, let the voice of his praise resound, of the God who gave life to our souls and kept our feet from stumbling.
2) Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul: to him I cried aloud, with high praise ready on my tongue.
3) Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer nor withhold his love from me.
Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord, who hung for us upon the tree, has risen from the tomb. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 6:44-51
Jesus said to the crowd: ‘No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it, is to come to me. Not that anybody has seen the Father, except the one who comes from God: he has seen the Father. I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life. ‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who by the wonderful exchange effected in this sacrifice have made us partakers of the one supreme Godhead, grant, we pray, that, as we have come to know your truth, we may make it ours by a worthy way of life. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 2 Cor 5: 15
Christ died for all, that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for him, who died for them and is risen, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Graciously be present to your people, we pray, O Lord, and lead those you have imbued with heavenly mysteries to pass from former ways to newness of life. Through Christ our Lord.
Beloved brothers and sisters, it is fitting that we end the month of April with the celebration of the memory of Pope St Pius V, one who stood with the Church firmly during the trying moments following the Lutheran Reformation. He brought about useful reforms in the Church and in the Liturgy. We continue to look up to him for inspiration especially when the Church is going through trying moments like today.
The first Reading today brings us in touch with the experience of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. He followed this man along the way, explained the Scriptures to him and ended up baptizing him. This is what is expected of each of us, as disciples of Jesus- to go out into the world, teach others about Jesus Christ and baptize those who believe. So many people in our world today are searching for the word of God, for the truth. Unfortunately, many fall into the hands of the wrong people- impostors and charlatans. We have an obligation to ensure that the right deposits of faith are handed over from one generation to the next. No one can come to God except through the Son. So, we must lead others to discover Jesus the Christ. This is the mission that Jesus reminds us of in the Gospel of today. We are living in a world where there are too many other voices,each claiming to possess the truth. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our teaching should make a difference.