saturday 02 May 2020
St Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor
(295 – 373)
He was born in Alexandria. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.
Entrance Antiphon: Sir 15: 5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory, alleluia.
Almighty ever-living God, who raised up the Bishop Saint Athanasius as an outstanding champion of your Son’s divinity, mercifully grant, that, rejoicing in his teaching and his protection, we may never cease to grow in knowledge and love of you. 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 9:31-42
The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit. Peter visited one place after another and eventually came to the saints living down in Lydda. There he found a man called Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you: get up and fold up your sleeping mat.’ Aeneas got up immediately; everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they were all converted to the Lord. At Jaffa there was a woman disciple called Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, who never tired of doing good or giving in charity. But the time came when she got ill and died, and they washed her and laid her out in a room upstairs. Lydda is not far from Jaffa, so when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men with an urgent message for him, ‘Come and visit us as soon as possible.’ Peter went back with them straightaway, and on his arrival they took him to the upstairs room, where all the widows stood round him in tears, showing him tunics and other clothes Dorcas had made when she was with them. Peter sent them all out of the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, ‘Tabitha, stand up.’ She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter helped her to her feet, then he called in the saints and widows and showed them she was alive. The whole of Jaffa heard about it and many believed in the Lord.
R/ How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?
- How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.
- My vows to the Lord I will fulfill before all his people. O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful.
- Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds. A thanksgiving sacrifice I make; I will call on the Lord’s name.
Alleluia, alleluia! We know that Christ is truly risen from the dead: have mercy on us, triumphant King. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 6:60-69
After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? ‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. ‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him. Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, O Lord, upon the offerings we present to you in commemoration of Saint Athanasius, and may witnessing to your truth bring salvation to those who profess the same unblemished faith as him. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 1 Cor 3: 11
No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Grant us, we pray, almighty God, that the true divinity of your Only Begotten Son, which we firmly profess with Saint Athanasius, may, through this Sacrament, ever give us life and protection. Through Christ our Lord.
The words of Jesus caused a split among his followers and some ceased to follow him, but this provoked a great act of faith from Simon Peter “Lord, who we shall go to? You have the words of eternal life”. On what grounds do people walk away from Jesus? There’s a deep desire in each of us to have a continuous and transforming relationship with Christ but at times we get discouraged by the challenges of this life. To what extent have we too walked away from Jesus and what makes us draw close to him? Peter’s answer is full of trust. Even without understanding everything, Peter accepts Jesus as Messiah and believes in him. He abandons himself to Christ. If I put myself in Peter’s place, how would I respond to Christ?