monday 18 May 2020
Pope St John I (- 526)
He was born in Tuscany and elected pope in 523. It was a time of high political and religious tension. He was a key figure in resolving the tensions provoked by the Arian heresy.
Entrance Antiphon: Rm 6: 9
Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more; death will no longer have dominion over him, alleluia.
Grant, O merciful God, that we may experience at all times the fruit produced by the paschal observances. 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 16:11-15
Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day for Neapolis, and from there for Philippi, a Roman colony and the principal city of that particular district of Macedonia. After a few days in this city we went along the river outside the gates as it was the sabbath and this was a customary place for prayer. We sat down and preached to the women who had come to the meeting. One of these women was called Lydia, a devout woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptised she sent us an invitation: ‘If you really think me a true believer in the Lord,’ she said ‘come and stay with us’; and she would take no refusal.
R/ The Lord takes delight in his people.
1) Sing a new song to the Lord, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel rejoice in its Maker, let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
2) Let them praise his name with dancing and make music with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people. He crowns the poor with salvation.
3) Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, shout for joy and take their rest. Let the praise of God be on their lips: this honour is for all his faithful.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Lk 24:46, 26
Alleluia, alleluia! It was ordained that the Christ should suffer and rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 15:26-16:4
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the outset. ‘I have told you all this that your faith may not be shaken. They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God. They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or myself. But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you.’
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: Jn 20: 19
Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them: Peace be with you, 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.
The disciples were able to testify to Jesus, because they had lived and worked alongside him. In this passage, Jesus promises to send them the Holy Spirit after he has gone. The work of the Holy Spirit affirms the life and love of Jesus, giving witness to what is true. To testify and bear witness to something, I must have a personal experience, so that I can say: This is true, and I know it. Jesus taught his disciples with his word, and prepared them for life when he would no longer be with them. He knew that there would be opposition to them and danger to their lives because of their following him. Jesus reassures us that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who comes from the Father, will support us in giving witness to the Good News despite challenges from those who persecute the Christian faith.