friday 29 May 2020
Bl. Joseph Gerard (1831 – 1914)
Born in France in 1831, Joseph Gerard joined the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and later was sent to South Africa. He worked among the Zulu in Natal for ten years before being sent to the Basuto, in today’s Lesotho: he was known as “the Apostle of the Basuto”.
Entrance Antiphon: Rv 1: 5-6
Christ loved us and washed us clean of our sins by his Blood, and made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, alleluia.
O God, who by the glorification of your Christ and the light of the Holy Spirit have unlocked for us the gates of eternity, grant, we pray, that, partaking of so great a gift, our devotion may grow deeper and our faith be strengthened. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, none God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Acts 25:13-21
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul’s case before the king. ‘There is a man here’ he said ‘whom Felix left behind in custody, and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation. But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge. So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in. When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected; but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive. Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue. But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the august emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.’
R/ The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
- My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
- For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins.
- The Lord has set his sway in heaven and his kingdom is ruling over all. Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, mighty in power, fulfilling his word.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 14:26
Alleluia, alleluia! The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 21:15-19
Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. ‘I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go. In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look mercifully, O Lord, we pray, upon the sacrificial gifts of your people, and, that they may become acceptable to you, let the coming of the Holy Spirit cleanse our consciences. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 16: 13
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will teach you all truth, says the Lord, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
O God, by whose mysteries we are cleansed and nourished, grant, we pray, that this banquet which you give us may bring everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord.
As peter stands before Jesus, it is reasonable to presume that he is all too aware of his failure to stand by and with his beloved master during the passion. And Jesus focuses on his capacity to love, not on his failure. He does not admonish him for his betrayals. Because he loves, Peter is reinstated, and given a great responsibility to care for the early Christian community. What about me? Do I focus on my failures and remain unwilling or unable to accept that the Lord loves me as I am? Jesus’ question is asked three times, echoing the three times Peter denied Jesus. It may be hard to forgive, but it is harder to accept forgiveness. The ability to believe we are forgiven is crucial to our spiritual growth. This is the defining difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot.