WEDNESDAY 18th may 2022
St. John I, Pope, Martyr
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 : Cf. Ps 70: 8, 23
Let my mouth be filled with your praise, that I may sing aloud; my lips shall shout for joy, when I sing to you, alleluia.
O God, restorer and lover of innocence, direct the hearts of your servants towards yourself, that those you have set free from the darkness of unbelief may never stray from the light 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 15:1-6
Some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, ‘Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.’ This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and others of the Church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders. All the members of the Church saw them off, and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria they told how the pagans had been converted, and this news was received with the greatest satisfaction by the brothers. When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by the Church and by the apostles and elders, and gave an account of all that God had done with them. But certain members of the Pharisees’ party who had become believers objected, insisting that the pagans should be circumcised and instructed to keep the Law of Moses. The apostles and elders met to look into the matter.
R/ I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’
- I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to God’s house.’ And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem is built as a city strongly compact. It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord.
- For Israel’s law it is, there to praise the Lord’s name. There were set the thrones of judgement of the house of David.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn10:14
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own sheep and my own know me. Alleluia!
Gospel : John 15:1-8
Jesus said: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more. You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire, and they are burnt. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may always find delight in these paschal mysteries, so that the renewal constantly at work within us may be the cause of our unending joy. Through Christ our Lord.
The Lord has risen and shone his light upon us, whom he has redeemed by his Blood, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Hear, O Lord, our prayers, that this most holy exchange, by which you have redeemed us, may bring your help in this present life and ensure for us eternal gladness. Through Christ our Lord.
Christ is the true vine. In Him, and only in Him do we bear fruits and never out of Him. To be away from Christ and expect to bear fruit is to move in a desert and expect to drink water and be alive. It just cannot work. We need to ask God for an opportunity to experience the grace of pruning. It is better to be pruned by God than to be enthroned by the devil. May the Lord prune every branch that does not yield fruit in us.