FRIday 21 APRIL
After some years as abbot, he succeeded his master Lanfranc as archbishop of Canterbury. He died at Canterbury on 21 April 1109. He is remembered for his theological learning and writings.
Entrance Antiphon: Rv 5: 9-10
You have redeemed us, Lord, by your Blood, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us into a kingdom, priests for our God, alleluia.
O God, hope and light of the sincere, we humbly entreat you to dispose our hearts to offer you worthy prayer and ever to extol you by dutiful proclamation of your praise. 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 5:34-42
One member of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, who was a doctor of the Law and respected by the whole people, stood up and asked to have the apostles taken outside for a time. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin, “Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people. There was Theudas who became notorious not so long ago. He claimed to be someone important, and he even collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed, all his followers scattered and that was the end of them. And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too, and all his followers dispersed. What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.” His advice was accepted; and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name. They preached every day both in the Temple and in private houses, and their proclamation of the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted.
Psalm 26:1, 4, 13-14
R/ There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.
The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple.
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Hope in him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!
Alleluia, alleluia! We know that Christ is truly risen from the dead: have mercy on us, triumphant King. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 6:1-15
Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover. Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, “Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?” He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?” Jesus said to them, “Make the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were sitting ready; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as was wanted. When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, “Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.” So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. The people, seeing this sign that he had given, said, “This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, escaped back to the hills by himself.
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept in compassion, Lord, we pray, the offerings of your family, that under your protective care they may never lose what they have received, but attain the gifts that are eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Rm 4: 25
Christ our Lord was handed over for our transgressions and was raised again for our justification, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Keep safe, O Lord, we pray, those whom you have saved by your kindness, that, redeemed by the Passion of your Son, they may rejoice in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
The sign of the multiplication of the loaves reveals the lordship and divinity of Jesus. Just as in the desert of Sinai God feeds his people with manna, Jesus also has pity on the crowd and fills their hunger. He has the very look of God. He is God born of God (Creed). With five loaves and two fishes, he set the table for five thousand people. Later on, Holy Thursday, at the Last Supper, it is no longer bread but his body and blood offered as food and drink for the salvation of all. The miracle of the Eucharist thus becomes the ever-present gift for life to which all men are called to commune. As we read the Gospel, how can we not think of all the hungry of our time: those who are hungry for bread and those who are hungry for God. Perhaps, like Jesus and with him, we must learn each day to set the table for the other, our neighbour.