THURSday 04 MAY
The English Martyrs
On 4 May 1535, at Tyburn in London, there died three Carthusian monks, the first of many martyrs of the English Reformation. They are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in their faith and courage in the face of persecution.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 67: 8-9, 20
O God, when you went forth before your people, marching with them and living among them, the earth trembled, heavens poured down rain, alleluia.
O God, who restore human nature to yet greater dignity than at its beginnings, look upon the amazing mystery of your loving kindness, and in those you have chosen to make new through the wonder of rebirth, may you preserve the gifts of your enduring grace and blessing. 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 13:13-25
Paul and his friends went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and took their seats. After the lessons from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message: ‘Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.’ Paul stood up, held up a hand for silence and began to speak: ‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out, and for about forty years took care of them in the wilderness. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”
Psalm 88:2-3, 21, 22, 25, 27
R/ I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord; through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth. Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever, that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
I have found David my servant and with my holy oil anointed him. My hand shall always be with him and my arm shall make him strong.
My truth and my love shall be with him; by my name his might shall be exalted. He will say to me: ‘You are my father, my God, the rock who saves me.’
Gospel Acclamation: cf.Rv1:5
Alleluia, alleluia! You, O Christ, are the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, you have loved us and have washed away our sins with your blood. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 13:16-20
After he had washed the feet of his disciples, Jesus said to them: “I tell you most solemnly, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the man who sent him. Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly. I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what Scripture says must be fulfilled: Someone who shares my table rebels against me. I tell you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe that I am He. I tell you most solemnly, whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May our prayers rise up to you, O Lord, together with the sacrificial offerings, so that, purified by your graciousness, we may be conformed to the mysteries of your mighty love. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 28: 20
Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Almighty ever-living God, who restore us to eternal life in the Resurrection of Christ, increase in us, we pray, the fruits of this paschal Sacrament and pour into our hearts the strength of this saving food. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd has told us more than once that He and His Father are ONE. Today He brings a new dimension to that oneness: He tells me that He and I are ONE; He and you are ONE (Whoever receives the one He sends, receives him). Do I believe that I have such a close union with Jesus? Does it change how I feel? In the Gospels, Jesus frequently speaks of his union with us. He tells us that what we do to one of the least of these, such as the marginalized, to the beggar sitting by the side of the road, we do it to Him (Mt 25:40). How do I look at these people? Do I judge them? Do I feel better than them? Do I realize that Jesus identifies himself with these people? Does this change my attitude towards them? Let us pray for the Light of the Most High.