MONDAY 22 MAY
SAINT Rita of Cascia
She was born in Italy. She was married at the age of 12 but became a nun at the death of her husband. She is widely honoured as a patron saint of impossible or lost causes.
Entrance Antiphon: Acts 1: 8
You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you will be my witnesses, even to the ends of the earth, alleluia.
May the power of the Holy Spirit come to us, we pray, O Lord, that we may keep your will faithfully in mind and express it in a devout way of life. 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 19:1-8
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul made his way overland as far as Ephesus, where he found a number of disciples. When he asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” they answered, “No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit.” “Then how were you baptised?” he asked. “With John’s baptism” they replied. “John’s baptism”, said Paul, “was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him – in other words, Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of these men. He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out boldly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months.
R/ Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God.
Let God arise, let his foes be scattered. Let those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is blown away so will they be blown away; like wax that melts before the fire, so the wicked shall perish at the presence of God.
But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God, they shall exult and dance for joy. O sing to the Lord, make music to his name; rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence.
Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, such is God in his holy place. God gives the lonely a home to live in; he leads the prisoners forth into freedom.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn16:28
Alleluia, alleluia! I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I leave the world to go to the Father. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 16:29-33
His disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors! Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them: “Do you believe at last? Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already – when you will be scattered, each going his own way and leaving me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.”
Prayer over the Offerings
May this unblemished sacrifice purify us, O Lord, and impart to our minds the force of grace from on high. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 14: 18; 16: 22
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord; I will come to you again, and your heart will rejoice, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Graciously be present to your people, we pray, O Lord, and lead those you have imbued with heavenly mysteries to pass from former ways to newness of life. Through Christ our Lord.
We certainly can’t blame Jesus for urging us to follow him. Elsewhere he talks about carrying our cross daily and following him, here he talks about the persecution his followers will face. I shouldn’t be surprised if living the Gospel involves difficulties. I have to pray for those who face severe persecution and even the danger of losing their lives for the sake of the truth and the Gospel. Yet Jesus also makes an equally strong statement: Take courage: I have overcome the world. He does not say, I will overcome the world, but I have already overcome it! And he invites me to share the fruits of this victory.