THURSDAY 25 MAY
Pope SAINT Gregory VII
He was born in Tuscany. He became a monk, and assisted several Popes in reforming and purifying the Church. He was elected pope in 1073 and took the name of Gregory VII. He fought single-mindedly to free the Church from harmful influences and dependence on the state.
Entrance Antiphon: Heb 4: 16
With boldness let us approach the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace as a timely help, alleluia.
May your Spirit, O Lord, we pray, imbue us powerfully with spiritual gifts, that he may give us a mind pleasing to you and graciously conform us to your will. 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 22:30,23:6-11
Since the tribune wanted to know what precise charge the Jews were bringing, he freed Paul and gave orders for a meeting of the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin; then he brought Paul down and stood him in front of them. Now Paul was well aware that one section was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, so he called out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” As soon as he said this a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was split between the two parties. For the Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, while the Pharisees accept all three. The shouting grew louder, and some of the Scribes from the Pharisees’ party stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?” Feeling was running high, and the tribune, afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered his troops to go down and haul him out and bring him into the fortress. Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, “Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.”
R/ Preserve me, Lord, I take refuge in you.
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God. O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize.’
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart. I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay.
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness for ever.
Gospel Acclamation: cf.Jn16:7,13
Alleluia, alleluia! I will send you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will lead you to the complete truth. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 17:20-26
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: “Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Graciously sanctify these gifts, O Lord, we pray, and, accepting the oblation of this spiritual sacrifice, make of us an eternal offering to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 16: 7
I tell you the truth, it is for your good that I go; for if I do not go away, the Paraclete will not come to you, says the Lord, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, we pray, enlighten us by the instruction they bring and restore us through our participation in them, that we may merit the gifts of the Spirit. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus makes God known through the perfect love he shows to his fragile disciples. The disciples are to be recognized as sent by Jesus by the love they have for one another. There are over 300 references of love in the New Testament. Love is God’s greatest gift to us. Through our love for one another, we reveal God’s love to the world. The pagans said to each other in the early church, “See how these Christians love each other!” May this love impel us to bear witness to Christ even more in our world today.