FRIDAY 26 MAY
SAINT Philippe Néri
He was born in Florence in 1515. At the age of eighteen he went to Rome, and earned his living as a tutor. He undertook much-needed charitable work among the young men of the city, and started a brotherhood to help the sick poor and pilgrims.
Entrance Antiphon: Rom 5: 5; cf. 8,
The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit of God dwelling within us, alleluia.
O God, who never cease to bestow the glory of holiness on the faithful servants you raise up for yourself, graciously grant that the Holy Spirit may kindle in us that fire with which he wonderfully filled the heart of Saint Philip Neri. 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 25:13-21
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul’s case before the king. “There is a man here”, he said “whom Felix left behind in custody, and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation. But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge. So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in. When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected; but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive. Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue. But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the august emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.”
Psalm 102:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
R/ The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him. As far as the East is from the West, so far does he remove our sins.
The Lord has set his sway in heaven and his kingdom is ruling over all. Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, mighty in power, fulfilling his word.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 14: 26
Alleluia, alleluia! The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 21:15-19
After Jesus had shown himself to his disciples and eaten with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” He answered, “Yes Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” Then he said to him a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.” In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, “Follow me.”
Prayer over the Offerings
As we offer you the sacrifice of praise, O Lord, we ask that by the example of Saint Philip we may always give ourselves cheerfully for the glory of your name and the service of our neighbour. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 15: 9
As the Father loves me, so I also love you; remain in my love, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray, O Lord, that in imitation of Saint Philip we may always long for that food by which we truly live. Through Christ our Lord.
Do you love me? Peter was asked this question, and we, like him, are being asked the same. Do I see the goodness that Jesus sees in me? As Peter stands before Jesus, it is reasonable to assume that he is all too aware of his failure to stand with and for his beloved master during the Passion. And Jesus focuses on his ability to love, not his failure. He does not rebuke him for his betrayals. Because he loves, Peter is reinstated and given a great responsibility to care for the early Christian community. Is this a problem for me, focusing on my failures and being unable to accept that the Lord loves me as I am? Pray and ask God to show you how much he loves you, and that you may be able to understand the signs he gives you.