SAINT Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was a Capuchin friar who for more than fifty years bore the stigmata or the bleeding wounds of Jesus. He died a few days after the fiftieth anniversary of his receiving the stigmata, and over 100,000 people attended his funeral.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 131: 9
Your priests, O Lord, shall be clothed with justice; your holy ones shall ring out their joy.
Almighty ever-living God, who, by a singular grace, gave the Priest Saint Pius a share in the Cross of your Son and, by means of his ministry, renewed the wonders of your mercy, grant that through his intercession we may be united constantly to the sufferings of Christ, and so brought happily to the glory of the resurrection. 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: 1 Timothy 6:13-16
Before God the source of all life and before Christ, who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate, I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who at the due time will be revealed by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who alone is immortal, whose home is in inaccessible light, whom no man has seen and no man is able to see: to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.
Psalm 99 (100)
R/ Come before the Lord, singing for joy.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy.
Know that he, the Lord, is God. He made us, we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Go within his gates, giving thanks. Enter his courts with songs of praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.
Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:18
Alleluia, alleluia! Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may consider the wonders of your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 8:4-15
With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.” Saying this he cried, “Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!” His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, “The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that they may see but not perceive, listen but not understand. This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we pray, the offerings placed on your altar in commemoration of blessed N., so that, as you brought him glory, you may, through these sacred mysteries, grant to us your pardon. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 24: 46-47
Blessed is the servant whom the Lord finds watching when he comes. Amen I say to you: He will put that servant in charge of all his property.
Prayer after Communion
May partaking at the heavenly table, almighty God, confirm and increase strength from on high in all who celebrate the feast day of blessed N., that we may preserve in integrity the gift of faith and walk in the path of salvation you trace for us. Through Christ our Lord.
This parable surprisingly might be challenging us too. Perhaps this is how we should think of the pathway – the rocky soil and the thorn strewn patches are different areas of each of our hearts, rather than different categories of persons. Let us ask the Lord to extend the positive areas of good and productive soil in our lives, something that only he can do. In this way we will be able to “hold fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance”. The explanation of the parable, emphasizing how the proclamation was received, fits the parable itself perfectly; many did not receive the word of Christ, others did not persevere etc. But the word itself is powerful such that it produce and continues to produce a hundredfold in many people.