Friday, April 27, 2012


Faith in the Eucharist

O, my God,
I firmly believe that Thou art really and corporally present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.

I adore Thee here present from the very depths of my heart,
and I worship Thy sacred presence with all possible humility.

O my soul,
what joy to have Jesus Christ always with us,
and to be able to speak to Him, heart to heart, with all confidence.

Grant, O Lord,
that I, having adored Thy divine Majesty here on earth in this wonderful Sacrament,
may be able to adore it eternally in heaven.



Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Acts 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats 
against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,

"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"

He said, "Who are you, sir?"
The reply came, 

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you 
will be told what you must do."

The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, 
and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, 


He answered, "Here I am, Lord."
The Lord said to him, 

"Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.  He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight."

But Ananias replied,
"Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name."

But the Lord said to him,

"Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name."

So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
"Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with 
the Holy Spirit."
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 117:1bc, 2

R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!

R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.

R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

Jn 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,

"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man 
and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have 
life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.


April 27

St. Simeon (d. c. 107)

Simeon, or Simon, appears to have been a cousin of the Lord. His father was thought to be a brother of Joseph and his mother a sister of Mary. He was probably one of those "brethren of the Lord" who were there in the Upper Room on Pentecost. He was chosen to be the second Bishop of Jerusalem when his brother James was martyred.

The Christian community in Jerusalem had been warned of the coming destruction of the city by the Romans. When the uprising began, Simeon led the small community to safety in a town across the Jordan. They returned to the ruins, where they made a number of converts among the Jews. Eventually, the city itself was leveled and Simeon was sought out as a Jew and a Christian. Simeon, about 120 years old, died by crucifixion after being tortured.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.


O thou, the heavens’ eternal King,
Creator, unto thee we sing,
With God the Father ever One,
Coequal, coeternal Son.
Thy hand, when first the world began,
Made in thine own pure image man,
And yoked to fleshly form of earth
A living form of heavenly birth.
And when the envy of the foe
Had marred thy noblest work below,
Clothed in our flesh, thou didst restore
The image thou hadst made before.
Once wast thou born of Mary’s womb;
And now, newborn from out the tomb,
O Christ, thou bid’st us rise with thee
From death to immortality.
Redeemer, thou for us didst deign
To hang upon the Cross of pain,
And give to us the lavish price
Of thine own Blood in sacrifice.
Grant, Lord, in thee each faithful mind
Unceasing Paschal joy may find;
And from the death of sin set free
Souls newly born to life by thee.
To thee, once dead, who now dost live,
All glory, Lord, thy people give,
Whom, with the Father, we adore,
And Holy Spirit forevermore.

Psalm 68 (69)
I am consumed with zeal for your house

I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God. Alleluia.

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I am stuck in bottomless mud;
I am adrift in deep waters
and the flood is sweeping me away.
I am exhausted with crying out, my throat is parched,
my eyes are failing as I look out for my God.
Those who hate me for no reason
are more than the hairs of my head.
They are strong, my persecutors, my lying enemies:
they make me give back things I never took.
God, you know my weakness:
my crimes are not hidden from you.
Let my fate not put to shame those who trust in you,
Lord, Lord of hosts.
Let them not be dismayed on my account,
those who seek you, God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I am taunted
and covered in confusion:
I have become a stranger to my own brothers,
a wanderer in the eyes of my mother’s children –
because zeal for your house is consuming me,
and the taunts of those who hate you
fall upon my head.
I have humbled my soul with fasting
and they reproach me for it.
I have made sackcloth my clothing
and they make me a byword.
The idlers at the gates speak against me;
for drinkers of wine, I am the butt of their songs.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God. Alleluia.

Psalm 68 (69)

For food they gave me poison, 
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

But I turn my prayer to you, Lord,
at the acceptable time, my God.
In your great kindness, hear me,
and rescue me with your faithful help.
Tear me from the mire, before I become stuck;
tear me from those who hate me;
tear me from the depths of the waters.
Do not let the waves overwhelm me;
do not let the deep waters swallow me;
do not let the well’s mouth engulf me.
Hear me, Lord, for you are kind and good.
In your abundant mercy, look upon me.
Do not turn your face from your servant:
I am suffering, so hurry to answer me.
Come to my soul and deliver it,
rescue me from my enemies’ attacks.
You know how I am taunted and ashamed;
how I am thrown into confusion.
You can see all those who are troubling me.
Reproach has shattered my heart – I am sick.
I looked for sympathy, but none came;
I looked for a consoler but did not find one.
They gave me bitterness to eat;
when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

For food they gave me poison, 
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Psalm 68 (69)

Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul. Alleluia.

I am weak and I suffer,
but your help, O God, will sustain me.
I will praise the name of God in song
and proclaim his greatness with praises.
This will please the Lord more than oxen,
than cattle with their horns and hooves.
Let the humble see and rejoice.
Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live,
for the Lord has heard the needy
and has not despised his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that swims in them.
For the Lord will make Zion safe
and build up the cities of Judah:
there they will live, the land will be theirs.
The seed of his servants will inherit the land,
and those who love his name will dwell there.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul. Alleluia.

Christ, at your resurrection, alleluia,
– let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

Apocalypse 10:1-11

Then I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were pillars of fire. In his hand he had a small scroll, unrolled; he put his right foot in the sea and his left foot on the land and he shouted so loud, it was like a lion roaring. At this, seven claps of thunder made themselves heard and when the seven thunderclaps had spoken, I was preparing to write, when I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Keep the words of the seven thunderclaps secret and do not write them down.’ Then the angel that I had seen, standing on the sea and the land, raised his right hand to heaven, and swore by the One who lives for ever and ever, and made heaven and all that is in it, and earth and all it bears, and the sea and all it holds, ‘The time of waiting is over; at the time when the seventh angel is heard sounding his trumpet, God’s secret intention will be fulfilled, just as he announced in the Good News told to his servants the prophets.’

Then I heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go,’ it said ‘and take that open scroll out of the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’ I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.’ So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time about many different nations and countries and languages and emperors.’


When the trumpet sounds,
then God will accomplish his secret plan,
as he announced to his servants,
the prophets: alleluia.

Then will appear in heaven the sign that heralds the 
Son of Man.
All the peoples of the earth will see him coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory,
as he announced to his servants,
the prophets: alleluia.

From a sermon by Saint Ephrem, deacon

The cross of Christ gives life to the human race

Death trampled our Lord underfoot, but he in his turn treated death as a highroad for his own feet. He submitted to it, enduring it willingly, because by this means he would be able to destroy death in spite of itself. Death had its own way when our Lord went out from Jerusalem carrying his cross; but when by a loud cry from that cross he summoned the dead from the underworld, death was powerless to prevent it.

Death slew him by means of the body which he had assumed, but that same body proved to be the weapon with which he conquered death. Concealed beneath the cloak of his manhood, his godhead engaged death in combat; but in slaying our Lord, death itself was slain. It was able to kill natural human life, but was itself killed by the life that is above the nature of man.

Death could not devour our Lord unless he possessed a body, neither could hell swallow him up unless he bore our flesh; and so he came in search of a chariot in which to ride to the underworld. This chariot was the body which he received from the Virgin; in it he invaded death’s fortress, broke open its strong-room and scattered all its treasure.

At length he came upon Eve, the mother of all the living. She was that vineyard whose enclosure her own hands had enabled death to violate, so that she could taste its fruit; thus the mother of all the living became the source of death for every living creature. But in her stead Mary grew up, a new vine in place of the old. Christ, the new life, dwelt within her. When death, with its customary impudence, came foraging for her mortal fruit, it encountered its own destruction in the hidden life that fruit contained. All unsuspecting, it swallowed him up, and in so doing released life itself and 
set free a multitude of men.

He who was also the carpenter’s glorious son set up his cross above death’s all-consuming jaws, and led the human race into the dwelling place of life. Since a tree had brought about the downfall of mankind, it was upon a tree that mankind crossed over to the realm of life. Bitter was the branch that had once been grafted upon that ancient tree, but sweet the young shoot that has now been grafted in, the shoot in which we are meant to recognise the Lord whom no creature can resist.

We give glory to you, Lord, who raised up your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. We give glory to you who put on the body of a single mortal man and made it the source of life for every other mortal man. You are incontestably alive. Your murderers sowed your living body in the earth as farmers sow grain, but it sprang up and yielded an abundant harvest of men raised from the dead.

Come then, my brothers and sisters, let us offer our Lord the great and all-embracing sacrifice of our love, pouring out our treasury of hymns and prayers before him who offered his cross in sacrifice to God for the enrichment of us all.


Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
Now the sting of death is sin,
but let us thank God for giving us victory over sin through our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia.

We have the spirit of faith,
and we believe that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn;
but let us thank God for giving us victory over sin through our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia.

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
we have come to know the grace of our Lord’s resurrection.
Grant that through the love of your Spirit
we may rise to new life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.