Thursday, May 24, 2012

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Virgin Most Sorrowful

Virgin most sorrowful, 
pray for us.


DAILY MASS READINGS

Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the 
whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were 
Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
"My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead."
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
"We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, 

"Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness 
to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome."


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 16:1-2a And 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Gospel
Jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:

"I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the 
foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and 
I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."

SAINT OF THE DAY

May 24

St. David I of Scotland (~1080 - 1153)

David, the youngest son of Scotland’s virtuous queen, (Saint) Margaret, succeeded his brother to the Scottish throne in 1124.

David’s friend, (Saint) Aelred, abbot of the English monastery of Rievaulx, was later to recount David’s religious devotion and his generosity to the poor. From his riches he also endowed the founding of several dioceses and many monasteries. David was to express profound remorse for an ill-conceived and ill-fated invasion of England he had ordered on behalf of his niece. He also suffered the sorrow of the premature death of his only son.

On Friday, May 22, 1153, as David was nearing death, he received the anointing of the sick and Viaticum, after which he devoted himself to reciting the Psalms with those at his bedside. The next day, the king told those urging him to take a rest from his devotions, “Let me rather think about the things of God, so that my spirit may set out strengthened on its journey from exile to home. When I stand before God’s tremendous judgment seat, you will not be able to answer for me or defend me.” He thus continued with his prayers. David died at dawn on Sunday, May 24.

OFFICE OF READINGS

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who has promised us the Holy Spirit, alleluia.

– Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who has promised us the Holy Spirit, alleluia.

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

– Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who has promised us the Holy Spirit, alleluia.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

– Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who has promised us the Holy Spirit, alleluia.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

– Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who has promised us the Holy Spirit, 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.
Amen.

– Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who has promised us the Holy Spirit, alleluia.


Hymn

Eternal Monarch, King most high,
Whose blood hath brought redemption nigh,
By whom the death of death was wrought,
And conquering grace’s battle fought:
Be thou our joy, O mighty Lord,
As thou will be our great reward;
Earth’s joys to thee are nothing worth,
Thou joy and crown of heaven and earth.
To thee we therefore humbly pray
That thou wouldst purge our sins away,
And draw our hearts by cords of grace
To thy celestial dwelling place.
So when the judgement day shall come,
And all must rise to meet their doom,
Thou wilt remit the debts we owe,
And our lost crowns again bestow.
All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
Ascending o’er the stars today;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete.


Psalm 88 (89)
A lament at the ruin of the house of David

Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.

But you have spurned and rejected him;
you are enraged against your anointed.
You have repudiated the covenant of your servant,
you have trampled his crown in the dust.
You have demolished his walls
and laid his fortifications in ruins.
Anyone who passes can despoil him;
he is a mockery among his neighbours.
You have strengthened the arm of those who oppress him,
you have gladdened the hearts of his enemies.
You have turned back the sharp edge of his sword;
you have deprived him of your help in battle.
You have put an end to his splendour,
and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;
you have covered him from head to foot in shame.

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.
Amen.

Pay heed, Lord, and see how we are taunted.


Psalm 88 (89)

I am the root and stock of David; 
I am the splendid morning star. Alleluia.

How long, O Lord, will you hide yourself? For ever?
Will your anger always burn like fire?
Remember how short is my time.
Was it truly so pointless, your creation of man?
Who is the man who can live and not die,
who can save his life from the grasp of the underworld?
Where are the kindnesses you showed us of old?
Where is the truth of your oath to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servants are taunted,
the taunts I bear in my bosom, the taunts of the nations –
the insults of your enemies, Lord,
the insults that follow the steps of your anointed!

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.
Amen.

I am the root and stock of David; 
I am the splendid morning star. Alleluia.


Psalm 89 (90)
Let the Lord's glory shine upon us

Our years pass like grass; but you, God, 
are without beginning or end. Alleluia.

Lord, you have been our refuge
from generation to generation.
Before the mountains were born,
before earth and heaven were conceived,
from all time to all time, you are God.
You turn men into dust,
you say to them “go back, children of men.”
A thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday, that has passed;
like a short watch in the night.
When you take them away, they will be nothing but a dream;
like the grass that sprouts in the morning:
in the morning it grows and flowers,
in the evening it withers and dries.
For we are made weak by your anger,
thrown into confusion by your wrath.
You have gazed upon our transgressions;
the light of your face illuminates our secrets.
All our days vanish in your anger,
we use up our years in a single breath.
Seventy years are what we have,
or eighty for the stronger ones;
and most of that is labour and sadness –
quickly they pass, and we are gone.
Who can comprehend the power of your wrath?
Who can behold the violence of your anger?
Teach us to reckon our days like this,
so that our hearts may be led at last to wisdom.
Turn to us, Lord, how long must we wait?
Let your servants call on you and be answered.
Fill us with your kindness in the morning,
and we shall rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Give us joy for as long as you afflicted us,
for all the years when we suffered.
Let your servants see your great works,
and let their children see your glory.
Let the glory of the Lord God be upon us:
make firm the work of your hands.
Make firm the work of your hands.

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.
Amen.

Our years pass like grass; but you, God, 
are without beginning or end. Alleluia.


God raised the Lord, alleluia,
– and will raise us too by his power, alleluia.


Reading
1 John 5:13-21

I have written all this to you
so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God
may be sure that you have eternal life.
We are quite confident that if we ask him for anything,
and it is in accordance with his will,
he will hear us;
and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us,
we know that we have already been granted 
what we asked of him.
If anybody sees his brother commit a sin
that is not a deadly sin,
he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner
– not those who commit a deadly sin;
for there is a sin that is death,
and I will not say that you must pray about that.
Every kind of wrong-doing is sin,
but not all sin is deadly.
We know that anyone who has been begotten by God
does not sin,
because the begotten Son of God protects him,
and the Evil One does not touch him.
We know that we belong to God,
but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
We know, too, that the Son of God has come,
and has given us the power
to know the true God.
We are in the true God,
as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the true God,
this is eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against false gods.


Responsory

We know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us the power to know the true God, alleluia.

No-one has ever seen God: it is God’s only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known, and he has given us the power to know the true God, alleluia.


Reading
From a commentary on the gospel of John 
by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop

If I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you

After Christ had completed his mission on earth, it still remained necessary for us to become sharers in the divine nature of the Word. We had to give up our own life and be so transformed that we would begin to live an entirely new kind of life that would be pleasing to God. This was something we could do only by sharing in the Holy Spirit.

It was most fitting that the sending of the Spirit and his descent upon us should take place after the departure of Christ our Saviour. As long as Christ was with them in the flesh, it must have seemed to believers that they possessed every blessing in him; but when the time came for him to ascend to his heavenly Father, it was necessary for him to be united through his Spirit to those who worshipped him, and to dwell in our hearts through faith. Only by his own presence within us in this way could he give us confidence to cry out, Abba, Father, make it easy for us to grow in holiness and, through our possession of the all-powerful Spirit, fortify us invincibly against the wiles of the devil and the assaults of men.

It can easily be shown from examples both in the Old Testament and the New that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell; he so transforms them that they begin to live a completely new kind of life. Saul was told by the prophet Samuel: The Spirit of the Lord will take possession of you, and you shall be changed into another man. Saint Paul writes: As we behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, that glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit, transforms us all into his own likeness, from one degree of glory to another.

Does this not show that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their lives? With the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely other-worldly in outlook, and for cowards to become men of great courage. There can be no doubt that this is what happened to the disciples. The strength they received from the Spirit enabled them to hold firmly to the love of Christ, facing the violence of their persecutors unafraid. Very true, then, was our Saviour’s saying that it was to their advantage for him to return to heaven: his return was the time appointed for the descent of the Holy Spirit.


Responsory

If I do not go, your Advocate will not come, whereas if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will guide you into all the truth, alleluia.

He will not speak on his own authority, but will tell only what he hears, and he will make known to you things that are to come. When he comes, he will guide you into all the truth, alleluia.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
let your Spirit come upon us in power
and fill us with his gifts,
to render our minds pleasing to you
and make us docile to your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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