Thursday, May 26, 2016


Rom 5: 5; cf. 8, 11

The love of God has been poured into our hearts
through the Spirit of God dwelling within us (E.T. 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, forever and ever.


Memorial of Saint Philip Neri

1 PT 2:2-5, 9-12


Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk
so that through it you may grow into salvation,
for you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Once you were no people
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy
but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners
to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul.
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles,
so that if they speak of you as evildoers,
they may observe your good works
and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 100:2, 3, 4, 5

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him;
bless his name.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

JN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

MK 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”

Jesus stopped and said,

“Call him.”

So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.

Jesus said to him in reply,

“What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man replied to him,
“Master, I want to see.”

Jesus told him,

“Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

May 26

Saint Philip Neri (1515 - 1595)

Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the time he was a boy. In fact one incident almost cost him his life. Seeing a donkey loaded with fruit for market, the little boy had barely formed the thought of jumping on the donkey's back before he had done it. 
The donkey, surprised, lost his footing, and donkey, fruit, and boy tumbled into the cellar with the boy winding up on the bottom! Miraculously he was unhurt.

His father was not successful financially and at eighteen Philip was sent to work with an older cousin who was a successful businessman. During this time, Philip found a favorite place to pray up in the fissure of a mountain that had been turned into a chapel. We don't know anything specific about his conversion but during these hours of prayer he decided to leave worldly success behind and dedicate his life to God.

After thanking his cousin, he went to Rome in 1533 where he was the live-in tutor of the sons of a fellow Florentine. He studied philosophy and theology until he thought his studies were interfering with his prayer life. He then stopped his studies, threw away his books, and lived as a kind of hermit.

Night was his special time of prayer. After dark he would go out in the streets, sometimes to churches, but most often into the catacombs of St. Sebastiano to pray. During one of these times of prayer he felt a globe of light enter his mouth and sink into his heart. This experience gave him so much energy to serve God that he went out to work at the hospital of the incurables and starting speaking to others about God, everyone from beggars to bankers.

In 1548 Philip formed a confraternity with other laymen to minister to pilgrims who came to Rome without food or shelter. The spiritual director of the confraternity convinced Philip that he could do even more work as a priest. After receiving instruction from this priest, Philip was ordained in 1551.

At his new home, the church of San Girolamo, he learned to love to hear confessions. Young men especially found in him the wisdom and direction they needed to grow spiritually. But Philip began to realize that these young men needed something more than absolution; they needed guidance during their daily lives. So Philip began to ask the young men to come by in the early afternoon when they would discuss spiritual readings and then stay for prayer in the evening. The numbers of the men who attended these meetings grew rapidly. In order to handle the growth, Philip and a fellow priest Buonsignore Cacciaguerra gave a more formal structure to the meetings and built a room called the Oratory to hold them in.

Philip understood that it wasn't enough to tell young people not to do something -- you had to give them something to do in its place. So at Carnival time, when the worst excesses were encouraged, Philip organized a pilgrimage to the Seven Churches with a picnic accompanied by instrumental music for the mid-day break. After walking twelve miles in one day everyone was too tired to be tempted!

In order to guide his followers, Philip made himself available to everyone at any hour -- even at night. He said some of the most devout people were those who had come to him at night. When others complained, Philip answered, "They can chop wood on my back so long as they do not sin."

Not everyone was happy about this growing group and Philip and Buonsignore were attacked by the priests they lived with. But eventually Philip and his companions were vindicated and went on with their work.

In 1555, the Pope's Vicar accused Philip of "introducing novelties" and ordered him to stop the meetings of the Oratory. Philip was brokenhearted but obeyed immediately. The Pope only let him start up the Oratory again after the sudden death of his accuser. Despite all the trouble this man had caused, Philip would not let anyone say anything against the man or even imply that his sudden death was a judgment from God.

One church, for Florentines in Rome, had practically forced him to bring the Oratory to their church. But when gossip and accusations started, they began to harass the very people they had begged to have nearby! At that point, Philip decided it would be best for the group to have their own church. They became officially known as the Congregation of the Oratory, made up of secular priests and clerics.

Philip was known to be spontaneous and unpredictable, charming and humorous.

He seemed to sense the different ways to bring people to God. One man came to the Oratory just to make fun of it. Philip wouldn't let the others throw him out or speak against him. He told them to be patient and eventually the man became a Dominican. On the other hand, when he met a condemned man who refused to listen to any pleas for repentance, Philip didn't try gentle words, but grabbed the man by the collar and threw him to the ground. The move shocked the criminal into repentance and he made a full confession.

Humility was the most important virtue he tried to teach others and to learn himself. Some of his lessons in humility seem cruel, but they were tinged with humor like practical jokes and were related with gratitude by the people they helped. His lessons always seem to be tailored directly to what the person needed. One member who was later to become a cardinal was too serious and so Philip had him sing the Misere at a wedding breakfast. When one priest gave a beautiful sermon, Philip ordered him to give the same sermon six times in a row so people would think he only had one sermon.

Philip preferred spiritual mortification to physical mortification. When one man asked Philip if he could wear a hair shirt, Philip gave him permission -- if he wore the hair shirt outside his clothes! The man obeyed and found humility in the jokes and name-calling he received.

There were unexpected benefits to his lessons in humility. Another member, Baronius, wanted to speak at the meetings about hellfire and eternal punishment. Philip commanded him instead to speak of church history. For 27 years Baronius spoke to the Oratory about church history. At the end of that time he published his talks as a widely respected and universally praised books on ecclesiastical history!

Philip did not escape this spiritual mortification himself. As with others, his own humbling held humor. There are stories of him wearing ridiculous clothes or walking around with half his beard shaved off. The greater his reputation for holiness the sillier he wanted to seem. When some people came from Poland to see the great saint, they found him listening to another priest read to him from joke books.

Philip was very serious about prayer, spending hours in prayer. He was so easily carried away that he refused to preach in public and could not celebrate Mass with others around. But he when asked how to pray his answer was, "Be humble and obedient and the Holy Spirit will teach you."

Philip died in 1595 after a long illness at the age of eighty years.

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Christ is the bread of life: 

come, let us adore him.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

Christ is the bread of life: 

come, let us adore him.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

Christ is the bread of life: 

come, let us adore him.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

Christ is the bread of life: 

come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ is the bread of life: 

come, let us adore him.


Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, faith and nothing more.
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? That shall be believed.
What God’s Son hath told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly, or there’s nothing true.
On the Cross thy Godhead made no sign to men.;
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken;
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

Psalm 22 (23)
The good shepherd

Say to those who are invited:
‘Behold, the supper is ready,
come to the marriage feast.’

The Lord is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.
He has taken me to green pastures,
he has led me to still waters;
he has healed my spirit.
He has led me along right paths
for his own name’s sake.
Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil, for you are with me:
your rod and your staff give me comfort.
You have set a table before me
in the sight of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup overflows.
Truly goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life.
For long years I shall live
in the house of the Lord.

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.

Say to those who are invited:
‘Behold, the supper is ready,
come to the marriage feast.’

Psalm 41 (42)
Longing for the Lord and his temple

If anyone is thirsty,
let him come to me and drink from an inexhaustible spring.

Like a deer that longs for springs of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God:
when shall I come and stand before the face of God?
My tears are my food, by day and by night,
and everyone asks, “where is your God?”.
I remember how I went up to your glorious dwelling-place
and into the house of God:
the memory melts my soul.
The sound of joy and thanksgiving,
the crowds at the festival.
Why are you so sad, my soul,
and anxious within me?
Put your hope in the Lord, I will praise him still,
my saviour and my God.
My soul is sad within me,
and so I will remember you
in the lands of Jordan and Hermon,
on the mountain of Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in your rushing waters:
and all your torrents, all your waves
have flowed over me.
By day the Lord sends his kindness upon me;
by night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God:
“You are my support, why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go in mourning, while the enemy persecutes me?.”
As my bones break,
my persecutors deride me,
all the time saying “where is your God?.”
Why are you so sad, my soul,
and anxious within me?
Put your hope in the Lord, I will praise him still,
my savior and my God.

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.

If anyone is thirsty,
let him come to me and drink from an inexhaustible spring.

Psalm 80 (81)
Solemn renewal of the covenant

The Lord fed us with finest wheat;
he filled us with honey from the rock.

Shout with joy to God our helper,
rejoice in the God of Jacob.
Take up the song, sound the timbrel,
play on the lyre and the harp.
At the start of the month, sound the trumpet,
at the full moon, at our festival.
For this is the law for Israel,
the decree of the God of Jacob.
He gave it to Joseph, for a witness,
when he went out of the land of Egypt;
with words that had never been heard:
“I freed his back from burdens;
his hands were freed from heavy loads.
In your tribulation you called on me and I freed you,
I heard you from the heart of the storm,
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Listen, my people, and I will put my case –
Israel, if you would only hear me!
You shall not have any strange god,
you shall not worship the gods of foreigners.
For I am the Lord, your God,
who led you out of the land of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I shall fill it.
But my people did not hear my voice:
Israel did not turn to me.
So I let them go on in the hardness of their hearts,
and follow their own counsels.
If my people had heard me,
if only they had walked in my ways –
I would swiftly have crushed their enemies,
stretched my hand over those who persecuted them.
The enemies of the Lord would be overcome with weakness,
Israel’s would be the good fortune, for ever:
I would feed them full of richest wheat
and give them honey from the rock,
to their heart’s content.

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 fed us with finest wheat;
he filled us with honey from the rock.

Wisdom has built herself a house, alleluia.
– She has prepared the wine and laid the table, alleluia.

First Reading
Exodus 24:1-11

To Moses he had said, ‘Come up to the Lord, yourself and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel and bow down in worship at a distance. Moses alone must approach the Lord; 
the others must not, nor must the people go up with him.’

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said 
‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’

Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel. They saw the God of Israel beneath whose feet there was, it seemed, a sapphire pavement pure as the heavens themselves. 
He laid no hand on these notables of the sons of Israel: they gazed on God. 
They ate and they drank.


℟. I am the bread of life.
Your forefathers ate manna in the desert, and they died.
* I am speaking of the bread that comes down from heaven,
which a man may eat, and never die.

℣. I am that living bread which has come down from heaven:
if anyone eats this bread, he shall live forever.
* I am speaking of the bread that comes down from heaven,
which a man may eat, and never die.

Second Reading
St Thomas Aquinas

O precious and wonderful banquet!

Since it was the will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in his divinity, he assumed our nature in order that by becoming man he might make men gods. Moreover, when he took our flesh he dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation. He offered his body to God the Father on the altar of the cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation. He shed his blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our wretched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin. But to ensure that the memory of so great a gift would abide with us for ever, he left his body as food and his blood as drink for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine.

O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness! Could anything be of more intrinsic value? Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here Christ himself, the true God, is set before us as our food. What could be more wonderful than this? No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift. It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was instituted for the salvation of all may be for the benefit of all. Yet, in the end, no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament, in which spiritual delight is tasted at its very source, and in which we renew the memory of that surpassing love for us which Christ revealed in his passion.

It was to impress the vastness of this love more firmly upon the hearts of the faithful that our Lord instituted this sacrament at the Last Supper. As he was on the point of leaving the world to go to the Father, after celebrating the Passover with his disciples, he left it as a perpetual memorial of his passion. It was the fulfilment of ancient figures and the greatest of all his miracles, while for those who were to experience the sorrow of his departure, it was destined to be a unique and abiding consolation.


℟. See in this bread the body of Christ which hung upon the cross,
and in this cup the blood which flowed from his side.
* Take his body, then, and eat it;
take his blood and drink it,
and you will become his members.

℣. The body of Christ is the bond which unites you to him:
eat it, or you will have no part in him.
The blood is the price he paid for your redemption:
drink it, lest you despair of your sinfulness.
* Take his body, then, and eat it;
take his blood and drink it,
and you will become his members.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and forever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you gave your Church an admirable sacrament
as the abiding memorial of your passion.
Teach us so to worship the sacred mystery of your Body and Blood
that its redeeming power may sanctify us always.
You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.

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