Saint Paul VI, Pope

John 21:15-19

Feed my lambs, feed my sheep

Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten 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.’


Acts 25:13-21

‘I ordered Paul to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar’

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(103):1-2,11-12,19-20

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.

The Lord has set his sway in heaven.

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.

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.

The Lord has set his sway in heaven.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

In the person of Christ the Head . . .

1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:

It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).

Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.

1550 This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church.

1551 This priesthood is ministerial. “That office . . . which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is in the strict sense of the term a service.” It is entirely related to Christ and to men. It depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood; it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church. The sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a “sacred power” which is none other than that of Christ. The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and the servant of all. “The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him.”


Pope Paul VI (Latin: Paulus VI; Italian: Paolo VI; born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanːi baˈtːista enˈriːko anˈtɔːnjo maˈriːa monˈtiːni]); 26 September 1897 – 6 August 1978) was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See’s Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Upon his election to the papacy, Montini took the name Paul VI. He re-convened the Second Vatican Council, which had automatically closed with the death of John XXIII. After the Council had concluded its work, Paul VI took charge of the interpretation and implementation of its mandates, often walking a thin line between the conflicting expectations of various groups within Catholicism. The magnitude and depth of the reforms affecting all fields of Church life during his pontificate exceeded similar reform programmes of his predecessors and successors. Paul VI spoke repeatedly to Marian conventions and mariological meetings, visited Marian shrines and issued three Marian encyclicals. Following Ambrose of Milan, he named Mary as the Mother of the Church during the Second Vatican Council. Paul VI described himself as a humble servant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes from the rich in North America and Europe in favour of the poor in the Third World. His positions on birth control, promulgated famously in the 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae, were often contested, especially in Western Europe and North America. The same opposition emerged in reaction to the political aspects of some of his teaching.

Following the standard procedures that lead to sainthood, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the late pontiff had lived a life of heroic virtue and conferred the title of Venerable upon him on 20 December 2012. Pope Francis beatified him on 19 October 2014 after the recognition of a miracle attributed to his intercession. His liturgical feast was celebrated on the date of his birth on 26 September until 2019 when it was changed to the date of his sacerdotal ordination on 29 May. Pope Francis canonised Paul VI on 14 October 2018.

Source: Wikipedia

Friday of the 6th week of Eastertide

John 16:20-23

Your hearts will be full of joy that no-one will take from you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

you will be weeping and wailing

while the world will rejoice;

you will be sorrowful,

but your sorrow will turn to joy.

A woman in childbirth suffers,

because her time has come;

but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering

in her joy that a man has been born into the world.

So it is with you: you are sad now,

but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,

and that joy no one shall take from you.

When that day comes,

you will not ask me any questions.


Acts 18:9-18

‘I have many people on my side in this city’

At Corinth one night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid to speak out, nor allow yourself to be silenced: I am with you. I have so many people on my side in this city that no one will even attempt to hurt you.’ So Paul stayed there preaching the word of God among them for eighteen months.

But, while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a concerted attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal. ‘We accuse this man’ they said ‘of persuading people to worship God in a way that breaks the Law.’ Before Paul could open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, ‘Listen, you Jews. If this were a misdemeanour or a crime, I would not hesitate to attend to you; but if it is only quibbles about words and names, and about your own Law, then you must deal with it yourselves – I have no intention of making legal decisions about things like that.’ Then he sent them out of the court, and at once they all turned on Sosthenes, the synagogue president, and beat him in front of the court house. Gallio refused to take any notice at all.

After staying on for some time, Paul took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut off, because of a vow he had made.


Psalm 46(47):2-7

God is king of all the earth.

All peoples, clap your hands,

cry to God with shouts of joy!

For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear,

great king over all the earth.

God is king of all the earth.

He subdues peoples under us

and nations under our feet.

Our inheritance, our glory, is from him,

given to Jacob out of love.

God is king of all the earth.

God goes up with shouts of joy;

the Lord goes up with trumpet blast.

Sing praise for God, sing praise,

sing praise to our king, sing praise.

God is king of all the earth.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

God upholds and sustains creation.

301 With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:

For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.

Friday of the 5th week of Eastertide

John 15:12-17

What I command you is to love one another

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘This is my commandment:

love one another,

as I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love

than to lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends,

if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants any more,

because a servant does not know

his master’s business;

I call you friends,

because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

You did not choose me:

no, I chose you;

and I commissioned you

to go out and to bear fruit,

fruit that will last;

and then the Father will give you

anything you ask him in my name.

What I command you is to love one another.’


Acts 15:22-31

It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by us not to burden you beyond these essentials

The apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:

‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’

The party left and went down to Antioch, where they summoned the whole community and delivered the letter. The community read it and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.


Psalm 56(57):8-12

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples.

My heart is ready, O God,

my heart is ready.

I will sing, I will sing your praise.

Awake, my soul,

awake, lyre and harp,

I will awake the dawn.

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples.

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples,

among the nations I will praise you

for your love reaches to the heavens

and your truth to the skies.

O God, arise above the heavens;

may your glory shine on earth!

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Perservering In Love

2742 “Pray constantly . . . always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” St. Paul adds, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints.” For “we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing.” This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love. This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving facts of faith about prayer.

2743 It is always possible to pray: The time of the Christian is that of the risen Christ who is with us always, no matter what tempests may arise. Our time is in the hands of God:

It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop, . . . while buying or selling, . . . or even while cooking.

2744 Prayer is a vital necessity. Proof from the contrary is no less convincing: if we do not allow the Spirit to lead us, we fall back into the slavery of sin. How can the Holy Spirit be our life if our heart is far from him?

Nothing is equal to prayer; for what is impossible it makes possible, what is difficult, easy. . . . For it is impossible, utterly impossible, for the man who prays eagerly and invokes God ceaselessly ever to sin.

Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned.

2745 Prayer and Christian life are inseparable, for they concern the same love and the same renunciation, proceeding from love; the same filial and loving conformity with the Father’s plan of love; the same transforming union in the Holy Spirit who conforms us more and more to Christ Jesus; the same love for all men, the love with which Jesus has loved us. “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he [will] give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.”

He “prays without ceasing” who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying without ceasing.

Friday of the 4th week of Eastertide

John 14:1-6

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God still, and trust in me.

There are many rooms in my Father’s house;

if there were not, I should have told you.

I am going now to prepare a place for you,

and after I have gone and prepared you a place,

I shall return to take you with me;

so that where I am

you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.’


Acts 13:26-33

God has fulfilled his promise by raising Jesus from the dead

Paul stood up in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:

‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you. What the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did, though they did not realise it, was in fact to fulfil the prophecies read on every sabbath. Though they found nothing to justify his death, they condemned him and asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree and buried him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem: and it is these same companions of his who are now his witnesses before our people.

‘We have come here to tell you the Good News. It was to our ancestors that God made the promise but it is to us, their children, that he has fulfilled it, by raising Jesus from the dead. As scripture says in the second psalm: You are my son: today I have become your father.’


Psalm 2:6-11

You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day.

‘It is I who have set up my king

on Zion, my holy mountain.’

I will announce the decree of the Lord:

The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son.

It is I who have begotten you this day.

You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day.

‘Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,

put the ends of the earth in your possession.

With a rod of iron you will break them,

shatter them like a potter’s jar.’

You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day.

Now, O kings, understand,

take warning, rulers of the earth;

serve the Lord with awe

and trembling, pay him your homage.

You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life In Christ

1691 “Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.”

1692 The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God’s gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become “children of God,” “partakers of the divine nature.” Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ.” They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.

1693 Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father, and always lived in perfect communion with him. Likewise Christ’s disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father “who sees in secret,” in order to become “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

1694 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, Christians are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” and so participate in the life of the Risen Lord. Following Christ and united with him,Christians can strive to be “imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love” by conforming their thoughts, words and actions to the “mind . . . which is yours in Christ Jesus,” and by following his example.

1695 “Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,” “sanctified . . . [and] called to be saints,” Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. This “Spirit of the Son” teaches them to pray to the Father and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear “the fruit of the Spirit” by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation. He enlightens and strengthens us to live as “children of light” through “all that is good and right and true.”

1696 The way of Christ “leads to life”; a contrary way “leads to destruction.” The Gospel parable of the two ways remains ever present in the catechesis of the Church; it shows the importance of moral decisions for our salvation: “There are two ways, the one of life, the other of death; but between the two, there is a great difference.”

1697 Catechesis has to reveal in all clarity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ. Catechesis for the “newness of life” in him should be:

– a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life;

– a catechesis of grace, for it is by grace that we are saved and again it is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life;

– a catechesis of the beatitudes, for the way of Christ is summed up in the beatitudes, the only path that leads to the eternal beatitude for which the human heart longs;

– a catechesis of sin and forgiveness, for unless man acknowledges that he is a sinner he cannot know the truth about himself, which is a condition for acting justly; and without the offer of forgiveness he would not be able to bear this truth;

– a catechesis of the human virtues which causes one to grasp the beauty and attraction of right dispositions towards goodness;

– a catechesis of the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity, generously inspired by the example of the saints;

– a catechesis of the twofold commandment of charity set forth in the Decalogue;

– an ecclesial catechesis, for it is through the manifold exchanges of “spiritual goods” in the “communion of saints” that Christian life can grow, develop, and be communicated.

1698 The first and last point of reference of this catechesis will always be Jesus Christ himself, who is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” It is by looking to him in faith that Christ’s faithful can hope that he himself fulfills his promises in them, and that, by loving him with the same love with which he has loved them, they may perform works in keeping with their dignity:

I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head, and that you are one of his members. He belongs to you as the head belongs to its members; all that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties. You must make use of all these as of your own, to serve, praise, love, and glorify God. You belong to him, as members belong to their head. And so he longs for you to use all that is in you, as if it were his own, for the service and glory of the Father.

For to me, to live is Christ.

Saint Joseph the Worker

John 6:52-59

My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink

The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,

you will not have life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood

has eternal life,

and I shall raise him up on the last day.

For my flesh is real food

and my blood is real drink.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood

lives in me

and I live in him.

As I, who am sent by the living Father,

myself draw life from the Father,

so whoever eats me will draw life from me.

This is the bread come down from heaven;

not like the bread our ancestors ate:

they are dead,

but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.


Acts 9:1-20

This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the pagans

Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord’s disciples. He had gone to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he could find.

Suddenly, while he was travelling to Damascus and just before he reached the city, there came a light from heaven all round him. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ he asked, and the voice answered, ‘I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. Get up now and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.’ The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand. For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink.

A disciple called Ananias who lived in Damascus had a vision in which he heard the Lord say to him, ‘Ananias!’ When he replied, ‘Here I am, Lord’, the Lord said, ‘You must go to Straight Street and ask the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying, having had a vision of a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.’

When he heard that, Ananias said, ‘Lord, several people have told me about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your saints in Jerusalem. He has only come here because he holds a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name.’ The Lord replied, ‘You must go all the same, because this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he himself must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and at once laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on your way here so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately it was as though scales fell away from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. So he was baptised there and then, and after taking some food he regained his strength.

He began preaching in the synagogues, ‘Jesus is the Son of God.’


Psalm 116(117)

Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.

O praise the Lord, all you nations,

acclaim him all you peoples!

Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.

Strong is his love for us;

he is faithful for ever.

Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.

Strong is his love for us;

he is faithful for ever.

Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

2828 “Give us”: The trust of children who look to their Father for everything is beautiful. “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” He gives to all the living “their food in due season.” Jesus teaches us this petition, because it glorifies our Father by acknowledging how good he is, beyond all goodness.

2829 “Give us” also expresses the covenant. We are his and he is ours, for our sake. But this “us” also recognizes him as the Father of all men and we pray to him for them all, in solidarity with their needs and sufferings.

2830 “Our bread”: The Father who gives us life cannot not but give us the nourishment life requires – all appropriate goods and blessings, both material and spiritual. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus insists on the filial trust that cooperates with our Father’s providence. He is not inviting us to idleness, but wants to relieve us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial surrender of the children of God:

To those who seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he has promised to give all else besides. Since everything indeed belongs to God, he who possesses God wants for nothing, if he himself is not found wanting before God.

2831 But the presence of those who hunger because they lack bread opens up another profound meaning of this petition. The drama of hunger in the world calls Christians who pray sincerely to exercise responsibility toward their brethren, both in their personal behavior and in their solidarity with the human family. This petition of the Lord’s Prayer cannot be isolated from the parables of the poor man Lazarus and of the Last Judgment.

2832 As leaven in the dough, the newness of the kingdom should make the earth “rise” by the Spirit of Christ. This must be shown by the establishment of justice in personal and social, economic and international relations, without ever forgetting that there are no just structures without people who want to be just.

2833 “Our” bread is the “one” loaf for the “many.” In the Beatitudes “poverty” is the virtue of sharing: it calls us to communicate and share both material and spiritual goods, not by coercion but out of love, so that the abundance of some may remedy the needs of others.

2834 “Pray and work.” “Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” Even when we have done our work, the food we receive is still a gift from our Father; it is good to ask him for it and to thank him, as Christian families do when saying grace at meals.

2835 This petition, with the responsibility it involves, also applies to another hunger from which men are perishing: “Man does not live by bread alone, but . . . by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” that is, by the Word he speaks and the Spirit he breathes forth. Christians must make every effort “to proclaim the good news to the poor.” There is a famine on earth, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” For this reason the specifically Christian sense of this fourth petition concerns the Bread of Life: The Word of God accepted in faith, the Body of Christ received in the Eucharist.

2836 “This day” is also an expression of trust taught us by the Lord, which we would never have presumed to invent. Since it refers above all to his Word and to the Body of his Son, this “today” is not only that of our mortal time, but also the “today” of God.

If you receive the bread each day, each day is today for you. If Christ is yours today, he rises for you every day. How can this be? “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.” Therefore, “today” is when Christ rises.

2837 “Daily” (epiousios) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Taken in a temporal sense, this word is a pedagogical repetition of “this day,” to confirm us in trust “without reservation.” Taken in the qualitative sense, it signifies what is necessary for life, and more broadly every good thing sufficient for subsistence. Taken literally (epi-ousios: “super-essential”), it refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ, the “medicine of immortality,” without which we have no life within us. Finally in this connection, its heavenly meaning is evident: “this day” is the Day of the Lord, the day of the feast of the kingdom, anticipated in the Eucharist that is already the foretaste of the kingdom to come. For this reason it is fitting for the Eucharistic liturgy to be celebrated each day.

The Eucharist is our daily bread. The power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union. Its effect is then understood as unity, so that, gathered into his Body and made members of him, we may become what we receive. . . . This also is our daily bread: the readings you hear each day in church and the hymns you hear and sing. All these are necessities for our pilgrimage.

The Father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven. [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven.

Friday of the 2nd week of Eastertide

John 6:1-15

The feeding of the five thousand

Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.

Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Make the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were sitting ready; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as was wanted. When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, ‘Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.’ So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. The people, seeing this sign that he had given, said, ‘This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, escaped back to the hills by himself.


Acts 5:34-42

They were glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name

One member of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, who was a doctor of the Law and respected by the whole people, stood up and asked to have the apostles taken outside for a time. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin, ‘Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people. There was Theudas who became notorious not so long ago. He claimed to be someone important, and he even collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed, all his followers scattered and that was the end of them. And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too, and all his followers dispersed. What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.’

His advice was accepted; and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name.

They preached every day both in the Temple and in private houses, and their proclamation of the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted.


Psalm 26(27):1,4,13-14

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my help;

whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

before whom shall I shrink?

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,

for this I long,

to live in the house of the Lord,

all the days of my life,

to savour the sweetness of the Lord,

to behold his temple.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness

in the land of the living.

Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.

Hope in the Lord!

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The signs of the kingdom of God

547 Jesus accompanies his words with many “mighty works and wonders and signs”, which manifest that the kingdom is present in him and attest that he was the promised Messiah.

548 The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite belief in him. To those who turn to him in faith, he grants what they ask. So miracles strengthen faith in the One who does his Father’s works; they bear witness that he is the Son of God. But his miracles can also be occasions for “offence”; they are not intended to satisfy people’s curiosity or desire for magic Despite his evident miracles some people reject Jesus; he is even accused of acting by the power of demons.

549 By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God’s sons and causes all forms of human bondage.

550 The coming of God’s kingdom means the defeat of Satan’s: “If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Jesus’ exorcisms free some individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus’ great victory over “the ruler of this world”. The kingdom of God will be definitively established through Christ’s cross: “God reigned from the wood.”

Easter Friday

John 21:1-14 

Jesus stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish

Jesus showed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing.’ They replied, ‘We’ll come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.

It was light by now and there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, ‘Have you caught anything, friends?’ And when they answered, ‘No’, he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something.’ So they dropped the net, and there were so many fish that they could not haul it in. The disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ At these words ‘It is the Lord’, Simon Peter, who had practically nothing on, wrapped his cloak round him and jumped into the water. The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net and the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land.

As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there, and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it. Jesus said, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’; they knew quite well it was the Lord. Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus showed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.

Acts 4:1-12 

The name of Jesus Christ is the only one by which we can be saved

While Peter and John were talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees. They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. They arrested them, but as it was already late, they held them till the next day. But many of those who had listened to their message became believers, the total number of whom had now risen to something like five thousand.

The next day the rulers, elders and scribes had a meeting in Jerusalem with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families. They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, ‘By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today. This is the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone. For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’

Psalm 117(118):1-2,4,22-27

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,

for his love has no end.

Let the sons of Israel say:

‘His love has no end.’

Let those who fear the Lord say:

‘His love has no end.’

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.

The stone which the builders rejected

has become the corner stone.

This is the work of the Lord,

a marvel in our eyes.

This day was made by the Lord;

we rejoice and are glad.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.

O Lord, grant us salvation;

O Lord, grant success.

Blessed in the name of the Lord

is he who comes.

We bless you from the house of the Lord;

the Lord God is our light.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Lord’s day

1166 “By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord’s Day or Sunday.”The day of Christ’s Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the “eighth day,” on which Christ after his “rest” on the great sabbath inaugurates the “day that the Lord has made,” the “day that knows no evening.” The Lord’s Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet:

The Lord’s day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord’s day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the “day of the sun,” we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays.

1167 Sunday is the pre-eminent day for the liturgical assembly, when the faithful gather “to listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the Passion, Resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God who ‘has begotten them again, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ unto a living hope”:

When we ponder, O Christ, the marvels accomplished on this day, the Sunday of your holy resurrection, we say: “Blessed is Sunday, for on it began creation . . . the world’s salvation . . . the renewal of the human race. . . . On Sunday heaven and earth rejoiced and the whole universe was filled with light. Blessed is Sunday, for on it were opened the gates of paradise so that Adam and all the exiles might enter it without fear.

Good Friday

John 18:1-19:42

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ

Key: . ✠ Jesus.

  1. Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kedron valley. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples. Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, and he brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons. Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus then came forward and said,

✠ Who are you looking for?

  1. They answered,
  2. Jesus the Nazarene.
  3. He said,

✠ I am he.

  1. Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. When Jesus said, ‘I am he’, they moved back and fell to the ground. He asked them a second time,

✠ Who are you looking for?

  1. They said,
  2. Jesus the Nazarene.
  3. Jesus replied,

✠ I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.

  1. This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, ‘Not one of those you gave me have I lost.’

Simon Peter, who carried a sword, drew it and wounded the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,

✠ Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?

  1. The cohort and its captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people.’

Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus. This disciple, who was known to the high priest, went with Jesus into the high priest’s palace, but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought Peter in. The maid on duty at the door said to Peter,

  1. Aren’t you another of that man’s disciples?
  2. He answered,
  3. I am not.
  4. Now it was cold, and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire and were standing there warming themselves; so Peter stood there too, warming himself with the others.

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered,

✠ I have spoken openly for all the world to hear; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple where all the Jews meet together: I have said nothing in secret. But why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught: they know what I said.

  1. At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying,
  2. Is that the way to answer the high priest?
  3. Jesus replied,

✠ If there is something wrong in what I said, point it out; but if there is no offence in it, why do you strike me?

  1. Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him,

  1. Aren’t you another of his disciples?
  2. He denied it, saying,
  3. I am not.
  4. One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
  5. Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?
  6. Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.

They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves or they would be defiled and unable to eat the passover. So Pilate came outside to them and said,

  1. What charge do you bring against this man?
  2. They replied,
  3. If he were not a criminal, we should not be handing him over to you.
  4. Pilate said,
  5. Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law.
  6. The Jews answered,
  7. We are not allowed to put a man to death.
  8. This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.

So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, and asked,

  1. Are you the king of the Jews?
  2. Jesus replied,

✠ Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?

  1. Pilate answered,
  2. Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?
  3. Jesus replied,

✠ Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.

  1. Pilate said,
  2. So you are a king, then?
  3. Jesus answered,

✠ It is you who say it. Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.

  1. Pilate said,
  2. Truth? What is that?
  3. and with that he went out again to the Jews and said,
  4. I find no case against him. But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release the king of the Jews?
  5. At this they shouted:
  6. Not this man, but Barabbas.
  7. Barabbas was a brigand.

Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying,

  1. Hail, king of the Jews!
  2. and they slapped him in the face.

Pilate came outside again and said to them,

  1. Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case.
  2. Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said,
  3. Here is the man.
  4. When they saw him the chief priests and the guards shouted,
  5. Crucify him! Crucify him!
  6. Pilate said,
  7. Take him yourselves and crucify him: I can find no case against him.
  8. The Jews replied,
  9. We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.
  10. When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased. Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus
  11. Where do you come from?
  12. But Jesus made no answer. Pilate then said to him,
  13. Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?
  14. Jesus replied,

✠ You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above; that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.

  1. From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted,
  2. If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.
  3. Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was Passover Preparation Day, about the sixth hour. Pilate said to the Jews,
  4. Here is your king.
  5. They said,
  6. Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!
  7. Pilate said,
  8. Do you want me to crucify your king?
  9. The chief priests answered,
  10. We have no king except Caesar.
  11. So in the end Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate,

  1. You should not write ‘King of the Jews,’ but ‘This man said: “I am King of the Jews.”’
  2. Pilate answered,
  3. What I have written, I have written.
  4. When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another,
  5. Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.
  6. In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled:

They shared out my clothing among them.

They cast lots for my clothes.

This is exactly what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother,

✠ Woman, this is your son.

  1. Then to the disciple he said,

✠ This is your mother.

  1. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:

✠ I am thirsty.

  1. A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said,

✠ It is accomplished;

  1. and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:

Not one bone of his will be broken;

and again, in another place scripture says:

They will look on the one whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus – though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away. Nicodemus came as well – the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time – and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.


Isaiah 52:13-53:12

The servant of the Lord, an expiatory Sacrifice

See, my servant will prosper,

he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights.

As the crowds were appalled on seeing him

– so disfigured did he look

that he seemed no longer human –

so will the crowds be astonished at him,

and kings stand speechless before him;

for they shall see something never told

and witness something never heard before:

‘Who could believe what we have heard,

and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’

Like a sapling he grew up in front of us,

like a root in arid ground.

Without beauty, without majesty we saw him,

no looks to attract our eyes;

a thing despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,

a man to make people screen their faces;

he was despised and we took no account of him.

And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,

ours the sorrows he carried.

But we, we thought of him as someone punished,

struck by God, and brought low.

Yet he was pierced through for our faults,

crushed for our sins.

On him lies a punishment that brings us peace,

and through his wounds we are healed.

We had all gone astray like sheep,

each taking his own way,

and the Lord burdened him

with the sins of all of us.

Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,

he never opened his mouth,

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house,

like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers

never opening its mouth.

By force and by law he was taken;

would anyone plead his cause?

Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living;

for our faults struck down in death.

They gave him a grave with the wicked,

a tomb with the rich,

though he had done no wrong

and there had been no perjury in his mouth.

The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering.

If he offers his life in atonement,

he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life

and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

His soul’s anguish over

he shall see the light and be content.

By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,

taking their faults on himself.

Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,

he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,

for surrendering himself to death

and letting himself be taken for a sinner,

while he was bearing the faults of many

and praying all the time for sinners.


Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9

The Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.


Psalm 30(31):2,6,12-13,15-17,25

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge.

Let me never be put to shame.

In your justice, set me free,

Into your hands I commend my spirit.

It is you who will redeem me, Lord.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In the face of all my foes

I am a reproach,

an object of scorn to my neighbours

and of fear to my friends.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Those who see me in the street

run far away from me.

I am like a dead man, forgotten in men’s hearts,

like a thing thrown away.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;

I say: ‘You are my God.

My life is in your hands, deliver me

from the hands of those who hate me.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Let your face shine on your servant.

Save me in your love.’

Be strong, let your heart take courage,

all who hope in the Lord.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesus freely embraced the Father’s redeeming love

609 By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men, Jesus “loved them to the end”, for “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men. Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” Hence the sovereign freedom of God’s Son as he went out to his death.

 

Friday of the 5th week of Lent

John 10:31-42

They wanted to stone Jesus, but he eluded them

The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’ Jesus answered:

‘Is it not written in your Law:

I said, you are gods?

So the Law uses the word gods

of those to whom the word of God was addressed,

and scripture cannot be rejected.

Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world,

“You are blaspheming,”

because he says, “I am the son of God.”

If I am not doing my Father’s work,

there is no need to believe me;

but if I am doing it,

then even if you refuse to believe in me,

at least believe in the work I do;

then you will know for sure

that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’

They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them.

He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’; and many of them believed in him.


Jeremiah 20:10-13

He has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men

Jeremiah said:

I hear so many disparaging me,

‘“Terror from every side!”

Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’

All those who used to be my friends

watched for my downfall,

‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error.

Then we will master him

and take our revenge!’

But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero;

my opponents will stumble, mastered,

confounded by their failure;

everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.

But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice,

who scrutinise the loins and heart,

let me see the vengeance you will take on them,

for I have committed my cause to you.

Sing to the Lord,

praise the Lord,

for he has delivered the soul of the needy

from the hands of evil men.


Psalm 17(18):2-7

In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.

I love you, Lord, my strength,

my rock, my fortress, my saviour.

My God is the rock where I take refuge;

my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.

The Lord is worthy of all praise,

when I call I am saved from my foes.

In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.

The waves of death rose about me;

the torrents of destruction assailed me;

the snares of the grave entangled me;

the traps of death confronted me.

In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.

In my anguish I called to the Lord;

I cried to God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice;

my cry came to his ears.

In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Only Son Of God

441 In the Old Testament, “son of God” is a title given to the angels, the Chosen People, the children of Israel, and their kings. It signifies an adoptive sonship that establishes a relationship of particular intimacy between God and his creature. When the promised Messiah-King is called “son of God”, it does not necessarily imply that he was more than human, according to the literal meaning of these texts. Those who called Jesus “son of God”, as the Messiah of Israel, perhaps meant nothing more than this.

442 Such is not the case for Simon Peter when he confesses Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God”, for Jesus responds solemnly: “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” Similarly Paul will write, regarding his conversion on the road to Damascus, “When he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles. . .” “And in the synagogues immediately [Paul] proclaimed Jesus, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.'” From the beginning this acknowledgment of Christ’s divine sonship will be the center of the apostolic faith, first professed by Peter as the Church’s foundation.

443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiah’s divine sonship because Jesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers’ question before the Sanhedrin, “Are you the Son of God, then?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am.” Well before this, Jesus referred to himself as “the Son” who knows the Father, as distinct from the “servants” God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels. He distinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying “our Father”, except to command them: “You, then, pray like this: ‘Our Father'”, and he emphasized this distinction, saying “my Father and your Father”.

444 The Gospels report that at two solemn moments, the Baptism and the Transfiguration of Christ, the voice of the Father designates Jesus his “beloved Son”. Jesus calls himself the “only Son of God”, and by this title affirms his eternal pre-existence. He asks for faith in “the name of the only Son of God”. In the centurion’s exclamation before the crucified Christ, “Truly this man was the Son of God”, that Christian confession is already heard. Only in the Paschal mystery can the believer give the title “Son of God” its full meaning.

445 After his Resurrection, Jesus’ divine sonship becomes manifest in the power of his glorified humanity. He was “designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead”. The apostles can confess: “We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Friday of the 4th week of Lent

John 7:1-2,10,25-30

They would have arrested him, but his time had not yet come

Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea, because the Jews were out to kill him.

As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself. Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.’

Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out:

‘Yes, you know me

and you know where I came from.

Yet I have not come of myself:

no, there is one who sent me

and I really come from him,

and you do not know him,

but I know him because I have come from him

and it was he who sent me.’

They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.


Wisdom 2:1,12-22

Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man and condemn him to a shameful death

The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning:

‘Our life is short and dreary,

nor is there any relief when man’s end comes,

nor is anyone known who can give release from Hades.

Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us

and opposes our way of life,

reproaches us for our breaches of the law

and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.

He claims to have knowledge of God,

and calls himself a son of the Lord.

Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking,

the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;

his way of life is not like other men’s,

the paths he treads are unfamiliar.

In his opinion we are counterfeit;

he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth;

he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as happy

and boasts of having God for his father.

Let us see if what he says is true,

let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.

If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part

and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.

Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,

and thus explore this gentleness of his

and put his endurance to the proof.

Let us condemn him to a shameful death

since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’

This is the way they reason, but they are misled,

their malice makes them blind.

They do not know the hidden things of God,

they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded,

they can see no reward for blameless souls.


Psalm 33(34):16,18,19-21,23

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked

to destroy their remembrance from the earth.

They call and the Lord hears

and rescues them in all their distress.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;

those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Many are the trials of the just man

but from them all the Lord will rescue him.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

He will keep guard over all his bones,

not one of his bones shall be broken.

The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.

Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

Source: Jerusalem Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church

God has said everything in his Word

65 “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:

In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.