Saturday of week 10 in Ordinary Time

+Matthew 5:33-37
Do not swear: say ‘Yes’ if you mean Yes, ‘No’ if you mean No

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne; or by the earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’


2 Corinthians 5:14-21
From now onwards we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh

The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.
From now onwards, therefore, we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh. Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now. And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.


Psalm 102(103):1-4,9-12
The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

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 is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion.
The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
His wrath will come to an end;
he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults.
The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
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 is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Taking The Name Of The Lord In Vain

2150 The second commandment forbids false oaths. Taking an oath or swearing is to take God as witness to what one affirms. It is to invoke the divine truthfulness as a pledge of one’s own truthfulness. An oath engages the Lord’s name. “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name.”

2151 Rejection of false oaths is a duty toward God. As Creator and Lord, God is the norm of all truth. Human speech is either in accord with or in opposition to God who is Truth itself. When it is truthful and legitimate, an oath highlights the relationship of human speech with God’s truth. A false oath calls on God to be witness to a lie.

2152 A person commits perjury when he makes a promise under oath with no intention of keeping it, or when after promising on oath he does not keep it. Perjury is a grave lack of respect for the Lord of all speech. Pledging oneself by oath to commit an evil deed is contrary to the holiness of the divine name.

2153 In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the second commandment: “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all. . . . Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” Jesus teaches that every oath involves a reference to God and that God’s presence and his truth must be honored in all speech. Discretion in calling upon God is allied with a respectful awareness of his presence, which all our assertions either witness to or mock.

2154 Following St. Paul, the tradition of the Church has understood Jesus’ words as not excluding oaths made for grave and right reasons (for example, in court). “An oath, that is the invocation of the divine name as a witness to truth, cannot be taken unless in truth, in judgment, and in justice.”

2155 The holiness of the divine name demands that we neither use it for trivial matters, nor take an oath which on the basis of the circumstances could be interpreted as approval of an authority unjustly requiring it. When an oath is required by illegitimate civil authorities, it may be refused. It must be refused when it is required for purposes contrary to the dignity of persons or to ecclesial communion.

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Saturday of the 7th week of Easter

+John 21:20-25
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and we know that his testimony is true

Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’ The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die’, but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come.’
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true.
There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.


Acts 28:16-20,30-31
In Rome, Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God without hindrance from anyone

On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.
After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, ‘Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty; but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have asked to see you and talk to you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.’
Paul spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete freedom and without hindrance from anyone.


Psalm 10(11):4-5,7
The upright shall see your face, O Lord.

The Lord is in his holy temple,
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world;
his gaze tests mortal men.
The upright shall see your face, O Lord.

The Lord tests the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
The Lord is just and loves justice;
the upright shall see his face.
The upright shall see your face, O Lord.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church

Why the ecclesial ministry?

874 Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. He instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal:
In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body. The holders of office, who are invested with a sacred power, are, in fact, dedicated to promoting the interests of their brethren, so that all who belong to the People of God . . . may attain to salvation.

875 “How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?” No one – no individual and no community – can proclaim the Gospel to himself: “Faith comes from what is heard.” No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the Gospel. The one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority, but by virtue of Christ’s authority; not as a member of the community, but speaking to it in the name of Christ. No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered. This fact presupposes ministers of grace, authorized and empowered by Christ. From him, bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty (“the sacred power”) to act in persona Christi Capitis; deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy, word and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate. The ministry in which Christ’s emissaries do and give by God’s grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers, is called a “sacrament” by the Church’s tradition. Indeed, the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament.

876 Intrinsically linked to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry is its character as service. Entirely dependent on Christ who gives mission and authority, ministers are truly “slaves of Christ,” in the image of him who freely took “the form of a slave” for us. Because the word and grace of which they are ministers are not their own, but are given to them by Christ for the sake of others, they must freely become the slaves of all.

877 Likewise, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a collegial character. In fact, from the beginning of his ministry, the Lord Jesus instituted the Twelve as “the seeds of the new Israel and the beginning of the sacred hierarchy.” Chosen together, they were also sent out together, and their fraternal unity would be at the service of the fraternal communion of all the faithful: they would reflect and witness to the communion of the divine persons. For this reason every bishop exercises his ministry from within the episcopal college, in communion with the bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter and head of the college. So also priests exercise their ministry from within the presbyterium of the diocese, under the direction of their bishop.

878 Finally, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a personal character. Although Christ’s ministers act in communion with one another, they also always act in a personal way. Each one is called personally: “You, follow me” in order to be a personal witness within the common mission, to bear personal responsibility before him who gives the mission, acting “in his person” and for other persons: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .”; “I absolve you . . . .”

879 Sacramental ministry in the Church, then, is a service exercised in the name of Christ. It has a personal character and a collegial form. This is evidenced by the bonds between the episcopal college and its head, the successor of St. Peter, and in the relationship between the bishop’s pastoral responsibility for his particular church and the common solicitude of the episcopal college for the universal Church.

Saint Justin, Martyr

+John 16:23-28
The Father loves you for loving me and believing that I came from God

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
anything you ask for from the Father he will grant in my name.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.
I have been telling you all this in metaphors,
the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in metaphors;
but tell you about the Father in plain words.
When that day comes you will ask in my name;
and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you,
because the Father himself loves you for loving me
and believing that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world
and now I leave the world to go to the Father.’


Acts 18:23-28
Apollos demonstrated from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ

Paul came down to Antioch, where he spent a short time before continuing his journey through the Galatian country and then through Phrygia, encouraging all the followers.
An Alexandrian Jew named Apollos now arrived in Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, with a sound knowledge of the scriptures, and yet, though he had been given instruction in the Way of the Lord and preached with great spiritual earnestness and was accurate in all the details he taught about Jesus, he had only experienced the baptism of John. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak boldly in the synagogue, they took an interest in him and gave him further instruction about the Way.
When Apollos thought of crossing over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote asking the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived there he was able by God’s grace to help the believers considerably by the energetic way he refuted the Jews in public and demonstrated from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


Psalm 46(47):2-3,8-10
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.
God is king of all the earth,
sing praise with all your skill.
God is king over the nations;
God reigns on his holy throne.
God is king of all the earth.
The princes of the people are assembled
with the people of Abraham’s God.
The rulers of the earth belong to God,
to God who reigns over all.
God is king of all the earth.

Source: The Jerusalem Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Jesus teaches us how to pray

2607 When Jesus prays he is already teaching us how to pray. His prayer to his Father is the theological path (the path of faith, hope, and charity) of our prayer to God. But the Gospel also gives us Jesus’ explicit teaching on prayer. Like a wise teacher he takes hold of us where we are and leads us progressively toward the Father. Addressing the crowds following him, Jesus builds on what they already know of prayer from the Old Covenant and opens to them the newness of the coming Kingdom. Then he reveals this newness to them in parables. Finally, he will speak openly of the Father and the Holy Spirit to his disciples who will be the teachers of prayer in his Church.

2608 From the Sermon on the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on conversion of heart: reconciliation with one’s brother before presenting an offering on the altar, love of enemies, and prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart, and seeking the Kingdom before all else.64 This filial conversion is entirely directed to the Father.

2609 Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. Faith is a filial adherence to God beyond what we feel and understand. It is possible because the beloved Son gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to “seek” and to “knock,” since he himself is the door and the way.

2610 Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will.” Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: “all things are possible to him who believes.” Jesus is as saddened by the “lack of faith” of his own neighbors and the “little faith” of his own disciples as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.

2611 The prayer of faith consists not only in saying “Lord, Lord,” but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father. Jesus calls his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.

2612 In Jesus “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He calls his hearers to conversion and faith, but also to watchfulness. In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness of the flesh, and in the hope of his second coming in glory. In communion with their Master, the disciples’ prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation.

2613 Three principal parables on prayer are transmitted to us by St. Luke:
– The first, “the importunate friend,” invites us to urgent prayer: “Knock, and it will be opened to you.” To the one who prays like this, the heavenly Father will “give whatever he needs,” and above all the Holy Spirit who contains all gifts.
– The second, “the importunate widow,” is centered on one of the qualities of prayer: it is necessary to pray always without ceasing and with the patience of faith. “And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
– The third parable, “the Pharisee and the tax collector,” concerns the humility of the heart that prays. “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” The Church continues to make this prayer its own: Kyrie eleison!

2614 When Jesus openly entrusts to his disciples the mystery of prayer to the Father, he reveals to them what their prayer and ours must be, once he has returned to the Father in his glorified humanity. What is new is to “ask in his name.” Faith in the Son introduces the disciples into the knowledge of the Father, because Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” Faith bears its fruit in love: it means keeping the word and the commandments of Jesus, it means abiding with him in the Father who, in him, so loves us that he abides with us. In this new covenant the certitude that our petitions will be heard is founded on the prayer of Jesus.

2615 Even more, what the Father gives us when our prayer is united with that of Jesus is “another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth.” This new dimension of prayer and of its circumstances is displayed throughout the farewell discourse. In the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is a communion of love with the Father, not only through Christ but also in him: “Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”


Justin Martyr (Latin: Iustinus Martyr) was an early Christian apologist, and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century. He was martyred, alongside some of his students, and is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive. The First Apology, his most well known text, passionately defends the morality of the Christian life, and provides various ethical and philosophical arguments to convince the Roman emperor, Antoninus, to abandon the persecution of the Church. Further, he also indicates, as St Augustine did regarding the “true religion” that predated Christianity, that the “seeds of Christianity” (manifestations of the Logos acting in history) actually predated Christ’s incarnation. This notion allows him to claim many historical Greek philosophers (including Socrates and Plato), in whose works he was well studied, as unknowing Christians.

Life
Justin Martyr was born around AD 100 at Flavia Neapolis (today Nablus) in Samaria into a pagan family, and defined himself as a Gentile. His grandfather, Bacchius, had a Greek name, while his father, Priscus, bore a Latin name, which has led to speculations that his ancestors may have settled in Neapolis soon after its establishment or that they were descended from a Roman “diplomatic” community that had been sent there.
In the opening of the Dialogue, Justin describes his early education, stating that his initial studies left him unsatisfied due to their failure to provide a belief system that would afford theological and metaphysical inspiration to their young pupil. He says he tried first the school of a Stoic philosopher, who was unable to explain God’s being to him. He then attended a Peripatetic philosopher but was put off because the philosopher was too eager for his fee. Then he went to hear a Pythagorean philosopher who demanded that he first learn music, astronomy, and geometry, which he did not wish to do. Subsequently, he adopted Platonism after encountering a Platonist thinker who had recently settled in his city.

And the perception of immaterial things quite overpowered me, and the contemplation of ideas furnished my mind with wings, so that in a little while I supposed that I had become wise; and such was my stupidity, I expected forthwith to look upon God, for this is the end of Plato’s philosophy.

Some time afterwards, he chanced upon an old man, possibly a Syrian Christian, in the vicinity of the seashore, who engaged him in a dialogue about God and spoke of the testimony of the prophets as being more reliable than the reasoning of philosophers.
There existed, long before this time, certain men more ancient than all those who are esteemed philosophers, both righteous and beloved by God, who spoke by the Divine Spirit, and foretold events which would take place, and which are now taking place. They are called prophets. These alone both saw and announced the truth to men, neither reverencing nor fearing any man, not influenced by a desire for glory, but speaking those things alone which they saw and which they heard, being filled with the Holy Spirit. Their writings are still extant, and he who has read them is very much helped in his knowledge of the beginning and end of things, and of those matters which the philosopher ought to know, provided he has believed them. For they did not use demonstration in their treatises, seeing that they were witnesses to the truth above all demonstration, and worthy of belief; and those events which have happened, and those which are happening, compel you to assent to the utterances made by them, although, indeed, they were entitled to credit on account of the miracles which they performed, since they both glorified the Creator, the God and Father of all things, and proclaimed His Son, the Christ [sent] by Him: which, indeed, the false prophets, who are filled with the lying unclean spirit, neither have done nor do, but venture to work certain wonderful deeds for the purpose of astonishing men, and glorify the spirits and demons of error. But pray that, above all things, the gates of light may be opened to you; for these things cannot be perceived or understood by all, but only by the man to whom God and His Christ have imparted wisdom.

Moved by the aged man’s argument, Justin renounced both his former religious faith and his philosophical background, choosing instead to re-dedicate his life to the service of the Divine. His newfound convictions were only bolstered by the ascetic lives of the early Christians and the heroic example of the martyrs, whose piety convinced him of the moral and spiritual superiority of Christian doctrine. As a result, he thenceforth decided that the only option for him was to travel throughout the land, spreading the knowledge of Christianity as the “true philosophy.” His conversion is commonly assumed to have taken place at Ephesus though it may have occurred anywhere on the road from Syria Palestina to Rome.

He then adopted the dress of a philosopher himself and traveled about teaching. During the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–161), he arrived in Rome and started his own school. Tatian was one of his pupils. In the reign of Marcus Aurelius, after disputing with the cynic philosopher Crescens, he was denounced by the latter to the authorities, according to Tatian (Address to the Greeks 19) and Eusebius (HE IV 16.7–8). Justin was tried, together with six companions, by Junius Rusticus, who was urban prefect from 163–167, and was beheaded. Though the precise year of his death is uncertain, it can reasonably be dated by the prefectoral term of Rusticus (who governed from 162 and 168). The martyrdom of Justin preserves the court record of the trial.

The Prefect Rusticus says: Approach and sacrifice, all of you, to the gods. Justin says: No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety. The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour. And all the martyrs said: Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols. The Prefect Rusticus read the sentence: Those who do not wish to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the emperor will be scourged and beheaded according to the laws. The holy martyrs glorifying God betook themselves to the customary place, where they were beheaded and consummated their martyrdom confessing their Saviour.

Relics of St. Justin and other early Church martyrs can be found in the lateral altar dedicated to St. Anne and St. Joachim at the Jesuit’s Church in Valletta, Malta.
In 1882 Pope Leo XIII had a Mass and an Office composed for his feast day, which he set at 14 April one day after the date of his death as indicated in the Martyrology of Florus; but since this date quite often falls within the main Paschal celebrations, the feast was moved in 1968 to 1 June, the date on which he has been celebrated in the Byzantine Rite since at least the 9th century.

Source: Wikipedia

6th Sunday of Easter

+John 14:23-29
A peace the world cannot give is my gift to you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
And my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.
Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give,
this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.
If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.
I have told you this now before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe.’


Acts 15:1-2,22-29

It has been decided by the Spirit and by ourselves not to burden you with any burden beyond these essentials

Some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, ‘Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.’ This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders.
Then 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.’


Psalm 66(67):2-3,5-6,8
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Holy Spirit recalls the mystery of Christ

1099 The Spirit and the Church cooperate to manifest Christ and his work of salvation in the liturgy. Primarily in the Eucharist, and by analogy in the other sacraments, the liturgy is the memorial of the mystery of salvation. The Holy Spirit is the Church’s living memory.

1100 The Word of God. The Holy Spirit first recalls the meaning of the salvation event to the liturgical assembly by giving life to the Word of God, which is proclaimed so that it may be received and lived:

In the celebration of the liturgy, Sacred Scripture is extremely important. From it come the lessons that are read and explained in the homily and the psalms that are sung. It is from the Scriptures that the prayers, collects, and hymns draw their inspiration and their force, and that actions and signs derive their meaning.2
1101 The Holy Spirit gives a spiritual understanding of the Word of God to those who read or hear it, according to the dispositions of their hearts. By means of the words, actions, and symbols that form the structure of a celebration, the Spirit puts both the faithful and the ministers into a living relationship with Christ, the Word and Image of the Father, so that they can live out the meaning of what they hear, contemplate, and do in the celebration.

1102 “By the saving word of God, faith . . . is nourished in the hearts of believers. By this faith then the congregation of the faithful begins and grows.” The proclamation does not stop with a teaching; it elicits the response of faith as consent and commitment, directed at the covenant between God and his people. Once again it is the Holy Spirit who gives the grace of faith, strengthens it and makes it grow in the community. The liturgical assembly is first of all a communion in faith.

1103 Anamnesis. The liturgical celebration always refers to God’s saving interventions in history. “The economy of Revelation is realized by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other. . . . [T]he words for their part proclaim the works and bring to light the mystery they contain.”n the Liturgy of the Word the Holy Spirit “recalls” to the assembly all that Christ has done for us. In keeping with the nature of liturgical actions and the ritual traditions of the churches, the celebration “makes a remembrance” of the marvelous works of God in an anamnesis which may be more or less developed. The Holy Spirit who thus awakens the memory of the Church then inspires thanksgiving and praise (doxology).

Saint Gregory VII, Pope Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, Virgin Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest, Doctor

+John 15:18-21
The world hated me before it hated you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
because my choice withdrew you from the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too;
if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.’


Acts 16:1-10
‘Come across to Macedonia and help us’

From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.
So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.


Psalm 99(100):1-3,5
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Church’s ultimate trial

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.

677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.


Pope Gregory VII (Latin: Gregorius VII; c. 1015 – 25 May 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana (Italian: Ildebrando da Soana), was pope from 22 April 1073 to his death in 1085.
One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor that affirmed the primacy of papal authority and the new canon law governing the election of the pope by the College of Cardinals. He was also at the forefront of developments in the relationship between the emperor and the papacy during the years before he became pope. He was the first pope in several centuries to rigorously enforce the Western Church’s ancient policy of celibacy for the clergy and also attacked the practice of simony.

Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV three times. Consequently, Henry IV would appoint Antipope Clement III to oppose him in the political power struggles between the Catholic Church and his empire. Hailed as one of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs after his reforms proved successful, Gregory VII was, during his own reign, despised by some for his expansive use of papal powers.

Biography
Early life
Gregory was born as Ildebrando di Soana in Sovana, in the county of Grosseto, now southern Tuscany, central Italy. Historian, Johann Georg Estor makes the claim that he was the son of a blacksmith.As a youth he was sent to study in Rome at the monastery of St. Mary on the Aventine, where, according to some unconfirmed sources, his uncle was abbot of a monastery on the Aventine Hill. Among his masters were the erudite Lawrence, archbishop of Amalfi, and Johannes Gratianus, the future Pope Gregory VI. When the latter was deposed by Holy Roman Emperor Henry III and exiled to Germany, Hildebrand followed him to Cologne.

According to some chroniclers, Hildebrand moved to Cluny after Gregory VI’s death, which occurred in 1048; his declaration to have become a monk at Cluny must not be taken literally. He then accompanied Abbot Bruno of Toul to Rome; there, Bruno was elected pope, choosing the name Leo IX, and named Hildebrand as deacon and papal administrator. Leo sent Hildebrand as his legate to Tours in France in the wake of the controversy created by Berengar of Tours. At Leo’s death, the new Pope, Victor II, confirmed him as legate, while Victor’s successor Stephen IX sent him and Anselm of Lucca to Germany to obtain recognition from the Empress Agnes de Poitou. Stephen died before being able to return to Rome, but Hildebrand was successful; he was then instrumental in overcoming the crisis caused by the Roman aristocracy’s election of an antipope, Benedict X, who, thanks also to Agnes’s support, was replaced by the Bishop of Florence, Nicholas II. With the help of 300 Norman knights sent by Richard of Aversa, Hildebrand personally led the conquest of the castle of Galeria Antica where Benedict had taken refuge. Between 1058 and 1059, he was made archdeacon of the Roman church, becoming the most important figure in the papal administration.
He was again the most powerful figure behind the election of Anselm of Lucca the Elder as Pope Alexander II in the papal election of October 1061. The new pope put forward the reform program devised by Hildebrand and his followers. In his years as papal advisor, Hildebrand had an important role in the reconciliation with the Norman kingdom of southern Italy, in the anti-German alliance with the Pataria movement in northern Italy and, above all, in the introduction of a law which gave the cardinals exclusive rights concerning the election of a new pope.

Pontificate
Election to the papacy

Pope Gregory VII was one of the few popes elected by acclamation. On the death of Alexander II on 21 April 1073, as the obsequies were being performed in the Lateran Basilica, there arose a loud outcry from the clergy and people: “Let Hildebrand be pope!”, “Blessed Peter has chosen Hildebrand the Archdeacon!” Hildebrand immediately fled, and hid himself for some time, thereby making it clear that he had refused the uncanonical election in the Liberian Basilica. He was finally found at the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, to which a famous monastery was attached, and elected pope by the assembled cardinals, with the due consent of the Roman clergy, amid the repeated acclamations of the people.

It was debated at the time—and remains debated by historians—whether this extraordinary outburst in favour of Hildebrand by clergy and people was wholly spontaneous or could have been the result of some pre-concerted arrangements. According to Benizo, Bishop of Sutri, a supporter of Hildebrand, the outcry was begun by the actions of Cardinal Ugo Candidus, Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente, who rushed into a pulpit and began to declaim to the people. Certainly, the mode of his election was highly criticized by his opponents. Many of the charges brought may have been expressions of personal dislike, liable to suspicion from the very fact that they were not raised to attack his promotion until several years later. But it is clear from Gregory’s own account of the circumstances of his election, in his Epistle 1 and Epistle 2, that it was conducted in a very irregular fashion. First of all, it was contrary to the Constitution of Pope promulgated and approved in the Roman Synod of 607, which forbade a papal election to begin until the third day after a pope’s burial. Cardinal Ugo’s intervention was contrary to the Constitution of Nicholas II, which affirmed the exclusive right to name candidates to the Cardinal Bishops; finally, the requirement of Pope Nicholas II that the Holy Roman Emperor be consulted in the matter was ignored.However, what ultimately turned the tide in favor of validity of Gregory VII’s election was the second election at S. Pietro in Vincoli and the acceptance by the Roman people.
Gregory VII’s earliest pontifical letters clearly acknowledge this fact, and thus helped defuse any doubt about his election as immensely popular. On 22 May 1073, the Feast of Pentecost, he received ordination as a priest, and he was consecrated a bishop and enthroned as pope on 29 June (the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair).
In the decree of election, those who had chosen him as Bishop of Rome proclaimed Gregory VII “a devout man, a man mighty in human and divine knowledge, a distinguished lover of equity and justice, a man firm in adversity and temperate in prosperity, a man, according to the saying of the Apostle, of good behavior, blameless, modest, sober, chaste, given to hospitality, and one that ruleth well his own house; a man from his childhood generously brought up in the bosom of this Mother Church, and for the merit of his life already raised to the archidiaconal dignity”. “We choose then”, they said to the people, “our Archdeacon Hildebrand to be pope and successor to the Apostle, and to bear henceforward and forever the name of Gregory” (22 April 1073).
Gregory VII’s first attempts in foreign policy were towards a reconciliation with the Normans of Robert Guiscard; in the end the two parties did not meet. After a failed call for a crusade to the princes of northern Europe, and after obtaining the support of other Norman princes such as Landulf VI of Benevento and Richard I of Capua, Gregory VII was able to excommunicate Robert in 1074. In the same year Gregory VII summoned a council in the Lateran palace, which condemned simony and confirmed celibacy for the Church’s clergy. These decrees were further stressed, under menace of excommunication, the next year (24–28 February). In particular, Gregory decreed in this second council that only the Pope could appoint or depose bishops or move them from see to see, an act which was later to cause the Investiture Controversy.

Vestments
Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Agostino Paravicini Bagliani says that the popular belief that St. Pius V (1566–72) was the first Pope to wear the white cassock is inaccurate. Instead, writes Bagliani, the first document that mentions the Pope’s white cassock dates from Gregory X in 1274. “The first pope to be solemnly invested with the red mantle immediately after his election was Gregory VII (1076),” the scholar added, noting that traditionally “from the moment of his election the Pope put on vestments of two colors: red (cope, mozzetta, shoes); and white (cassock, socks).”

Start of conflict with the Emperor
The main focus of the ecclesiastico-political projects of Gregory VII is to be found in his relationship with Germany. Since the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, the strength of the German monarchy had been seriously weakened, and his son Henry IV had to contend with great internal difficulties. This state of affairs was of material assistance to Gregory VII. His advantage was further enhanced by the fact that in 1073 Henry IV was only twenty-three years of age.

In the two years following the election of Gregory VII, Henry was forced by the Saxon Rebellion to come to amicable terms with him at any cost. Consequently, in May 1074 he did penance at Nuremberg—in the presence of the papal legates—to atone for his continued friendship with the members of his council who had been banned by Gregory, took an oath of obedience, and promised his support in the work of reforming the Church. This attitude, however, which at first won him the confidence of the pope, was abandoned as soon as he defeated the Saxons at the First Battle of Langensalza on 9 June 1075 (also called the Battle of Homburg or Battle of Hohenburg). Henry then tried to reassert his rights as the sovereign of northern Italy without delay. He sent Count Eberhard to Lombardy to combat the Patarenes; nominated the cleric Tedaldo to the archbishopric of Milan, thus settling a prolonged and contentious question; and finally tried to establish relations with the Norman duke Robert Guiscard.
Gregory VII replied with a rough letter, dated 8 December 1075, in which, among other charges, he accused the German king of breaching his word and with his continued support of excommunicated councilors. At the same time, he sent a verbal message suggesting that the enormous crimes which would be laid to his account rendered him liable, not only to the ban of the Church, but to the deprivation of his crown. Gregory did this at a time when he himself was confronted by a reckless opponent in the person of Cencio I Frangipane, who on Christmas night surprised him in church and carried him off as a prisoner, though on the following day Gregory was released.

Pope and Emperor depose each other
The reprimands of the Pope, couched as they were in such an unprecedented form, infuriated Henry and his court, and their answer was the hastily convened national council in Worms, Germany (the synod of Worms), which met on 24 January 1076. In the higher ranks of the German clergy Gregory had many enemies, and a Roman cardinal, Hugo Candidus, once on intimate terms with him but now his opponent, had hurried to Germany for the occasion. All the accusations with regard to Gregory that Candidus could come up with were well received by the assembly, which committed itself to the resolution that Gregory had forfeited the papacy. In one document full of accusations, the bishops renounced their allegiance to Gregory. In another, Henry pronounced him deposed, and the Romans were required to choose a new pope.

The council sent two bishops to Italy, and they procured a similar act of deposition from the Lombard bishops at the synod of Piacenza. Roland of Parma informed the pope of these decisions, and he was fortunate enough to gain an opportunity for speech in the synod, which had just assembled in the Lateran Basilica, to deliver his message there announcing the dethronement. For the moment the members were frightened, but soon such a storm of indignation was aroused that it was only due to the moderation of Gregory himself that the envoy was not murdered.
On the following day, 22 February 1076, Pope Gregory VII pronounced a sentence of excommunication against Henry IV with all due solemnity, divested him of his royal dignity and absolved his subjects from the oaths they had sworn to him. This sentence purported to eject a ruler from the Church and to strip him of his crown. Whether it would produce this effect, or would be an idle threat, depended not so much on Gregory VII as on Henry’s subjects, and, above all, on the German princes. Contemporary evidence suggests that the excommunication of Henry made a profound impression both in Germany and Italy.

Thirty years before, Henry III had deposed three claimants to the papacy, and thereby rendered an acknowledged service to the Church. When Henry IV tried to copy this procedure he was less successful, as he lacked the support of the people. In Germany there was a rapid and general feeling in favor of Gregory, and the princes took the opportunity to carry out their anti-regal policy under the cloak of respect for the papal decision. When at Whitsun the king proposed to discuss the measures to be taken against Gregory VII in a council of his nobles, only a few made their appearance; the Saxons snatched at the golden opportunity for renewing their rebellion, and the anti-royalist party grew in strength from month to month.

Walk to Canossa
The situation now became extremely critical for Henry. As a result of the agitation, which was zealously fostered by the papal legate Bishop Altmann of Passau, the princes met in October at Trebur to elect a new German ruler. Henry, who was stationed at Oppenheim on the left bank of the Rhine, was only saved from the loss of his throne by the failure of the assembled princes to agree on the question of his successor.
Their dissension, however, merely induced them to postpone the verdict. Henry, they declared, must make reparation to Gregory VII and pledge himself to obedience; and they decided that, if, on the anniversary of his excommunication, he still lay under the ban, the throne should be considered vacant. At the same time they decided to invite Gregory VII to Augsburg to decide the conflict.

These arrangements showed Henry the course to be pursued. It was imperative under any circumstances and at any price to secure his absolution from Gregory before the period named, otherwise he could scarcely foil his opponents in their intention to pursue their attack against him and justify their measures by an appeal to his excommunication. At first he attempted to attain his ends by an embassy, but when Gregory rejected his overtures he took the celebrated step of going to Italy in person.
Gregory VII had already left Rome and had intimated to the German princes that he would expect their escort for his journey on 8 January 1077 to Mantua. But this escort had not appeared when he received the news of Henry’s arrival. Henry, who had travelled through Burgundy, had been greeted with enthusiasm by the Lombards, but resisted the temptation to employ force against Gregory. He chose the unexpected course of forcing Gregory to grant him absolution by doing penance before him at Canossa, where he had taken refuge. The Walk to Canossa soon became legendary.
The reconciliation was only effected after prolonged negotiations and definite pledges on the part of Henry, and it was with reluctance that Gregory VII at length gave way, considering the political implications. If Gregory VII granted absolution, the diet of princes in Augsburg in which he might reasonably hope to act as arbitrator would either become useless, or, if it met at all, would change completely in character. It was impossible, however, to deny the penitent re-entrance into the Church, and Gregory VII’s religious obligations overrode his political interests.

The removal of the ban did not imply a genuine reconciliation, and no basis was gained for a settlement of the main question that divided Henry and Gregory: that of investiture. A new conflict was inevitable from the very fact that Henry considered the sentence of deposition repealed along with that of excommunication. Gregory, on the other hand, was intent on reserving his freedom of action and gave no hint on the subject at Canossa.

Second excommunication of Henry IV
That the excommunication of Henry IV was simply a pretext for the opposition of the rebellious German nobles is transparent. Not only did they persist in their policy after his absolution, but they took the more decided step of setting up a rival ruler in the person of Duke Rudolf of Swabia at Forchheim in March 1077. At the election, the papal legates present observed the appearance of neutrality, and Gregory VII himself sought to maintain this attitude during the following years. His task was made easier in that the two parties were of fairly equal strength, each trying to gain the upper hand by getting the pope on their side. But the result of his non-committal policy was that he largely lost the confidence of both parties. Finally he decided for Rudolf of Swabia after his victory at the Battle of Flarchheim on 27 January 1080. Under pressure from the Saxons, and misinformed as to the significance of this battle, Gregory abandoned his waiting policy and again pronounced the excommunication and deposition of King Henry on 7 March 1080.

But the papal censure now proved a very different thing from the one four years before. It was widely felt to be an injustice, and people began to ask whether an excommunication pronounced on frivolous grounds was entitled to respect. The king, now more experienced, took up the struggle with great vigour. He refused to acknowledge the ban on the ground of its illegality. He then summoned a Council, which met at Brixen, and on 16 June, pronounced Gregory deposed. It nominated the archbishop Guibert (Wibert) of Ravenna as his successor. On 25 June 1080, Guibert was elected Pope by the thirty bishops who were present at the King’s command. On 15 October 1080, Pope Gregory advised the clergy and laity to elect a new archbishop in place of the “mad” and “tyrannical” schismatic Wibert. In 1081, Henry opened the conflict against Gregory in Italy.Gregory’s support had by that time weakened, and thirteen cardinals had deserted him. To make matters worse, Rudolf of Swabia died on 16 October of the same year. Henry was now in a stronger position and Gregory a weaker one. A new claimant, Hermann of Luxembourg, was put forward in August 1081, but his personality was not suitable for a leader of the Gregorian party in Germany, and the power of Henry IV was at its peak.

The pope’s chief military supporter, Matilda of Tuscany, blocked Henry’s armies from the western passages over the Apennines, so he had to approach Rome from Ravenna. Rome surrendered to the German king in 1084, and Gregory thereupon retired into the exile of the Castel Sant’Angelo. Gregory refused to entertain Henry’s overtures, although the latter promised to hand over Guibert as a prisoner, if the sovereign pontiff would only consent to crown him emperor. Gregory, however, insisted as a necessary preliminary that Henry should appear before a Council and do penance. The emperor, while pretending to submit to these terms, tried hard to prevent the meeting of the bishops. A small number assembled nonetheless, and, in accordance with their wishes, Gregory again excommunicated Henry.

Henry, upon receipt of this news, again entered Rome on 21 March to see that his supporter, Archbishop Guibert of Ravenna, was enthroned as Pope Clement III on 24 March 1084. Henry was crowned emperor by his creature, but Robert Guiscard, with whom in the meantime Gregory had formed an alliance, was already marching on the city.Henry was compelled to flee towards Civita Castellana.

Exile from Rome
The pope was liberated, but after the Roman people became incensed by the excesses of his Norman allies, he was compelled to withdraw to Monte Cassino, and later to the castle of Salerno by the sea, where he died on 25 May 1085. Three days before his death, he withdrew all the censures of excommunication that he had pronounced, except those against the two chief offenders – Henry and Guibert.

Papal policy to the rest of Europe
England
In 1076, Gregory appointed a bishop to the see of Dol, who was neither the candidate of William the Conqueror, who had recently been conducting military operations in north-eastern Brittany, nor the bishop elect of the chapter of the church of St. Samson of Dol, who was supported by the nobles in Dol opposing William.The candidate chosen was Gilduin, who was below the canonical minimum age for consecration as a bishop, and therefore Gregory pleaded that he could not sanction his appointment. Instead Gregory consecrated Abbot Yvo (Evêne) of S. Melanii, one of the procurators sent to Rome, and he also bestowed on him the pallium of a metropolitan archbishop, on the condition that he would submit to the judgment of the Holy See when the long-standing case of the right of Dol to be a metropolitan and use the pallium was finally decided.
King William felt himself so safe that he interfered autocratically with the management of the church, forbade the bishops to visit Rome, made appointments to bishoprics and abbeys, and showed little anxiety when the pope lectured him on the different principles which he had as to the relationship of spiritual and temporal powers, or when he prohibited him from commerce or commanded him to acknowledge himself a vassal of the apostolic chair. William was particularly annoyed at Gregory’s insistence on dividing ecclesiastical England into two provinces, in opposition to William’s need to emphasize the unity of his newly acquired kingdom. Gregory’s increasing insistence on church independence from secular authority in the matter of clerical appointments became a more and more contentious issue. He sought as well to compel the episcopacy to look to Rome for validation and direction, demanding the regular attendance of prelates in Rome.Gregory had no power to compel the English king to an alteration in his ecclesiastical policy, so he was compelled to ignore what he could not approve, and even considered it advisable to assure King William of his particular affection. On the whole, William’s policy was of great benefit to the Church.

Normans in the Kingdom of Sicily
The relationship of Gregory VII to other European states was strongly influenced by his German policy, since the Holy Roman Empire, by taking up most of his energies, often forced him to show to other rulers the very moderation which he withheld from the German king. The attitude of the Normans brought him a rude awakening. The great concessions made to them under Nicholas II were not only powerless to stem their advance into central Italy, but failed to secure even the expected protection for the papacy. When Gregory VII was hard pressed by Henry IV, Robert Guiscard left him to his fate, and only intervened when he himself was threatened with German arms. Then, on the capture of Rome, he abandoned the city to his troops, and the popular indignation evoked by his act brought about Gregory’s exile.

Claims of Papal sovereignty
In the case of several countries, Gregory VII tried to establish a claim of sovereignty on the part of the Papacy, and to secure the recognition of its self-asserted rights of possession. On the ground of “immemorial usage”, Corsica and Sardinia were assumed to belong to the Roman Church. Spain, Hungary and Croatia were also claimed as her property, and an attempt was made to induce the king of Denmark to hold his realm as a fief from the pope.
In his treatment of ecclesiastical policy and ecclesiastical reform, Gregory did not stand alone, but found powerful support: in England Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury stood closest to him; in France his champion was Bishop Hugh de Dié, who afterwards became Archbishop of Lyon.

France
Philip I of France, by his practice of simony and the violence of his proceedings against the Church, provoked a threat of summary measures. Excommunication, deposition and the interdict appeared to be imminent in 1074. Gregory, however, refrained from translating his threats into actions, although the attitude of the king showed no change, for he wished to avoid a dispersion of his strength in the conflict soon to break out in Germany.

Pope Gregory attempted to organize a crusade into Spain, led by Count Ebles II of Roucy.
Distant Christian countries
Gregory, in fact, established some sort of relations with every country in Christendom; though these relations did not invariably realize the ecclesiastico-political hopes connected with them. His correspondence extended to Poland, Kievan Rus’ and Bohemia. He unsuccessfully tried to bring Armenia into closer contact with Rome.

Byzantine Empire
Gregory was particularly concerned with the East. The schism between Rome and the Byzantine Empire was a severe blow to him, and he worked hard to restore the former amicable relationship. Gregory successfully tried to get in touch with the emperor Michael VII. When the news of the Muslim attacks on the Christians in the East filtered through to Rome, and the political embarrassments of the Byzantine emperor increased, he conceived the project of a great military expedition and exhorted the faithful to participate in recovering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – foreshadowing the First Crusade. In his efforts to recruit for the expedition, he emphasized the suffering of eastern Christians, arguing western Christians had a moral obligation to go to their aid.

Internal policy and reforms
His lifework was based on his conviction that the Church was founded by God and entrusted with the task of embracing all mankind in a single society in which divine will is the only law; that, in her capacity as a divine institution, she is supreme over all human structures, especially the secular state; and that the pope, in his role as head of the Church, is the vice-regent of God on earth, so that disobedience to him implies disobedience to God: or, in other words, a defection from Christianity. But any attempt to interpret this in terms of action would have bound the Church to annihilate not merely a single state, but all states.

Thus Gregory VII, as a politician wanting to achieve some result, was driven in practice to adopt a different standpoint. He acknowledged the existence of the state as a dispensation of Providence, described the coexistence of church and state as a divine ordinance, and emphasized the necessity of union between the sacerdotium and the imperium. But at no period would he have dreamed of putting the two powers on an equal footing; the superiority of church to state was to him a fact which admitted of no discussion and which he had never doubted.
He wished to see all important matters of dispute referred to Rome; appeals were to be addressed to himself; the centralization of ecclesiastical government in Rome naturally involved a curtailment of the powers of bishops. Since these refused to submit voluntarily and tried to assert their traditional independence, his papacy is full of struggles against the higher ranks of the clergy. Pope Gregory VII was critical in promoting and regulating the concept of modern university as his 1079 Papal Decree ordered the regulated establishment of cathedral schools that transformed themselves into the first European universities.

This battle for the foundation of papal supremacy is connected with his championship of compulsory celibacy among the clergy and his attack on simony. Gregory VII did not introduce the celibacy of the priesthood into the Church, but he took up the struggle with greater energy than his predecessors. In 1074, he published an encyclical, absolving the people from their obedience to bishops who allowed married priests. The next year he enjoined them to take action against married priests, and deprived these clerics of their revenues. Both the campaign against priestly marriage and that against simony provoked widespread resistance.

His writings treat mainly of the principles and practice of Church government. They may be found in Mansi’s collection under the title “Gregorii VII registri sive epistolarum libri”.

Doctrine of the Eucharist
Gregory VII was seen by Pope Paul VI as instrumental in affirming the tenet that Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Gregory’s demand that Berengarius perform a confession of this belief was quoted in Pope Paul VI’s historic 1965 encyclical Mysterium fidei:
I believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine that are placed on the altar are, through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of the Redeemer, substantially changed into the true and proper and lifegiving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, and that after the consecration they are the true body of Christ.
This profession of faith began a “Eucharistic Renaissance” in the churches of Europe as of the 12th century.

Death
Pope Gregory VII died in exile in Salerno; the epitaph on Gregory VII’s sarcophagus in the city’s Cathedral says: “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, I die in exile.”

Legacy
Gregory VII was beatified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584 and canonized on 24 May 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII.


Bede (/biːd/ BEED; Old English: Bǣda, Bēda; 672/3 – 26 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable (Latin: Bēda Venerābilis), was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles (contemporarily Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey in Tyne and Wear, England). Born on lands likely belonging to the Monkwearmouth monastery in present-day Sunderland, Bede was sent there at the age of seven and later joined Abbot Ceolfrith at the Jarrow monastery, both of whom survived a plague that struck in 686, an outbreak that killed a majority of the population there. While he spent most of his life in the monastery, Bede travelled to several abbeys and monasteries across the British Isles, even visiting the archbishop of York and King Ceolwulf of Northumbria. He is well known as an author, teacher (a student of one of his pupils was Alcuin), and scholar, and his most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title “The Father of English History”. His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works of exegetical erudition. Another important area of study for Bede was the academic discipline of computus, otherwise known to his contemporaries as the science of calculating calendar dates. One of the more important dates Bede tried to compute was Easter, an effort that was mired with controversy. He also helped establish the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ (Anno Domini – in the year of our Lord), a practice which eventually became commonplace in medieval Europe. Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the single most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800.
In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church. He is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation; Anselm of Canterbury, also a Doctor of the Church, was originally from Italy. Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, and his work made the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, which contributed significantly to English Christianity. Bede’s monastery had access to an impressive library which included works by Eusebius, Orosius, and many others.

Source: Wikipedia

John I, Po & M

+John 14:7-14
To have seen me is to have seen the father

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask for anything in my name,
I will do it.’


Acts 13:44-52
Since you have rejected the word of God, we must turn to the pagans

The next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:
I have made you a light for the nations,
so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’
It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.


Psalm 97(98):1-4
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
ring out your joy.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church

How Is The Son Of God Man?

470 Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed”, in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity”. The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity:
The Son of God. . . worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.


Pope John I (Latin: Ioannes I; d. 18 May 526) was Pope from 13 August 523 to his death in 526. He was a native of Siena (or the “Castello di Serena”, near Chiusdino), in Italy. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theoderic to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theoderic had the Pope imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople. The frail pope died of neglect and ill-treatment.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

+John 6:60-69
Who shall we go to? You are the Holy One of God

After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?
‘It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit
and they are life.
‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.
Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’


Acts 9:31-42
The churches grew and were filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit

The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Peter visited one place after another and eventually came to the saints living down in Lydda. There he found a man called Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you: get up and fold up your sleeping mat.’ Aeneas got up immediately; everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they were all converted to the Lord.
At Jaffa there was a woman disciple called Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, who never tired of doing good or giving in charity. But the time came when she got ill and died, and they washed her and laid her out in a room upstairs. Lydda is not far from Jaffa, so when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men with an urgent message for him, ‘Come and visit us as soon as possible.’
Peter went back with them straightaway, and on his arrival they took him to the upstairs room, where all the widows stood round him in tears, showing him tunics and other clothes Dorcas had made when she was with them. Peter sent them all out of the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, ‘Tabitha, stand up.’ She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter helped her to her feet, then he called in the saints and widows and showed them she was alive. The whole of Jaffa heard about it and many believed in the Lord.


Psalm 115(116):12-17
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the Lord’s name.
How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?

Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ Jesus

727 The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that the Son is the one anointed by the Father’s Spirit since his Incarnation – Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.
Everything in the second chapter of the Creed is to be read in this light. Christ’s whole work is in fact a joint mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here, we shall mention only what has to do with Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit and the gift of him by the glorified Lord.

728 Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully, until he himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection. Nevertheless, little by little he alludes to him even in his teaching of the multitudes, as when he reveals that his own flesh will be food for the life of the world. He also alludes to the Spirit in speaking to Nicodemus, to the Samaritan woman, and to those who take part in the feast of Tabernacles. To his disciples he speaks openly of the Spirit in connection with prayer and with the witness they will have to bear.

729 Only when the hour has arrived for his glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit, since his Death and Resurrection will fulfill the promise made to the fathers. The Spirit of truth, the other Paraclete, will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus’ prayer; he will be sent by the Father in Jesus’ name; and Jesus will send him from the Father’s side, since he comes from the Father. The Holy Spirit will come and we shall know him; he will be with us for ever; he will remain with us. The Spirit will teach us everything, remind us of all that Christ said to us and bear witness to him. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will glorify Christ. He will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

730 At last Jesus’ hour arrives: he commends his spirit into the Father’s hands at the very moment when by his death he conquers death, so that, “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,” he might immediately give the Holy Spirit by “breathing” on his disciples. From this hour onward, the mission of Christ and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

+John 6:16-21
They saw Jesus walking on the lake

In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.


Acts 6:1-7
They elected seven men full of the Holy Spirit

About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.


Psalm 32(33):1-2,4-5,18-19
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp,
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
For the word of the Lord is faithful
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Prayer Of Petition

2629 The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even “struggle in prayer.” Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him.

2630 The New Testament contains scarcely any prayers of lamentation, so frequent in the Old Testament. In the risen Christ the Church’s petition is buoyed by hope, even if we still wait in a state of expectation and must be converted anew every day. Christian petition, what St. Paul calls {“groaning,” arises from another depth, that of creation “in labor pains” and that of ourselves “as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” In the end, however, “with sighs too deep for words” the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”

2631 The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the tax collector in the parable: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that “we receive from him whatever we ask.” Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the Eucharistic liturgy and personal prayer.

2632 Christian petition is centered on the desire and search for the Kingdom to come, in keeping with the teaching of Christ. There is a hierarchy in these petitions: we pray first for the Kingdom, then for what is necessary to welcome it and cooperate with its coming. This collaboration with the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit, which is now that of the Church, is the object of the prayer of the apostolic community. It is the prayer of Paul, the apostle par excellence, which reveals to us how the divine solicitude for all the churches ought to inspire Christian prayer. By prayer every baptized person works for the coming of the Kingdom.

Easter Saturday

+Mark 16:9-15
Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News

Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils. She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them. But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him.
After this, he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country. These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.
Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.’


Acts 4:13-21
We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard

The rulers, elders and scribes were astonished at the assurance shown by Peter and John, considering they were uneducated laymen; and they recognised them as associates of Jesus; but when they saw the man who had been cured standing by their side, they could find no answer. So they ordered them to stand outside while the Sanhedrin had a private discussion. ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘It is obvious to everybody in Jerusalem that a miracle has been worked through them in public, and we cannot deny it. But to stop the whole thing spreading any further among the people, let us caution them never to speak to anyone in this name again.’
So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John retorted, ‘You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.’ The court repeated the warnings and then released them; they could not think of any way to punish them, since all the people were giving glory to God for what had happened.


Psalm 117(118):1,14-21
I will thank you, Lord, for you have given answer.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love has no end.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he was my saviour.
There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the just.
I will thank you, Lord, for you have given answer.
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord,
but not doomed to die.
I will thank you, Lord, for you have given answer.
Open to me the gates of holiness:
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord’s own gate
where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered
and you are my saviour.
I will thank you, Lord, for you have given answer.

Source: Jerusalem Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church

One Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins

977 Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and Baptism: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that “we too might walk in newness of life.”

978 “When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them…. Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil ”

979 In this battle against our inclination towards evil, who could be brave and watchful enough to escape every wound of sin? “If the Church has the power to forgive sins, then Baptism cannot be her only means of using the keys of the Kingdom of heaven received from Jesus Christ. the Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives.”

980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church:
Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers “a laborious kind of baptism.” This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.

Holy Saturday

Luke 24:1-12
Why look among the dead for someone who is alive?

On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering discovered that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there. As they stood there not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee: that the Son of Man had to be handed over into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and rise again on the third day?’ And they remembered his words.
When the women returned from the tomb they told all this to the Eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them also told the apostles, but this story of theirs seemed pure nonsense, and they did not believe them.
Peter, however, went running to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.


Romans 6:3-11
Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.
If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a Christian dies, of course, he has finished with sin.
But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 117(118):1-2,16-17,22-23
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
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.’
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Source: Jerusalem Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesus Christ was Buried
624 “By the grace of God” Jesus tasted death “for every one”. In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should not only “die for our sins” but should also “taste death”, experience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb, reveals God’s great sabbath rest after the fulfilment of man’s salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe.
Christ in the tomb in his body

625 Christ’s stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between his passible state before Easter and his glorious and risen state today. The same person of the “Living One” can say, “I died, and behold I am alive for evermore”:
God [the Son] did not impede death from separating his soul from his body according to the necessary order of nature, but has reunited them to one another in the Resurrection, so that he himself might be, in his person, the meeting point for death and life, by arresting in himself the decomposition of nature produced by death and so becoming the source of reunion for the separated parts.

626 Since the “Author of life” who was killed is the same “living one [who has] risen”, the divine person of the Son of God necessarily continued to possess his human soul and body, separated from each other by death:
By the fact that at Christ’s death his soul was separated from his flesh, his one person is not itself divided into two persons; for the human body and soul of Christ have existed in the same way from the beginning of his earthly existence, in the divine person of the Word; and in death, although separated from each other, both remained with one and the same person of the Word.
“You will not let your Holy One see corruption”

627 Christ’s death was a real death in that it put an end to his earthly human existence. But because of the union which the person of the Son retained with his body, his was not a mortal corpse like others, for “it was not possible for death to hold him” and therefore “divine power preserved Christ’s body from corruption.” Both of these statements can be said of Christ: “He was cut off out of the land of the living”, and “My flesh will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let your Holy One see corruption.” Jesus’ Resurrection “on the third day” was the sign of this, also because bodily decay was held to begin on the fourth day after death.
“Buried with Christ. . .”

628 Baptism, the original and full sign of which is immersion, efficaciously signifies the descent into the tomb by the Christian who dies to sin with Christ in order to live a new life. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

In Brief

629 To the benefit of every man, Jesus Christ tasted death (cf. Heb 2:9). It is truly the Son of God made man who died and was buried.
630 During Christ’s period in the tomb, his divine person continued to assume both his soul and his body, although they were separated from each other by death. For this reason the dead Christ’s body “saw no corruption” (Acts 13:37).