Thứ Bảy, 29 tháng 4, 2017

APRIL 30, 2017 : THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

Third Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 46

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
"You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

"My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear."

Responsorial PsalmPS 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R. (11a) Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, 
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 PT 1:17-21
Beloved:
If you invoke as Father him who judges impartially
according to each one's works,
conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,
realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished lamb.

He was known before the foundation of the world 
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

AlleluiaCF. LK 24:32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;
make our hearts burn while you speak to us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

That very day, the first day of the week, 
two of Jesus' disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them, 
"What are you discussing as you walk along?"
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?"
And he replied to them, "What sort of things?"
They said to him, 
"The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning 
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted 
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.


3rd Sunday of Easter – Cycle A

Note: Where a Scripture text is underlined in the body of this discussion, it is recommended that the reader look up and read that passage.

1st Reading - Acts 2:14, 22-33

Today’s first reading tells of the formation of the early Church as we hear Peter address the people of the day of Pentecost. His address is in two parts: Part 1, which we do not hear today, explains that the messianic times foretold by the Prophet Joel have now arrived; today’s reading is the second part of the address and it proclaims that Jesus of Nazareth, whom the Jews crucified, is the Messiah promised by God and eagerly awaited by the righteous of the Old Testament; it is he who has effected God’s saving plan for mankind.

“Pentecost” means “the 50th day”. It is one of three feasts mentioned in Exodus 23:14-17 where it is called simply the harvest festival, the feast of the first-fruits of the grain harvest. In Leviticus 23:15-21 the feast is reckoned by counting seven weeks from the beginning of the grain harvest; it is a day of sabbatical observance. As with the other two feasts mentioned in Exodus 23:14-17, it is a pilgrimage feast: “three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God”. Jerusalem is crowded with pilgrims. The resurrected Jesus had spent forty days instructing His apostles and then ten days ago ascended after telling them “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘the promise of the Father... you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 1:4-5). The Holy Spirit has come upon them this day and now Peter, the chief apostle and spokesman for the group, addresses the crowd of pilgrims who are outside the upper room, attracted by the sound of the coming of the Spirit.

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them,

Notice the change worked in Peter by the Holy Spirit: he preaches and argues boldly whereas only some 50 days earlier he had trembled at the word of a servant girl. Notice that it is Peter who speaks for the whole group with no dissension from any of the other apostles.

“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 22 You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.

The overall concern is to show that God is directing history at its every turn.

23    This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.

God’s fore-ordination of Jesus’ death does not diminish the people’s guilt. God triumphs through human actions rather than despite them.

24    But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says of him:

Jewish tradition is that David wrote all the psalms. Psalm 16:8-11 is quoted; its only use in the New Testament. The tradition of Davidic authorship of the psalms and the divine pledge of David’s everlasting dynasty (2 Samuel 7:12-16) play a key role in the Scripture proofs of Saint Luke’s proclamation of what God has done in Christ for the salvation of men.

‘I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. 26 Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 27 because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 29 My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day.

1 Kings 2:10 tells us that David is buried in Jerusalem. Since David has died, the psalm cannot apply to him. This argument is following a set pattern: (1) Scripture says; (2) the words apply either to the one speaking in the text or to another; (3) they do not apply to the speaker; (4) therefore they apply to another, namely Jesus. Similar patterns occur in Acts 8:30-35 and 13:35-37.

30    But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,

The ideology of Davidic succession is quoted from Psalm 132:11-12 to indicate of whom David prophesied in the Psalm.

31    he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.

The statement of verse 24 is reaffirmed and a statement of apostolic witness is added.

33 Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you (both) see and hear.

What we have here is Saint Peter, the masterful teacher, demonstrating that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah who was foretold by the prophets by reminding his listeners of our Lord’s miracles (verse 22), as well as of His death (verse 23), resurrection (verses 24-32) and glorious ascension (verse 33).

2nd Reading - 1 Peter 1:17-21

This week we delve a little farther into the 1st letter of Peter. Peter was originally called Simeon in Hebrew (Simon is the Greek form of the name). Jesus reamed him Kepha (Hebrew/Aramaic) or Petros (Greek), transliterated in some texts as Cephas. Simon Peter was a native of Bethsaida, a city of Galilee on the northeast shore of Lake Tiberius (Genesareth/Sea of Galilee). Like his father John and his brother Andrew, he was a fisherman. We know that he was married because Jesus healed his mother-in-law who was living in Capernaum (Matthew 8:14).

Today we hear Saint Peter call us to holiness. The Christian has attained the honor of being God’s child, his son or daughter. Peter summarizes God’s plan for man’s salvation, which comes about in Christ: from all eternity it was God’s design to save men through Christ; this design was made manifest “at the end of times”; when our Lord offered Himself as an expiation for the sins of men, and then rose from the dead and was glorified.

17 Now if you invoke as Father

Calling upon a father as witness is swearing an oath (kaddush in Hebrew) it is recognizing a covenant bond in which we are all children of God. The Didache (The Teaching of the 12 Apostles), a 1st century writing, tells us that the “Our Father” was recited three times a day.

him who judges impartially

It is true that the Lord our God is infinitely merciful, but He is also infinitely just: and there is a judgment, and He is the judge.

according to each one’s works,

Divine sonship can never be taken as a kind of safe-conduct which allows us to be casual about our duties. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, 18 realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold 19

The Jews could redeem their sacrifice by paying 15 to 20 per cent more than the cost of the animal. The animal sacrifice was not effective; although it could show contrition for sin, it could not gain absolution sufficient for entrance into heaven.

but with the precious blood of Christ

The sacrifice of Jesus is effective, it allows us to approach the Father and gain absolution for our sins.

“If the unfortunate Jews observe the Sabbath in such a way that they do not dare to do any secular work on it, how much more should those who have been ‘redeemed, not with gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ,’ pay attention to their price and devote themselves to God on the day of His resurrection, thinking more diligently of the salvation of their souls?” [Caesar of Arles (A.D. 542), Sermons, 73,4]
  as of a spotless unblemished lamb.

This is a Passover reference which carries over into the Eucharist. Just like the original Passover sacrifice, the sacrifice of the Eucharist must be eaten to be effective.

20 He was known before the foundation of the world

God always knew what was going to be required, but He, in His infinite respect for our free will, let us come to this point in salvation history by our own deeds and actions.

but revealed in the final time for you, 21 who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

The resurrection of Jesus is the basis of Christian faith and hope and is the main proof of Jesus’ divinity and His divine mission (see 1 Corinthians 15). The apostles were, first and foremost, witnesses of our Lord’s resurrection; and the proclamation of the resurrection was the core of apostolic catechesis. Jesus the Christ rose from the dead by His own power, the power of His divine person. The Saint Pius V Catechism points out that “We sometimes, it is true, read in Scripture that He was raised by the Father; but this refers to Him as man, just as those passages, on the other hand, which say that He rose by His own power relate to Him as God.”

The next verse reads “Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a (pure) heart.” Everything depends upon living the life of Christ.

Gospel - Luke 24:13-35

Last week we heard the account of Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples as recorded in the Gospel of John. It was at this appearance that He conferred the ability and responsibility to forgive sins to the apostles. Today’s gospel reading is the first appearance of Jesus away from the tomb as recorded in Luke’s gospel. There is a parallel account in Mark 16:12-13.

There are a number of differences which show up upon comparison of today’s gospel reading with the gospel reading of last week as we hear this week of the account of His appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
1)    The two men are not leaders of the community but represent all followers.
2)    The two men are troubled and do not understand why Jesus was crucified.
3)    At first they do not recognize Jesus.
4)    The apostles seem to recognize Jesus but do not believe their senses.
5)    After recognition, these two men do not hesitate to believe. 6) Once recognized, Jesus disappears.

13    Now that very day [the first day of the week]

As attested in Luke 24:1, this is the first Easter Sunday.

two of them

It has been suggested that these two may be part of the seventy-two (seventy) sent out in pairs in Luke 10:1.

were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,

The location of the village is unknown today. The name means “hot spring”.

14    and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.

The two have lost hope and have ceased to be journeying with Jesus. Their leader has been killed and they don’t know what to do. The Lucan theme of journey is predominant as an image for discipleship.

15    And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

Throughout his gospel Saint Luke plays on the theme of seeing. Now he articulates this theme as he tells how the risen Christ opens the eyes of disciples to see His true meaning in God’s plan. But as this story narrates, the disciples’ eyes are only fully opened after they have shown hospitality to a stranger.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas,

From Eusebius (A.D. 263-339) we learn that Cleopas is the brother of Joseph, Jesus’ foster father and father of Symeon. Symeon succeeded James as Bishop of Jerusalem and after A.D. 70 led the Christians back to Jerusalem. “After the martyrdom of James and the capture of Jerusalem which instantly followed, there is a firm tradition that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord who were still alive assembled from all parts together with those who, humanly speaking, were kinsmen of the Lord – for most of them were still living. Then they all discussed together whom they should choose as a fit person to succeed James, and voted unanimously that Symeon, son of the Cleopas mentioned in the gospel narrative, was a fit person to occupy the throne of the Jerusalem see. He was, so it is said, a cousin of the Savior, for Hegesippus tells us that Cleopas was Joseph’s brother.” [Eusebius, The History of The Church (3.11)]. The names may not be important for salvation history, but the tradition brings out that the “brethren of Jesus”, his close relatives, did not completely reject Him.

said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

At most, Jesus had impressed these men as the expected prophet. They never believed in Jesus’ divinity.

20 how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. 22 Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.

The faithful women disciples’ proclamation of the Easter gospel is resisted and does not open their eyes of faith.

24 Then some of those with us went to the tomb

Peter and John (John 20:3-10)

and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.

Jesus begins His explanation with Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch (tradition ascribes authorship of these books to Moses). What does positively contribute to faith is Jesus’ interpretation of His life as the fulfillment of all God’s promises from one end of the Scriptures to the other.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

Jesus was not play-acting, he really would have departed had He not been invited to stay.

30    And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.

This is Eucharistic terminology. The Jerome Biblical Commentary states “We need not maintain that Jesus consecrated the Eucharist.” – I say “baloney!” Jesus consecrated the Eucharist and in making Himself present in the Eucharist the two disciples saw the fulfillment of all the Old Testament covenants and prophesies as well as the New Testament promises. After all, this is what Jesus had just spent the day explaining to them. What a Bible study that must have been!

31    With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,

The verb translated as “eyes were opened” occurs only eight times in the New Testament and in each case it always means a deeper understanding of revelation.

but he vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” 33 So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem

Notice that the two disciples are not at all upset at the loss (again) of their leader. In fact, they are anxious to tell the apostles of their discovery. They have discovered Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist! The person-to-person physical presence of a visible Jesus is no longer necessary because He is indeed risen and is present in the word and in the sacrament.

where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34 who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”

Jesus’ prayer (Luke 22:32) has been efficacious. Simon Peter has also been forgiven and is now empowered to strengthen his fellow Christians along the way.

35 Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, MS http://www.scborromeo.org


Meditation: "Did not our hearts burn while he opened to us the Scriptures"
Why was it difficult for the disciples to recognize the risen Lord? Jesus' death scattered his disciples and shattered their hopes and dreams. They had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. They saw the cross as defeat and could not comprehend the empty tomb until the Lord Jesus appeared to them and gave them understanding. 
Do you recognize the Risen Lord in his word and in the breaking of the bread?
Jesus chided the disciples on the road to Emmaus for their slowness of heart to believe what the Scriptures had said concerning the Messiah. They did not recognize the risen Jesus until he had broken bread with them. Do you recognize the Lord in his word and in the breaking of the bread?
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) reflects on the dimness of their perception:
"They were so disturbed when they saw him hanging on the cross that they forgot his teaching, did not look for his resurrection, and failed to keep his promises in mind" (Sermon 235.1).
"Their eyes were obstructed, that they should not recognize him until the breaking of the bread. And thus, in accordance with the state of their minds, which was still ignorant of the truth - that the Christ would die and rise again, their eyes were similarly hindered. It was not that the truth himself was misleading them, but rather that they were themselves unable to perceive the truth." (From The Harmony of the Gospels, 3.25.72)
How often do we fail to recognize the Lord when he speaks to our hearts and opens his mind to us? The Risen Lord is ever ready to speak his word to us and to give us understanding of his ways. Do you listen attentively to the Word of God and allow his word to change and transform you?
"Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart to recognize your presence with me and to understand the truth of your saving word. Nourish me with your life-giving word and with the bread of life."
A Daily Quote for the Easter seasonThe Easter Alleluia, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"Now therefore, brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say Alleluia. You say to your neighbor, "Praise the Lord!" and he says the same to you. We are all urging one another to praise the Lord, and all thereby doing what each of us urges the other to do. But see that your praise comes from your whole being; in other words, see that you praise God not with your lips and voices alone, but with your minds, your lives and all your actions." (excerpt from commentary on Psalm 148)

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
SUNDAY, APRIL 30, LUKE 24:13-35

(Acts 2, 14, 22-33; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:17-21)

KEY VERSE: "With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him" (v 31).
TO KNOW: As two disciples returned to their home in Emmaus from their Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they discussed the meaning of the events they had witnessed there. As they journeyed along the road, the Risen Christ appeared to them, but they mistook him for another pilgrim. They told the "stranger" that although Jesus was a mighty prophet, their hopes and dreams that "he was the one to redeem Israel" (Lk 24:21) were shattered at the crucifixion. They also told him of the rumor that some women went to the tomb and found it empty, but the apostles dismissed their story as nonsense. Jesus listened to their anguished tale, and then explained that God's plan had been revealed in Moses and the prophets (the Jewish scriptures), and that it was necessary that the Messiah should suffer so as to enter glory. At nightfall, the disciples urged Jesus to stay and share a meal with them. Though the disciples’ eyes had been closed to Jesus’ presence, they recognized him "in the breaking of the bread" (v 35), and then he vanished from their sight. Unable to keep the good news to themselves, they hastened back to Jerusalem with great joy. There they discovered that the apostles had already experienced the Risen Christ. Although he is physically absent, Jesus continues to be with his followers through the Word and Eucharist.
TO LOVE: How can I help others discover Jesus on their spiritual journeys?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, open my eyes to your presence in the scriptures and the sacrament.​


Sunday 30 April 2017

3rd Sunday of Easter. W. THIRD EASTER Week III Psalter
Acts 2:14, 22-33. Psalms 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11. 1 Peter 1:17-21. Luke 24:13-35. [St Pius V].
Lord, you will show us the path of life—Psalms 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11.
He took the bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them.
The two distressed friends are accompanied by a stranger. He listens to their experience. He offers solace to them in the way of Scripture, which they seem to know and love. He accepts their hospitality and at the table he blesses and breaks the bread, offering it to them. And in that moment they realise who has travelled with them.
Each Eucharist carries the same promise for us. May we take time to savour the readings that are offered to us and approach communion with an open and loving heart. Similarly, in our home, let us make our family meal gracious, simple and a time of peace for our family.


ST. PIUS V, POPE

St. Pius V was born Michele Ghislieri in 1504 to poor parents of noble lineage at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy on January 17, 1504. He worked as a shepherd until the age of 14 when he encountered two Dominicans who recognized his intelligence and virtue. He joined the Dominicans and was ordained a priest at 24. He taught philosophy and theology for 16 years during which he was elected prior of many houses. He was known for his austere penances, his long hours of prayer and fasting, and the holiness of his speech.
He was elected Bishop of Sutri in 1556, and served as an inquisitor in Milan and Lombardi, and then as inquisitor general of the Church and a cardinal in 1557. He was known in this capacity as an able, yet unflinching man who rigorously fought heresy and corruption wherever he encountered it.
He was elected Pope on January 7, 1566, with the influential backing of his friend St. Charles Borromeo, and took the name Pius V.  He immediately put into action his vast program of reform by getting rid of many of the extravagant luxuries then prevalent in his court. He gave the money usually invested in these luxuries to the poor whom he personally cared for, washing their feet, consoling those near death, and tending to lepers and the very sick. He spent long hours before the Blessed Sacrament despite his heavy workload.
His pontificate was dedicated to applying the reforms of the Council of Trent, raising the standard of morality and reforming the clergy, and strongly supporting foreign missions. The Catechism of the Council of Trent was completed during his reign, and he revised the Roman Breviary and Missal, which remained in use until the reforms of Vatican II.
His six year pontificate saw him constantly at war with two massive enemy forces; the Protestant heretics and the spread of their doctrines in the West, and the Turkish armies who were advancing from the East. He encouraged efforts to battle Protestantism by education and preaching, and giving strong support to the newly formed Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. He excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, and supported Catholics who were oppressed and intimidated by Protestant princes, especially in Germany.
He worked hard to unite the Christian armies against the Turks, and perhaps the most famous success of his papacy was the miraculous victory of the Christian fleet in the battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. The island of Malta was attacked by the Turkish fleet, and nearly every man defending the fortress was killed in battle. The Pope sent out a fleet to meet the enemy, requesting that each man on board pray the Rosary and receive communion. Meanwhile, he called on all of Europe to recite the Rosary and ordered a 40 hour devotion in Rome during which time the battle took place. The Christian fleet, vastly outnumbered by the Turks, inflicted an impossible defeat on the Turkish navy, demolishing the entire fleet.
In memory of the triumph, he declared the day the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary because of her intercession in answering the mass recitation of the Rosary and obtaining the victory. He has also been called ‘the Pope of the Rosary’ for this reason.
Pope Pius V died seven months later on May 1, 1572, of a painful disease, uttering "O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!" He is enshrined at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, and was beatified by Clement X in 1672. He was canonized by Clement XI in 1712.

LECTIO DIVINA: 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER (A)
Lectio Divina: 
 Sunday, April 30, 2017

On the Road to Emmaus
Looking for the key to an understanding of the Scriptures
Luke 24, 13-35
1. OPENING PRAYER
Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.
Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.
2. READING
a) A key to guide the reading:

Let us read the text where Luke presents Jesus as interpreting the Scriptures. As we read, let us seek to discover the various steps taken by Jesus in the process of this interpretation, from the moment he meets the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, to the time the disciples meet with the community in Jerusalem.
b) A division of the text to assist a careful reading:

Lk 24,13-24: Jesus tries to find out what it is that is making the two disciples distressed.
Lk 24,25-27: Jesus sheds the light of Scripture on the situation of the two disciples.
Lk 24,28-32: Jesus shares the bread and celebrates with the disciples.
 Lk 24,33-35: The two disciples go to Jerusalem and share their experience of the resurrection with the community.
c) The text:

13-24:
 Now that very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. And it happened that as they were talking together and discussing it, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but their eyes were prevented from recognising him. He said to them, 'What are all these things that you are discussing as you walk along?' They stopped, their faces downcast. Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, 'You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.' He asked, 'What things?' They answered, 'All about Jesus of Nazareth, who showed himself a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have now gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they could not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.' 
25-27: Then he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?' Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
28-32: When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them saying, 'It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?'
33-35: They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, 34 who said to them, 'The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon.' 35 Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
3. A MOMENT OF PRAYERFUL SILENCE
so that the Word of God may enter into us and enlighten our life.
4. SOME QUESTIONS
to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What part did you like best in this text? Why?
b) What steps did Jesus take in interpreting the Scriptures from the time he met the two friends on the road up to the time the disciples went to the community in Jerusalem?
c) In what manner of situation does Jesus meet the two disciples?
d) What are the similarities and the differences between our present situation and that of the two disciples? What factors create a crisis of faith in our day and are the cause of sadness?
e) What was the effect of Jesus’ reading of the Bible on the life of the two disciples?
f) Which points in the interpretation made by Jesus are a critique of our way of reading the Bible, and which are a confirmation?
5. A KEY TO THE READING
for those who wish to go deeper into the text.
a) The context in which Luke is writing:
* Luke is writing in about the year 85 for the Greek community of Asia Minor, who were living in difficult circumstances, due to factors both external and internal. Internally, there were divergent tendencies that made life together difficult: ex-Pharisees who wanted to impose the law of Moses (Acts 15,1); those who followed John the Baptist more and who had not even heard of the Holy Spirit (Acts 19,1-6); Jews who used the name of Jesus to drive out demons (Acts 19,13); and those who said they were followers of Peter, others of Paul, others of Apollo, and others of Christ (1Cor 1,12). Externally, persecution by the Roma Empire was growing (Ap 1,9-10; 2,3.10.13; 6,9-10; 12,16) plus the insidious infiltration of the dominant ideology of the Empire and of the official religion, much the same way communism today infiltrates all aspects of our life (Ap 2,14.20; 13,14-16).
* Luke is writing to these communities that he may give them a sure direction in the midst of their difficulties and so that they may find the strength and light in living out their faith in Jesus. Luke writes a two volume work: the Gospel and the Acts, and he has the same general aim, "to learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received" (Lk 1,4). One of his specific aims is to show, through the beautiful story of the two disciples from Emmaus, how the community ought to read and interpret the Bible. In reality, those walking the streets of Emmaus were the communities (and all of us). Each of us is and all of us together are companions of Cleophas (Lk 24,18). With him we walk the streets of life, seeking a word of support and of guidance in the Word of God.
* The way Luke narrates the meeting of Jesus with the disciples from Emmaus, tells us how the communities of his time used the Bible and practised what we today call the Lectio Divina or Prayerful Reading of the Bible. They used three aspects or steps in interpreting the Bible:
b) The steps or aspects used in the process of interpreting the Scriptures:
First step: Start from facts (Lk 24,13-24):
 Jesus meets the two friends who are experiencing feelings of fear and dispersion, of lack of trust and dismay. They were fleeing. The force of death, the cross, had killed in them all hope. Jesus approaches them and walks with them. He listens to their conversation and says: "What matters are you discussing as you walk along?" The prevailing ideology prevents them from understanding and having a critical conscience. "Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free, but…" (Lk 24,21). What do those who suffer talk about today? What matters today put our faith in a state of crisis?
The first step is this: to approach people, listen to reality, problems; be capable of asking questions that help to look at reality more critically.
Second step: Make use of the Bible (Lk 24,25-27)
 Jesus uses the Bible, not in order to give lessons on the Bible, but to shed light on the problem worrying the two friends, and thus shed light on the situation they were experiencing. With the help of the Bible, Jesus leads the two disciples into God’s plan and shows them that God has not allowed history to go astray. Jesus does not use the Bible as an expert who knows everything, but as a companion who wishes to help his friends to remember things they had forgotten, namely, Moses and the Prophets. Jesus does not give his friends the feeling of being ignorant, but seeks to create an ambient within which they can remember and thus arouse their memory.
The second step is this: with the help of the Bible, to shed light on the situation and transform the cross, symbol of death, into a symbol of life and of hope. In this manner, that which prevents us from seeing, becomes light and strength along our way.
Third step: Celebrating and sharing in community (Lk 24,28-32)
The Bible alone does not open their eyes but makes their hearts burn! (Lk 24,32). That which opens the eyes of the friends and allows them to discover the presence of Jesus is the sharing of the bread, the communitarian gesture, the celebration. As soon as they recognise Jesus, he disappears. And they then experience the resurrection, they are reborn and walk on their own. Jesus does not take over his friends’ journey. He is not paternalistic. Now that they are risen, the disciples can walk on their own two feet.
The third step is this: we must know how to create a prayerful and fraternal atmosphere where the Spirit is free to act. It is the Spirit who allows us to discover and experience the Word of God in our lives and leads us to understand the meaning of Jesus’ words (Jn 14,26; 16,13). It is especially at this point of the celebration that the practice of basic ecclesial communities, sustained by the margins of the world, help us religious once more to come across and drink from the ancient well of Tradition.
Aim: To rise and go towards Jerusalem (Lk 24,33-35)
Everything has changed in the two disciples. They themselves rise, regain courage and go back to Jerusalem, where the forces of death that killed Jesus are still at work, but where also there are the forces of life in the sharing of the experience of the resurrection. Courage in place of fear. Return in place of flight. Faith in place of its absence. Hope in place of despair. A critical conscience in place of fatalism before power. Freedom in place of oppression. In a word, life in place of death! And in place of the news of the death of Jesus, the Good News of his Resurrection!
This is the aim of reading the Bible: to experience the presence of Jesus and of his Spirit in our midst. It is the Spirit who opens our eyes to the Bible and to reality and draws us to share the experience of the Resurrection, as it is true even to this day, in community meetings.
c) The new way of Jesus: a prayerful reading of the Bible:
* Often, it is not possible to understand whether the use of the OT in the Gospels comes from Jesus or an explanation given by early Christians who sought to express their faith in Jesus in this way. However, what cannot be denied is the frequent and constant use of the Bible by Jesus. A simple reading of the Gospels shows us that Jesus found his bearings in the Scriptures in the performance of his mission and in instructing his disciples and the crowd.
* At the root of Jesus’ reading of the Bible is his experience of God as Father. His intimate relationship with the Father gives Jesus a new criterion, which places him in direct contact with the author of the Bible. Jesus looks for meaning at the very source. He does not go from the writings to their root, but from the root to the writings. The comparison of the photo, as described in the Lectio Divina of Easter Sunday, helps us to shed light on this topic. As by a miracle, the photo of the harsh face was lit up and acquired traits of great tenderness. The words, born of the lived experience of the son, transformed everything, without changing anything (see Lectio Divina for Easter Sunday).
* Thus, looking through the photos of the Old Testament, people in the time of Jesus, formed an idea of a very distant God, harsh, difficult to contact, whose name could not even be mouthed. But Jesus’ words and actions, born of his experience as Son, without changing even one word (Mt 5,18-19), transformed the whole meaning of the Old Testament. The God who seemed to be so distant and harsh acquires the features of a Father full of tenderness, always present, ready to welcome and liberate! This Good News of God, communicated by Jesus, is the new key to a re-reading of the whole of the Old Testament. The New Testament is a re-reading of the Old Testament done in the light of the new experience of God, revealed by Jesus. This different way of shedding light on life in the light of the Word of God, creates for him many conflicts, because it renders the small of this world critical, while it makes the great uncomfortable.
* When interpreting the Bible to the people, Jesus revealed the traits of God’s face, the experience that he experienced of God as Father. To reveal God as Father was the source and aim of the Good News of Jesus. By his attitude, Jesus manifests God’s love for his disciples. He reveals the Father and incarnates his love! Jesus was able to say, "To have seen me is to have seen the Father" (Jn 14,9). Hence, the Father’s Spirit was also with Jesus (Lk 4,18) and went with him everywhere, from the incarnation (Lk 1,35) to the beginning of his mission (Lk 4,14), even to the end, his death and resurrection (Acts 1,8).
* Jesus, interpreter, educator and master, was a meaningful person in the life of his disciples. He influenced their lives forever. To interpret the Bible does not mean just to teach truth for the other to live by. The content that Jesus wished to convey was not limited to words, but included actions and his way of relating to people. The content is never separate from the person who communicates it. The goodness and love that emerge from his words are part of the content. They are his nature. Good content without goodness is like spilt milk.
6. PSALM 23 (22)
God is our inheritance forever
I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou prepares a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
7. FINAL PRAYER
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.