Thứ Năm, 25 tháng 5, 2017


Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest
Lectionary: 295

Reading 1ACTS 18:9-18
One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
"Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city."
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
"This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law."
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
"If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters."
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth. 
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
"Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory."
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jesus said to his disciples: 
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." 

Meditation: "Your sorrow will turn into joy"

Why did the Lord Jesus tell his disciples that they would weep and be sorrowful? Jesus was neither a pessimist nor a masochist, and he was certainly more than a realist! The way to happiness and joy in the kingdom of God is through the cross. Sin must be brought to the cross of Jesus Christ and evil can only be completely mastered by the power of God's redeeming love. Jesus told his disciples that it was more blessed to mourn for sin because it would yield the fruit of peace, joy, and righteousness. Jesus knew that the cross would be a stumbling block for those who refused to believe in him.
We, too, have a share in the victory and joy of Christ's resurrection 
The cross for Jesus was not defeat but victory - victory over sin, over the forces of evil in the world, and over the devil - the arch-enemy of God and the human race. Through his atoning sacrifice on the cross Jesus won for us new abundant life and freedom over the power of sin, despair, and death. He was raised in power from the tomb on the third day and his glorified body will never taste death again. The Easter victory of the Lord Jesus gives us courage, strength, and confident hope in the face of suffering and death. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ our fears are laid to rest. His resurrection is total and final triumph over death, and for us peace and joy in the confident hope that we, too, will be raised to everlasting life with Christ. 
We will have trials in this present age - .but, through the eyes of faith, we know the final outcome - complete victory over sin, suffering, and death in Jesus Christ. That is why we can pray confidently now, knowing that the Father in heaven will give us everything we need to live as his children and as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know the Easter joy of Christ's victory over sin and death?
"Lord Jesus, we are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may we radiate the joy of your Resurrection and live in the reality of your great victory over sin and death."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersAlleluia will be our whole joy, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"I trust I will not weary you if I mention what you know already: that we say ALLELUIA daily and that we take delight in it daily.  For you know that ALLELUIA means "Praise God" and by this expression we, agreeing in speech and thought, exhort one another to praise God. Only the  one who displeases God in no respect praises God in security. Furthermore, in this time of journeying we say ALLELUIA for solace on our way. ALLELUIA  is the song of the traveler for us; but we are advancing through a laborious path to a peaceful country where all our activities will be laid aside and nothing will remain for us except the ALLELUIA. Let us sing now, not for the delights of peace, but for comfort in our labor. Sing as travelers are accustomed to sing; comfort your labor by singing; do not love inactivity; keep singing and keep progressing. ...If you are advancing; progress in well-doing, progress in good faith, progress in good deeds. Keep singing and keep advancing. While we are here let us sing ALLELUIA though we are still beset with cares, so that in the future we may sing it there (in heaven) in tranquility. After the labors of this world there will be unceasing repetition of ALLELUIA. ..There ALLELUIA will be our food; ALLELUIA will be our drink; ALLELUIA will be our peaceful action; ALLELUIA will be our whole joy." [excerpts from Sermon 255 (1); Sermon 256 (1 and 3); Sermon 252 (9)]  

FRIDAY, MAY 26, JOHN 16:20-23
(Acts 18:9-18; Psalm 47)

KEY VERSE: "But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice" (v.22).
TO KNOW: Before his passion and death, Jesus consoled his disciples who were distressed at the thought that he was about to be taken from them. Jesus compared their grief to that of a woman who travailed in labor. When the child was born, the woman was no longer in anguish, but rejoiced that a new life has been brought forth. The prophet Isaiah used this image of child-birth when speaking of the suffering of Israel before her restoration (Is 26:17-19). Paul said that "all creation was groaning and in labor pains" awaiting the fullness of redemption (Ro 8:22). Jesus' disciples were in tribulation because they were on the threshold of a new age. When they saw the Risen Lord, they would rejoice, and on that happy day, their joy would be complete (Jn 20:20). In this life there will always be unanswered questions and unresolved problems. In the age to come there will be fullness of knowledge in Christ.
TO LOVE: Whom do I need to comfort today?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, help the Church to focus upon your glory in times of sorrow.

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest

Philip Neri founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity. When he began to preach, he had many converts. In 1550 he considered retiring to the life of a solitary hermit, but he received visions that told him his mission was in Rome. He entered the priesthood in 1551. He heard confessions by the hour and could tell penitents their sins before they confessed. Pope Gregory XIV tried to make him a cardinal, but Philip declined. His popularity was such that he was accused of forming his own sect, but was cleared of this baseless charge. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a group of priests dedicated to preaching and teaching, but suffered from accusations of heresy because of the involvement of laymen as preachers. In later years he was beset by several illnesses, each of which was cured through prayer. In 1594, when he was in an agony of pain, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and he was cured. Philip died in 1595 and was canonized by Gregory XV in 1622.

Friday 26 May 2017

St Phillip Neri. Day of Penance.
Acts 18: 9-18. Psalms 46(47): 2-7. John 16:20-23.
God is king of all the earth — Psalms 46(47): 2-7.
‘Your sadness will turn to joy.’
Jesus is about to face Calvary. He is preparing his followers for what lies ahead. The great creative work of our salvation will require him to suffer. The little time of separation between Jesus and his friends will be filled with tears and pain.
Every mother knows there is a moment before her child is born when it seems that there is only pain, effort and helplessness, of being swept along in the natural course of events. All this fades with the birth of her baby and is replaced by the overwhelming joy of new life.
The joy of Christ’s resurrection is for his disciples and for us the powerful proof of God’s love for us. It is the assurance of new life, eternal and already begun, born out of pain and tears but resulting in a joy that can never be taken away.


Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515 into a poor family. As a young man, he received word in a vision that he had a special mission in Rome, so he cut himself off from his family and friends and left.
While in Rome, he studied philosphy and theology, and tutored young boys. Eventually Philip became bored of learning, so he sold all of his books, gave the money he received from them to the poor, and visited the sick.
Later, he co-founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity and began to preach, and many people converted thanks to Philip's preaching and example. During this time, he was a lay person and lived as a hermit, however a good friend eventually convinced him to enter the priesthood, and he was ordained in 1551.
Many people came to him for confession. He also began to work with youth. Pope Gregory XIV wanted to make Philip a cardinal, but the priest declined.
He then founded the Congregation of the Oratory, also known as the Oratorians, dedicated to preaching and teaching, and they still exist today.
He died May 27, 1595, and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. He is the patron of Rome and the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, May 26, 2017

Lord God, merciful Father,
it is hard for us to accept pain,
for we know that you have made us
for happiness and joy.
When suffering challenges us
with a provocative "why me?"
help us to discover the depth
of our inner freedom and love
and of all the faith and loyalty
of which we are capable,
together with, and by the power of,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus said: 'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.
A woman in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a human being has been born into the world. So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you.'
• During these days between the Ascension and Pentecost, the Gospels of the day are taken from chapters 16 to 21 of the Gospel of Saint John, and form part of the Gospel called: “Book of Consolation or of the Revelation acting in the Community” (Jn 13, 1 to 21, 31). This Book is divided as follows: the farewell to the friends (Jn 13, 1a to 14, 31); witness of Jesus and prayer to the Father (Jn 15, 1 to 17, 28); the accomplished work (Jn 18, 1 to 20, 31). The environment of sadness and of expectation. Sadness, because Jesus leaves and the nostalgia invades the heart. Expectation, because the hour is arriving of receiving the promised gift, that of the Consoler who will make all sadness disappear and will once again bring the joy of the friendly presence of Jesus in the midst of the community.
• John 16, 20: The sadness will be transformed into joy. Jesus says: “In all truth I tell you: you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy”. The frequent reference to sadness and suffering express the environment of the communities at the end of the first century in Asia Minor (today, Turkey), for which John wrote his Gospel. They lived in a difficult situation of persecution and oppression which caused sadness. The Apostles had taught that Jesus would have returned afterwards, but the “parusia”, the glorious return of Jesus had not arrived and persecution increased. Many were impatient: “Until when?” (cfr. 2 Th 2, 1-5; 2 P 3, 8-9). Besides, a person bears a situation of suffering and of persecution when he/she knows that suffering is the way and the condition to attain perfect joy. And thus, even having death before the eyes, the person bears and faces suffering and pain. This is why the Gospel makes this beautiful comparison with the pangs of childbirth.
• John 16, 21: The comparison with pangs of childbirth. All understand this comparison, especially mothers: “The woman in childbirth suffers because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a human being has been born into the world”. The suffering and sadness caused by persecution, even without offering any horizon of improvement, are not the stertor of death, but rather the pangs of childbirth. Mothers know all this by experience. The pain is terrible, but they bear it, because they know that the pain, the suffering is a source of new life. Thus, is the suffering of the persecution of Christians, and thus, any suffering should be lived, that is, in the light of the experience of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
• John 16, 22-23a: Eternal joy. Jesus explains the comparison: “So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy and that joy no one shall take from you”. When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions. This is the certainty that gives courage to the tired and persecuted communities of Asia Minor and which makes one exult with joy in the midst of suffering and pain. As the poet says: “It hurts, but I sing!” Or as the mystic Saint John of the Cross says: “In a dark night, with an inflamed yearning for love, oh happy venture, I went out without being noticed, in my house all slept!” The expression on that day indicates the definitive coming of the Kingdom which brings with it its clarity. In the light of God, there will no longer be need to ask anything. The light of God is the full and total response to all the questions which could arise within the human heart.
• Sadness and joy. They exist together in life. How do these exist in your life?
• Pangs of childbirth. This experience is found in the origin of life of each one of us. My mother suffered the pain with hope, and this is why I am alive. Stop and think about this mystery of life.
Clap your hands, all peoples,
acclaim God with shouts of joy.
For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious,
the great king over all the earth. (Ps 47,1-2)