Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection, 25th May 2023
“You must bear witness also at Rome.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 22:30; 23:6 – 11)
In those days: Desiring to know the real reason why the Jews accused Paul, the tribune unbound him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them. But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and resurrection of the dead I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamour arose; and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended, “we find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 16:1-2a and 5.7-8.9-10.11 (R.1)
R/. Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord.”
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
You yourself who secure my lot. R/.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
Who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord before me always;
With him at my right hand, I shall not be moved. R/.
R/. Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
And so, my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
Even my flesh shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to hell,
Nor let your holy one see corruption. R/.
You will show me the path of life,
The fullness of joy in your presence,
At your right hand, bliss forever. R/.
Alleluia. May they all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, so that the world may believe that you have sent me, says the Lord. Alleluia
May they become perfectly one.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 17:20-26)
At that time: [Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed, saying,] “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you; and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection for Today
Unity is divine as it marks the presence of the Lord. The Jews who gathered against Paul were divided into two parties, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Division weakened their plan. Jesus prayed that the disciples may be one because he knows the danger of disunity. We must avoid those things that contribute to disunity among Christians such as calumny, dissension, insincerity, gossip, selfishness, pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, selfish ambition, discrimination, tribalism, nepotism, and favourism.
Personal Devotional: Day 25 May Devotion
Our Mother Mary was chosen by God for the purpose of being the Mother of His only begotten Son and she accepted this role and bore a lasting fruit for God.
Our responsibility in this life is to do God’s will and to bear fruits of love for Him. God will make demands of us from time to time in this life and when we submit our will and accept His own will we will be able to find the joy and inner peace that our Mother Mary found when she let God’s will be done in her life. Our Mother Mary is a sure help for you when you desire to do God’s will.
Meditation: John 15:18-21
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for choosing me to be your child, help me to say yes to you always as your Mother did and may the will of God for my life come to perfect fulfilment. Through the intercession of our blessed Mother Mary, May Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
St. Bede De Venerable, P.D.: An outstanding theologian, he combined contemplation and learning in his life as a Benedictine. Born in England in 672, he spent the whole of his life in the monastery, teaching, writing and praying. From the historical works that he wrote, Bede can be considered the father of English history. He died in the year 735, the only Englishman to have been named Doctor of the Church.
St. Gregory VII, Pp.: Gregory was one of the most important popes of the middle ages when the political power was trying to rule and dominate the Church. He was a Benedictine monk and, when he was chosen to be pope at the age of 53 in 1073, he struggled to reform the Church to eliminate various forms of immorality among the clergy. His stand on a number of issues brought him into conflict with the emperor Henry IV who forced Gregory into exile at Salerno where he died in 1085.
Mary Magdalene De’Pazzi, V.: Mary Magdalene De Pazzi lived in the difficult times of the Reformation. Because of her profound spirituality, she was able to help the leaders of the Church to implement important reforms. Born in Florence in 1566, she joined the Carmelite nuns at the age of 16 and, leaving her baptismal name ‘Catherine,’ she took that of Mary Magdalene. She was given special graces of mystical prayer and had ecstasies and revelations. She died in 1607.
9-DAYS NOVENA WITH FASTING AND PRAYERS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST
DAY 7: CHRIST JESUS
INTRODUCTION – Christ is the one anointed by the Spirit. Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of the Father”. That is the sign of the Anointed One, the Messiah. It was his life’s work, which He brought to perfection on the Cross, when He said, “Father into Your hands I commend my spirit”. At our Baptism we have been given a share in the same anointing of the Spirit, yet how often we fail to do the will of God! By our sins we go against the anointing of the Spirit given to us. Hence we begin today by asking pardon for our failures in obedience and in love from God and from our neighbour.
Dear Lord, as I look at my life, I realize I am not as on fire for you as I should be. Help me to see the true state of my heart and attitude, so that I will be moved to action. Show me the need to fan into flame those things you have given me, so that I can be of greater benefit to my fellow human being. Forgive me for allowing the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn low in my life. From this prayer on, I am going to stir myself, to stir up the gift of God to fan into flame the things you have given me. I want to be a greater blessing in your Kingdom! Thank you, Lord, for helping me to be just that. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
1. OPENING (Hymn to the Holy Spirit)
INVOCATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let Us pray:
O God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation, Through Christ Our Lord.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. (7x)
2. ACT OF CONTRITION: – O my God, I am sorry and beg pardon for all my sins, and detest them above all things, because they have crucified my loving Saviour Jesus Christ, and, most of all, because they offend your infinite goodness; and I firmly resolve, by the help of your grace, never to offend you again, and carefully to avoid the occasion of sin.
3. PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST:
O LORD JESUS CHRIST, Who before ascending into Heaven didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy Divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, Dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples, and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.
4. PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT:
Breathe into me Holy Spirit that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit that my work too, may be holy.
Attract my heart Holy Spirit that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me Holy Spirit that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit that I may always be holy.
5. BIBLE READING: Phil 2: 5-11 and John 20: 19 – 23
6. CONCLUDING PRAYER
LET US PRAY:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I know that my body is Your Temple. I believe and trust that you are the source of life, Almighty God, our Creator. My whole body is filled with your life and love. Lord Jesus, touch me with Your Precious Blood and wash away all my sins.
I ask your forgiveness for every sin of mine. Heal me of all the hurts, anger, guilt feelings and all painful memories that linger in my deepest being. I have sinned, Lord, against you and against my neighbour. Jesus, you are present in the Eucharist. Lord, do come into my heart. While you are in my heart, I have nothing to fear, for you are the Son of God, and in my heart you are near.
In you is life, and in your life, Lord Jesus, I find life. You touched the bleeding woman and healed her. Have mercy on me, Lord. It is You Who guide me with your strength and make me righteous in your presence. Lord, God, You are almighty. You are merciful. You have touched me and healed me of all my ailments of soul, mind and body. I thank you specially for bringing me closer to you, for loving and protecting me and for healing me completely. With deep faith in my heart, I adore You my loving Jesus Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit are God for ever and ever. Amen.
7. Closing / Concluding Hymn