Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection (Homily Message): 16 May 2021
Mass Readings, Reflection – Homily for SUNDAY MAY 16, 2021
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Today’s Rosary: Glorious Mystery
ILORIN: Tomorrow is the 29th Anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Most Revd Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, O.P., 17TH May, 1992.
9-day Novena with fasting and prayers to the Holy Spirit in Preparation for Pentecost
DAY 3: THE NAME, TITLES SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“One of the men who have accompanied us must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1: 15- 17.20a.20c-26)
In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘His office let another take.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 103: 1-2.11- 12.19-20ab (R. 19a)
R/. The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and never forget all his benefits. R.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so strong his mercy for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far from us does he remove our transgressions. R.
The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom is ruling over all.
Bless the Lord, all you his angels,
mighty in power, fulfilling his word. R.
“He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (l John 4;11-16)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA John 14:18
Alleluia. I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord; I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice. Alleluia.
“May they be one, even as we are one!”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 17: 11b-19)
At that time: [Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying,] “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
In love we are united
PRIEST: My brothers and sisters, the Risen Lord sent his Spirit among us to help us love one another. We pray with confidence to God our Father, who wills our unity with him and with one another.
For the Church, (pause), may she always show forth her love to the world by giving without thought of herself, and by being poor in everything except the love of the Lord. (pause), Father, hear us, we pray; that we may be one we pray Oh Lord.
For the world, (pause), may governments strive, to see the world, not as a series of boundaries and races, but as a global village, in which we are all members of one family. (pause), Father, hear us, we pray; that we may be one we pray Oh Lord.
For those who strive for reconciliation, (pause), may they not be daunted in their efforts by the hostility they encounter, but strive even more strenuously to encourage dialogue and unity in society. (pause), Father, hear us, we pray; that we may be one we pray Oh Lord.
For the unity of our community, Pause, may we all be one in mind and heart in our work for the spread of God’s kingdom, and experience the joy of the Lord’ presence among us. Pause, Father, hear us, we pray; that we may be one.
We make our prayer in silence for our own petitions.
PRIEST: Father, we have made our petitions for the unity of everyone with you, and we ask your blessing on our work for unity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus prays fervently and passionately for the unity among his chosen ones. He sees the danger. The evil one will scatter them. They are in the world, but not of the world. The only way to guard them from the dividing power of the evil one is to ‘sanctify them in truth’. The word of God is truth! The word of God has the power to withstand the forces of evil. The word of God can guard us from every danger. The word of God unites us among ourselves and with God. Remaining in the world and living and working for Jesus: that’s the vocation of every Christian. This vocation can be fulfilled only when Christians live and work in unity and love. Unity is love, and love is unity. God is love and love is God. When we live in love, we live in God and are sanctified and consecrated by God. This is the sure way to defeat the dividing and scattering power of the evil one. Do I live in and on the word of God? Do I live in love? Am I an agent of unity and harmony?
Personal Devotional: Day 16, May Devotion
Giving and receiving are two different sides of the same coin, but the Scripture made it explicitly clear that it is more blessed to give than to receive. You will never regret it when you are generous with what you possess.
Anyone who seriously wish to follow the way of the Lord must be ready to give time, talent and treasure for the sake of God and for the good of others. Our lives must be spent for the good of others, just like our Lord Jesus Christ and our Mother Mary spent their lives for us their children and we must learn from them and do the same. The more you refuse to spend yourself for the good of others, the more it is counted for you as selfishness and stinginess and you become poor in the eyes of the Lord. Give always and do not count the cost and your blessings will be secured in the presence of the Lord.
Meditation: Acts 20:28-38
Heavenly Father, help me to be generous with my life and gifts for your honour. Never let me refuse to spend my life for the good of others, for that is the only way that I will gain my life. Amen. And May the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
9-DAYS NOVENA WITH FASTING AND PRAYERS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST
DAY 3: THE NAME, TITLES SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Church has received the name Holy Spirit from ‘GOD” – ‘breath of God’ and professes it in Baptism – “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The name Spirit means breath, air, wind. This is the image Jesus used when speaking to Nicodemus: “Truly, truly, I say unto You, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” We all have been baptized and received a “share in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), ‘Still we fail to let this divine nature grow in us. Often we give way to the “works of the flesh”, described by St. Paul in Gals: 19-21. Being aware of our resistance to the “Breath of God”, the Holy Spirit, let us ask pardon:
Pray for those who have heard the word but have refused to repent; that God would open their hearts to the wisdom of the Gospel of light.
Pray for our brothers and sisters who are backsliding in the faith.
Pray for the strengthening of new converts to Christianity and for those facing persecutions because of their faith in Christ, especially Christians in most parts of the world.
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: (To be recited daily during the Novena)
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: Romans 8: 6-11 and John 14: 16-17; 26-27
6. CONCLUDING PRAYER
LET US PRAY: (To be recited together by all)
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