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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
1st Reading (Acts 14:5-18): There was an attempt in Iconium by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their leaders, to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas. They realized it, and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside, where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him, saw that he had the faith to be healed, and called out in a loud voice, «Stand up straight on your feet». He jumped up and began to walk about. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, «The gods have come down to us in human form». They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes”, because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, «Men, why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts». Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.
Responsorial Psalm: 113
R/. Not to us, o Lord, but to your name give the glory.
Not to us, o Lord, not to us but to your name give glory because of your mercy, because of your truth. Why should the pagans say, «Where is their God?».

Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does. Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men.

May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Heaven is the heaven of the Lord, but the earth he has given to the children of men.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:26): Alleluia. The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 14:21-26): Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name — he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name — he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

Fr. Norbert ESTARRIOL i Seseras (Lleida, Spain)

Today, Jesus shows us His immense desire for us to share His plenitude. United with Him, we live into the stream of Divine Life that is the Holy Trinity. “God is with you. The Blessed Trinity dwells in your soul in grace —that is why, in spite of your wretchedness, you can and should keep up a continuous conversation with the Lord” (Saint Josemaria Escrivá).

Jesus assures us He will be present in us in the Divine Intimacy of the soul through grace. Thus, we Christians are no longer orphans. He loves us so much that, though He does not need us, He does not want to be without us.

“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (Jn 14:21). This thought helps us to stay in the presence of God. And those desires or thoughts which, eventually, are wasting our time and preventing us from abiding by the Divine Will, will have no room any more in our minds. This is the advice from Saint Gregory the Great: “Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveler who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going.”

God's presence in our heart will help us discover and carry out in this world those designs that the Divine Providence has planned for us. The Spirit of the Lord will arouse initiatives in our heart to be placed on top of all human activities and, thus, make Christ stand out over and above all of us. If we manage to have this intimacy with Jesus we shall be good sons and daughters of God, and we will always and everywhere enjoy His friendship: whether in the street, amidst our daily chores or within our family life.

All light and fire of the Divine Life will fall upon each one of the faithful who are willing to receive the gift of grace abiding in our soul. God's Mother will intercede for us —as our own mother that she also is— to help us deeply enter into this covenant with the Holy Trinity.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Let your door stand open to receive him, unlock your soul to him, offer him a welcome in your mind, and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace” (Saint Ambrose)

  • “Jesus foretells of the coming of the Spirit who will first teach the disciples to understand the Gospel ever more fully, in order to welcome it in their existence and to render it living and operative by their witness” (Francis)

  • “The Spirit and the Church cooperate to manifest Christ and his work of salvation in the liturgy, [which] is the memorial of the mystery of salvation. The Holy Spirit is the Church's living memory (cf. Jn 14:26)” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 1099)