Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Fifth Sunday of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 14 : 1-12

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not be troubled! Trust in God and trust in Me! In My Father’s house there are many rooms; otherwise, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you know Me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know Him, and you have seen Him.”

Philip asked Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough.” Jesus said to him, “What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever sees Me sees the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?”

“All that I say to you, I do not say of Myself. The Father Who dwells in Me is doing His own work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do. Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in Me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father.”

Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Fifth Sunday of Easter (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Peter 2 : 4-9

He is the living Stone rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to Him; set yourselves close to Him so that you, too, become living stones built into a spiritual temple, a holy community of priests offering spiritual sacrifices that please God through Jesus Christ.

Scripture says : See, I lay in Zion a chosen and precious Cornerstone; whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. This means honour for you who believed, but for unbelievers also the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone and it is a stone to stumble over, a rock which lays people low. They stumble over it in rejecting the Word, but the plan of God is fulfilled in this.

You are a chosen race, a community of priest-kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made His own to proclaim His wonders. For He called you from your darkness to His own wonderful light.

Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Fifth Sunday of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 1-2, 4-5, 18-19

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Him on the harp and lyre, making melody and chanting praises.

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving-kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Fifth Sunday of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 6 : 1-7

In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the so-called Hellenists complained against the so-called Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

So the Twelve summoned the whole body of disciples together and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables. So, friends, choose from among yourselves seven respected men full of Spirit and wisdom, that we may appoint them to this task. As for us, we shall give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”

The whole community agreed and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and Holy Spirit : Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenus and Nicolaus of Antioch who was a proselyte. They presented these men to the Apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them.

The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly and even many priests accepted the faith.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White


Offertory

Psalm 65 : 1, 2, 16


Jubilate Deo, universa terra, psalmum dicite Nomini Ejus : venite et audite, et narrabo vobis, omnes qui timetis Deum, quanta fecit Dominus animae meae, Alleluja.

English translation


Shout with joy to God, all the earth. Sing all of you a psalm to His Name. Come and hear, and I will tell you, all you who fear God, what great things the Lord had done for my soul. Alleluia.

Secret Prayer of the Priest


Deus, qui nos, per hujus sacrificii veneranda commercia, unius summae divinitatis participes effecisti : praesta, quaesumus; ut, sicut Tuam cognoscimus veritatem, sic eam dignis moribus assequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation


O God, who through the holy relationship of this sacrament, had made us partakers of one supreme divinity, grant, we beseech You, that as we know Your truth, so we may follow it with worthy behaviour. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

John 16 : 8


Cum venerit Paraclitus Spiritus veritatis, ille arguet mundum de peccato et de justitia et de judicio, Alleluja, Alleluja.

English translation


When the Paraclete shall come, the Spirit of truth, He shall convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Post-Communion Prayer

Adesto nobis, Domine, Deus noster : ut per haec, quae fideliter sumpsimus, et purgemur a vitiis et a periculis omnibus eruamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation


Be near us, o Lord, our God, that through those things which we have faithfully received, we may both be cleansed of sin and rescued from all dangers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White


Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 16 : 5-14


In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis suis : Vado ad eum, qui misit me : et nemo ex vobis interrogat me : Quo vadis? Sed quia haec locutus sum vobis, tristitia implevit cor vestrum. Sed ego veritatem dico vobis : expedit vobis, ut ego vadam : si enim non abiero. Paraclitus non veniet ad vos : si autem abiero, mittam eum ad vos.

Et cum venerit ille, arguet mundum de peccato et de justitia et de judicio. De peccato quidem, quia non crediderunt in me : de justitia vero, quia ad Patrem vado, et jam non videbitis me : de judicio autem, quia princeps hujus mundi jam judicatus est.

Adhuc multa habeo vobis dicere : sed non potestis portare modo. Cum autem venerit ille Spiritus veritatis, docebit vos omnem veritatem. Non enim loquetur a semetipso : sed quacumque audiet, loquetur, et quae ventura sunt, annuntiabit vobis. Ille me clarificabit : quia de meo accipiet et annuntiabit vobis.

English translation


At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I go to Him who sent Me, and none of you asked Me, ‘Where do You go?’ But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow had filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is expedient to you that I go, for if I do not go, the Paraclete will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

“And when He comes, He will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they do not believe in Me, and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall no longer see Me, and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged.”

“I still have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now, but when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will teach you all truth, for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever things that He has heard. He shall speak, and all the things that are to come, He shall show to you. He shall glorify Me because He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it to you.”

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White


Psalm 117 : 16 and Romans 6 : 9

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Dextera Domini fecit virtutem : dextera Domini exaltavit me.

Alleluja.

Response : Christus resurgens ex mortuis jam non moritur : mors illi ultra non dominabitur. Alleluja.

English translation


Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : The right hand of the Lord had wrought power, the right hand of the Lord had exalted me.

Alleluia.

Response : Christ, rising from the dead, does not die, and death shall have no more dominion over Him. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White


Lectio Epistolae Beati Jacobi Apostoli – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed James the Apostle

1 James 1 : 17-21


Carissimi : Omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum, apud quem non est transmutatio nec vicissitudinis obumbratio.

Voluntare enim genuit nos verbo veritatis, ut simus initium aliquod creaturae ejus. Scitis, fratres mei dilectissimi. Sit autem omnis homo velox ad audiendum : tardus autem ad loquendum et tardus ad iram.

Ira enim viri justitiam Dei non operatur. Propter quod abjicientes omnem immunditiam et abundantiam malitiae, in mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum, quod potest salvare animas vestras.

English translation


Dearly beloved, every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.

For of His own will He had begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creatures. You know, My dearest brethren, and let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak and slow to anger.

For the anger of man does not work the justice of God. Therefore, casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 May 2023 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White


Introit

Psalm 97 : 1-2, 1


Cantate Domino canticum novum, Alleluja : quia mirabilia fecit Dominus, Alleluja : ante conspectum gentium revelavit justitiam suam, Alleluja, Alleluja, Alleluja.

Salvavit sibi dextera ejus : et bracchium sanctum ejus.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation


Sing all of you to the Lord a new canticle, Alleluia. For the Lord had done wonderful things, Alleluia. He had revealed His justice in the sight of the Gentiles. Alleluia, Alleluia.

His right hand had wrought Him salvation, and His arm is holy.

Response : 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.

Collect

Deus, qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis : da populis Tuis id amare quod praecipis, id desiderare quod promittis; ut inter mundanas varietates ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation


O God, You who had made the minds of the faithful to be of one accord, grant Your peoples that they may love what You commanded them and desire what You had promised, so that, amid the changing things of this world, our hearts may be set where true joys abide. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 6 May 2023 : 4th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, all of us are reminded of the need for us all to have faith in the Lord and to be humble in listening to Him and allowing Him to speak to us in the depth of our hearts and minds. Sometimes we have allowed our ego and pride to get the better of us, and those things prevented us from being able to come close to the Lord and becoming His true disciples and followers. We are all reminded to have this strong and genuine faith in the Lord, committing ourselves and our efforts, time and attention to glorify Him in all of the moments of our lives. As Christians, all of us should be great role models and inspirations for others all around us in how we live our lives.

In our first reading today, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard of the works of St. Paul and St. Barnabas, who preached and spoke courageously and zealously about the salvation in God which have been made available to all the people, be it to the Jewish people or the non-Jewish ones, also known as the Gentiles among the Jews then. The word Gentile itself came from the Latin word ‘gentes’ which means clan and family, that in the context of the then relationship between the Jewish and non-Jewish people became associated with the non-Jewish people, and that was how the Jews called those who did not belong to their race and to their beliefs, with some considering the Gentiles as being pagans, impure, evil and wicked, being unworthy of God, while they viewed themselves as being superior, better and more worthy of God.

This stemmed forth from the beliefs of some amongst the Jews that being descended from the ancient people of Israel, the people that God had first called and chosen to be His people, then they had exclusive privileges and access to the Lord, while the Gentiles were barred from similar access because they did not believe in the Lord in the same way as the Jewish people had done, especially referring to the way how the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done, in their very extensive and strict observance of the Jewish Law and customs as passed down unto them from the time of Moses, and which was modified further with numerous rules and regulations. All those things unfortunately made the Law becoming more and more cumbersome, and losing its initial meaning and purpose of bringing the people of God closer to their Lord and Master.

In truth, God did not want to save only His people Israel exclusively, as it has always been His intent to save every one of us, all the children of mankind, regardless of our race and origins, because He loves each and every single one of us all the same. The Jewish people and their ancestors, the Israelites, were merely the ones who have been called by the Lord first, and it was through them that the salvation of God, made manifest in His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, came through from. He wants everyone to realise that His love is ever enduring and universal, and everyone has the same chance to come to His love, to be reunited and reconciled with our most loving God, Father and Creator. And our Risen Lord is the Way through Whom all of us can find the sure path to this salvation and grace, the path of eternal life and redemption.

The Gospel passage today made it even clearer of this love of God that has been manifested and made real for us through Christ, the Son of God incarnate in the flesh, has indeed come into our midst, and He has shown us all the true love that God has always kept for each and every one of us. This same love is carried on all the way to the Cross, promising and guaranteeing for all of us who are faithful to the Lord, the promise of eternal life and grace with God. The Lord has reached out to us through His Son, gathering all of us who have been lost to His Father, because of our sins, as our Good Shepherd and Guide, leading and guiding us so that we may find our path and our way to our loving Father. Through Christ, all of us have received the pardon and forgiveness, and yet, one that requires us to embrace Him and His love and mercy wholeheartedly and fully.

However, the problem facing many of us today, is just like that of the Jewish people in the past, that many of us think that we are all alright and have no need for God or His mercy. Many of us are too preoccupied with our many worldly desires, concerns and attachments, all of our pursuits for fame, glory and worldly pleasures among other things which prevented us from finding our path towards the Lord and His salvation. Worse still, we also tend to become judgmental of others and thinking that we are better and more worthy, while the fact is that many of us are in need of God’s healing and mercy, and many of us have also become lukewarm and wayward in our way of life, as many of us have forgotten about God’s Law and precepts, no longer obeying Him and His commandments as we should, living our lives the way we want it to be. Today hence all of us are reminded to purge from ourselves all traces of this ego and pride barring us from God and the fullness of His love.

All of us have been given the chance and the time for us to turn once again towards the Lord with renewed faith and zeal, with the devotion and commitment to serve Him once again. We have been given many opportunities to return to the Lord and to His path, and we have been shown many guidance and help along the way. But it is truly up to us to make the commitment and the conscious effort to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, and we have many good examples in the Apostles, the innumerable saints and martyrs, our holy predecessors, who should be good role models and inspirations for all of us to follow, so that hopefully we ourselves will be good Christians and disciples of the Lord ourselves.

Let us remember the mission that each and every one of us as Christians have in our lives to be exemplary disciples and role models for one another, for our fellow brothers and sisters. And may the Risen Lord, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and King continue to guide and bless us in all things, and may He help each and every one of us to persevere through the challenges facing us in how we live our Christians lives with faith. Amen.