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Mass Reading & Meditation for May 20, 2020 View another date

Meditation: Acts 17:15, 22–18:1

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Saint Bernardine of Siena, Priest (Optional Memorial)

Entrance Antiphon

O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him
Who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, alleluia.
OR
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will tell of your name to my kin, alleluia. Ps 18 (17):50; 22 (21):23

Collect

O God, who gave the Priest Saint Bernardine of Siena
a great love for the holy Name of Jesus,
grant, through his merits and prayers,
that we may ever be set aflame
with the spirit of your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Acts 17:15, 22–18:1

After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens, they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything. He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’ as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination. God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, “We should like to hear you on this some other time.” And so Paul left them. But some did join him, and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Psalm 148

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or R. Alleluia.

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts. R.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys. R.
Praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven. R.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always. Jn 14:16
Alleluia, alleluia.

John 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

Prayer over the Offerings

Look upon the sacrificial gifts we offer, almighty God,
on the feast day of blessed Saint Bernardine of Siena,
and grant that we, who celebrate the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion,
may imitate what we now do.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Communion Antiphon

I will pasture my sheep;
I myself will give them rest, says the Lord, alleluia. Ez 34:15
OR
What I say to you in the darkness
speak in the light, says the Lord;
what you hear whispered
proclaim on the housetops, alleluia. Mt 10:27

Prayer after Communion

By the power of this mystery, O Lord,
confirm your servants in the true faith,
that they may everywhere profess in word and deed
the faith for which blessed Saint Bernardine of Siena never ceased to labor
and for which he spent his whole life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Daily Meditation: Acts 17:15, 22–18:1

Paul stood up at the Areopagus. (Acts 17:22)

Paul was standing in the center of the civilized world. The Areopagus was a hub of Greek social, cultural, and political life. People teemed in and around the pagan shrines and altars that filled the area. So when the elders invited Paul to defend his preaching there, he gladly took the opportunity. He had the chance to open a path between the gospel and the pagan world. What would he say?

Let’s start by seeing what he doesn’t do. He doesn’t begin by condemning them or focusing on how far they are from God. Instead, he acknowledges the good things he sees. These people are very religious. They are interested in shrines and altars because they are aware of the divine influence in their lives.

Next, he notes they have some uncertainty because they have set up an altar to “an unknown god” (Acts 17:23), and he uses the uncertainty as a lead-in to introduce them to Jesus. Paul tells them that instead of multiple gods, there is only one. He is the Lord of heaven and earth, the maker of all things.

He even quotes their poetry and applies it to God: “In him we live and move and have our being. . . . For we too are his offspring” (Acts 17:28). He shows cultural understanding but puts their endless search for God in the perspective of the Christian faith. In all of this, Paul is able to look beyond their idolatry to see the true desires of their hearts.

Paul’s approach can help you relate to people around you. It can help when you’re watching the news or disheartened by the negativity you see online. Look for what may be going on behind hurting hearts and try to identify the positive in the situation. Take what is familiar to someone and expand upon it. Each person is loved by God, and if they are far from him, he wants nothing more than to draw them back.

Even though God condemns sin, he always wants to save the sinner. This truth motivated Paul’s preaching, and it can help you grow in compassion. It can help you find common ground instead of shutting the door right off the bat. And you never know what God can do with an open door!

“Lord, help me to be like Paul!”

Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14
John 16:12-15

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