Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 05-25-20, OM, St. Bede the Venerable-Docttor of the Church, St. Gregory VII, Pope, St. Mary Magdalen de'Pazzi, Virgin
Posted on 05/24/2020 10:21:27 PM PDT by Salvation
While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?
They answered him,
We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.
He said, How were you baptized?
They replied, With the baptism of John.
Paul then said, John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.
He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The disciples said to Jesus,
Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.
Jesus answered them, Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.
For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, please go here.
For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, please go here.
For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, please go here.
KEYWORDS: catholic; easter; jn16; prayer; saints;
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From: Acts 19:1-8
Disciples of John the Baptist at Ephesus
Paul’s Preaching and Miracles at Ephesus
1-7. This presence in Ephesus of a group of disciples who had received only John’s baptism is open to various interpretations. The text seems to imply that they were not, properly speaking, Christians but people who followed the Baptist’s teaching and whom Paul regarded as incipient Christians, to the point of calling them disciples. We say this because in the New Testament being a Christian is always connected with receiving Baptism and having the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 3:5; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 12:3; Gal 3:2; Acts 11:17; etc.).
2. Leaving aside questions as to the origin and composition of this group of disciples, their simple statement about knowing nothing about the Holy Spirit and his part in fulfilling the messianic promises points to the need to preach Christian doctrine in a systematic,
gradual and complete way.
Christian catechesis, John Paul II reminds us, “must be systematic, not improvised but programmed to reach a precise goal; it must deal with essentials, without any claim to tackle all disputed questions or to transform itself into theological research or scientific exegesis; it must nevertheless be sufficiently complete, not stopping short at the initial proclamation of the Christian mystery such as we have in the kerygma; it must be an integral Christian initiation, open to all the other factors of Christian life” (”Catechesi Tradendae”, 21).
3-4. “The whole teaching and work of John,” St Thomas Aquinas writes, “was in preparation for Christ, as the helper and under-craftsman are responsible for preparing the materials for the form which the head-craftsman produces. Grace was to be conferred on men through Christ: ‘Grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ’ (Jn 1 :17). And therefore, the baptism of John did not confer grace, but only prepared the way for grace in a threefold way—in one way, by John’s teaching, which led men to faith in Christ; in another way, by accustoming men to the rite of Christ’s Baptism; and in a third way, through penance, which prepared men to receive the effect of Christ’s Baptism” (”Summa Theologiae”, III, q. 38, a. 3).
5. “They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”: the view of most commentators is that this does not mean that the Trinitarian
formula which appears in Mt 28:19 (cf. note on Acts 2:38) (”in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) was not used. The reference here may simply be a way of distinguishing Christian Baptism from other baptismal rites which were features of Judaism in apostolic times—particularly John the Baptist’s rite. Besides, Christian Baptism was administered on Jesus Christ’s instructions (cf. Mt 28:19), in union with him and using his power: Jesus’ redemptive action is initiated by the Father and expresses itself in the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
6. This passage speaks of the laying on of hands, something distinct from Baptism, as seen already in Acts 8:14-17, whereby the Holy Spirit is received. This is the sacrament which will come to be called Confirmation and which has been conferred, from the beginnings of the Church, as one of the sacraments of Christian initiation.
Referring to Confirmation, John Paul II has said: “Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit is going to be poured out upon you in a particular way. You will hear the words of the Church spoken over you, calling upon the Holy Spirit to confirm your faith, to seal you in his love, to strengthen you for his service. You will then take your place among fellow-Christians throughout the world, full citizens now of the People of God. You will witness to the truth of the Gospel in the name of Jesus Christ. You will live your lives in such a way as to make holy all human life. Together with all the confirmed, you will become living stones in the cathedral of peace. Indeed you are called by God to be instruments of his peace [...].
“You, too, are strengthened inwardly today by the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that each of you in your own way can carry the Good News to your companions and friends. [...]. The same Holy Spirit comes to you today in the sacrament of Confirmation, to involve you more completely in the Church’s fight against sin and in her mission of fostering holiness. He comes to dwell more fully in your hearts and to strengthen you for the struggle with evil [...]. The world of today needs you, for it needs men and women who are filled with the Holy Spirit. It needs your courage and hopefulness, your faith and your perseverance. The world of tomorrow will be built by you. Today you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit so that you may work with deep faith and with abiding charity, so that you may help to bring to the world the fruits of reconciliation and peace. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit and his manifold gifts [...], strive to be unselfish; try not to be obsessed with material things” (”Homily at Coventry Airport”, 30 May 1982).
As is the case with Baptism and Holy Orders, Confirmation imprints an indelible mark or character on the soul.
8-10. This summarized account of Paul’s activity in Ephesus is filled out by the account we are given of the Apostle’s farewell to the elders of that city (cf. 20: 18-35) and by information contained in his letters to the Corinthians. Paul made Ephesus the base for his
missionary work in the surrounding region, for which he counted on help from Timothy, Erastus, Gaius, Titus and Epaphras of Colossae.
During his stay in Ephesus he wrote 1 Corinthians and the Letter to the Galatians.
8. Paul returns to the synagogue where he taught previously (cf. 18:19-21); the Jews’ resistance and lack of understanding do not lessen his zeal.
From: John 16:29-33
Fullness of Joy (Continuation)
25-30. As can be seen also from other passages in the Gospels, Jesus spent time explaining His doctrine in more detail to His Apostles than to the crowd (cf. Mark 4:10-12 and paragraph)—to train them for their mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Matthew 28:18-20). However, our Lord also used metaphors or parables when imparting instruction to the Apostles, and He does so in this discourse of the Last Supper—the vine, the woman giving birth, etc.: He stimulates their curiosity and they, because they do not understand, ask Him questions (cf. verses 17-18). Jesus now tells them that the time is coming when He will speak to them in a completely clear way so that they will know exactly what He means. This He will do after the Resurrection (cf. Acts 1:3). But even now, since He knows their thoughts, He is making it ever plainer to them that He is God, for only God can know what is happening inside someone (cf. 2:25). Verse 28, “I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father” summarizes the mystery of Christ’s Person (cf. John 1:14; 20:31).
31-32. Jesus moderates the Apostles’ enthusiasm, which expresses itself in a spontaneous confession of faith; He does this by asking them a question which has two dimensions. On the one hand, it is a kind of reproach for their having taken too long to believe in Him: it is true that there were other occasions when they expressed faith in the Master (cf. John 6:68-69; etc.), but until now they have not fully realized that He is the One sent by the Father. The question also refers to the fragility of their faith: they believe, and yet very soon they will abandon Him into the hands of His enemies. Jesus requires us to have a firm faith: it is not enough to show it in moments of enthusiasm, it has to stand the test of difficulties and opposition.
33. The Second Vatican Council teaches in connection with this passage: “The Lord Jesus who said `Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33), did not by these words promise complete victory to His Church in this world. This sacred Council rejoices that the earth which has been sown with the seed of the Gospel is now bringing forth fruit in many places under the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, who is filling the world” (”Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 22).
Liturgical Colour: White.
|First reading||Acts 19:1-8 ©|
|Psalm 67(68):2-7 ©|
|Gospel||John 16:29-33 ©|
With a couple of tweets last year, Cardinal Archbishop Tobin of Newark, NJ revealed his lack of understanding and appreciation for the crucial distinction between John’s baptism of repentance and Jesus’ and the disciples’ baptism into the Holy Spirit.
If a Cardinal Archbishop of one of the largest archdioceses in the country can’t be bothered to get the faith straight in his own mind, or worse, knows the faith and is actively trying to confuse ordinary Catholics as to the doctrines and teachings of their own faith, what can the future hold but more trials and tribulations for those who truly believe and are willing to profess and defend the One True Faith?
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|29.||His disciples say to him: Behold, now thou speakest plainly, and speakest no proverb.||Dicunt ei discipuli ejus : Ecce nunc palam loqueris, et proverbium nullum dicis :||λεγουσιν αυτω οι μαθηται αυτου ιδε νυν παρρησια λαλεις και παροιμιαν ουδεμιαν λεγεις|
|30.||Now we know that thou knowest all things, and thou needest not that any man should ask thee. By this we believe that thou camest forth from God.||nunc scimus quia scis omnia, et non opus est tibi ut quis te interroget : in hoc credimus quia a Deo existi.||νυν οιδαμεν οτι οιδας παντα και ου χρειαν εχεις ινα τις σε ερωτα εν τουτω πιστευομεν οτι απο θεου εξηλθες|
|31.||Jesus answered them: Do you now believe?||Respondit eis Jesus : Modo creditis ?||απεκριθη αυτοις ο ιησους αρτι πιστευετε|
|32.||Behold, the hour cometh, and it is now come, that you shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.||ecce venit hora, et jam venit, ut dispergamini unusquisque in propria, et me solum relinquatis : et non sum solus, quia Pater mecum est.||ιδου ερχεται ωρα και νυν εληλυθεν ινα σκορπισθητε εκαστος εις τα ιδια και εμε μονον αφητε και ουκ ειμι μονος οτι ο πατηρ μετ εμου εστιν|
|33.||These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.||Hæc locutus sum vobis, ut in me pacem habeatis. In mundo pressuram habebitis : sed confidite, ego vici mundum.||ταυτα λελαληκα υμιν ινα εν εμοι ειρηνην εχητε εν τω κοσμω θλιψιν εχετε αλλα θαρσειτε εγω νενικηκα τον κοσμον|
29. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32. Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix) The disciples were so refreshed with the thought of being in favour with the Father, that they say they are sure He knows all things: His disciples said unto Him, Now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. ciii) But why do they say so, when the hour in which He was to speak without proverbs was yet future, and only promised? Because, our Lords communications still continuing proverbs to them, they are so far from understanding them, that they do not even understand their not understanding them.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix. 2) But since His answer met what was in their minds, they add, Now we are sure that Thou knowest all things. See how imperfect they yet were, after so many and great things now at last to say, Now we are sure &c. saying it too as if they were conferring a favour. And needest not that any man should ask thee; i. e. Thou knowest what offends us, before we tell Thee, and Thou hast relieved us by saying that the Father loveth us.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. ciii. 2) Why this remark? To one Who knew all things, instead of saying, Thou needest not that any man should ask Thee; it would have been more appropriate to have said, Thou needest not to ask any man: yet we know that both of these were done, viz. that our Lord both asked questions, and was asked. But this is soon explained; for both were for the benefit, not of Himself, but of those whom He asked questions of, or by whom He was asked. He asked questions of men not in order to learn Himself, but to teach them: and in the case of those who asked questions of Him, such questions were necessary to them in order to gain the knowledge they wanted; but they were not necessary to Him to tell Him what that was, because He knew the wish of the enquirer, before the question was put. Thus to know mens thoughts beforehand was no great thing for the Lord, but to the minds of babes it was a great thing: By this we know that Thou camest, forth from God.
HILARY. (vi. de Trin. c. 34) They believe that He came forth from God, because He does the works of God. For whereas our Lord had said both, I came forth from the Father, and, I am come into the world from the Father, they testified no wonder at the latter words, I am come into the world, which they had often heard before. But their reply shews a belief in and appreciation of the former, I came forth from the Father. And they notice this in their reply: By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God; not adding, and art come into the world, for they knew already that He was sent from God, but had not yet received the doctrine of His eternal generation. That unutterable doctrine they now began to see for the first time in consequence of these words, and therefore reply that He spoke no longer in parables. For God is not born from God after the manner of human birth: His is a coming forth from, rather than a birth from, God. He is one from one; not a portion, not a defection, not a diminution, not a derivation, not a pretension, not a passion, but the birth of living nature from living nature. He is God coming forth from God, not a creature appointed to the name of God; He did not begin to be from nothing, but came forth from an abiding (manente) nature. To come forth, hath the signification of birth, not of beginning.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. ciii) Lastly, He reminds them of their weak tender age in respect of the inner man. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
BEDE. Which can be understood in two ways, either as reproaching, or affirming. If the former, the meaning is, Ye have awaked somewhat late to belief, for behold the hour cometh, yea is now come, that ye shall be scattered every man to his home. If the latter, it is, That which ye believe is true, but behold the hour cometh, &c.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. ciii) For they did not only with their bodies leave His body, when He was taken, but with their minds the faith.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix) Ye shall be scattered; i. e. when I am betrayed, fear shall so possess you, that ye will not be able even to take to flight together. But I shall suffer no harm in consequence: And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. ciii) He wishes to advance them so far as to understand that He had not separated from the Father because He had come forth from the Father.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix. 2) These things have I said unto you, that ye might have peace: i. e. that ye may not reject Me from your minds. For not only when I am taken shall ye suffer tribulation, but so long as ye are in the world: In the world ye shall have tribulation.
GREGORY. (xxvi. Moral. c. xi.) As if He said, Have Me within you to comfort you, because you will have the world without you.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. ciii. 3) The tribulation of which He speaks was to commence thus, i. e. in every one being scattered to his home, but was not to continue so. For in saying, And leave Me alone, He does not mean this to apply to them in their sufferings after His ascension. They were not to desert Him then, but to abide and have peace in Him. Wherefore He adds, Be of good cheer.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxx) i. e. raise up your spirits again: when the Master is victorious, the disciples should not be dejected; I have overcome the world.
AUGUSTINE. When the Holy Spirit was given them, they were of good cheer, and, in His strength, victorious. For He would not have overcome the world, had the world overcome His members. When He says, These things have I spoken to you, that in Me ye might have peace, He refers not only to what He has just said, but to what He had said all along, either from the time that He first had disciples, or since the supper, when He began this long and wonderful discourse. He declares this to be the object of His whole discourse, viz. that in Him they might have peace. And this peace shall have no end, but is itself the end of every pious action and intention.
Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.
At an early age, Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks, produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and especially, holy Scripture.
From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30he had been ordained a deacon at 19till his death, Bede was ever occupied with learning, writing, and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.
His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bedes death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.
Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery until his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Though his History is the greatest legacy Bede has left us, his work in all the sciences, especially in Scripture, should not be overlooked. During his last Lent, Bede worked on a translation of the Gospel of Saint John into English, completing it the day he died. But of this work to break the word to the poor and unlearned nothing remains today.
The 10th century and the first half of the 11th were dark days for the Church, partly because the papacy was the pawn of various Roman families. In 1049, things began to change when Pope Leo IX, a reformer, was elected. He brought a young monk named Hildebrand to Rome as his counselor and special representative on important missions. Hildebrand was to become Gregory VII.
Three evils plagued the Church then: simony–the buying and selling of sacred offices and things; the unlawful marriage of the clergy; and lay investiturekings and nobles controlling the appointment of Church officials. To all of these Hildebrand directed his reformers attention, first as counselor to the popes and later as pope himself.
Gregorys papal letters stress the role of the bishop of Rome as the vicar of Christ and the visible center of unity in the Church. He is well known for his long dispute with Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV over who should control the selection of bishops and abbots.
Gregory fiercely resisted any attack on the liberty of the Church. For this he suffered and finally died in exile. He said, I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, I die in exile. Thirty years later the Church finally won its struggle against lay investiture. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Gregory VII is May 25.
The Gregorian Reform, a milestone in the history of Christs Church, was named after this man who tried to extricate the papacy and the whole Church from undue control by civil rulers. Against an unhealthy Church nationalism in some areas, Gregory reasserted the unity of the whole Church based on Christ, and expressed in the bishop of Rome, the successor of Saint Peter.
franciscanmedia.org Patronage: Diocese of Sovana
Mystical ecstasy is the elevation of the spirit to God in such a way that the person is aware of this union with God while both internal and external senses are detached from the sensible world. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was so generously given this special gift of God that she is called the ecstatic saint.
Catherine de Pazzi was born into a noble family in Florence in 1566. The normal course would have been for her to have married into wealth and enjoyed comfort, but Catherine chose to follow her own path. At 9, she learned to meditate from the family confessor. She made her first Communion at the then-early age of 10, and made a vow of virginity one month later. At 16, Catherine entered the Carmelite convent in Florence because she could receive Communion daily there.
Catherine had taken the name Mary Magdalene and had been a novice for a year when she became critically ill. Death seemed near, so her superiors let her make her profession of vows in a private ceremony from a cot in the chapel. Immediately after, Mary Magdalene fell into an ecstasy that lasted about two hours. This was repeated after Communion on the following 40 mornings. These ecstasies were rich experiences of union with God and contained marvelous insights into divine truths.
As a safeguard against deception and to preserve the revelations, her confessor asked Mary Magdalene to dictate her experiences to sister secretaries. Over the next six years, five large volumes were filled. The first three books record ecstasies from May of 1584 through Pentecost week the following year. This week was a preparation for a severe five-year trial. The fourth book records that trial and the fifth is a collection of letters concerning reform and renewal. Another book, Admonitions, is a collection of her sayings arising from her experiences in the formation of women religious.
The extraordinary was ordinary for this saint. She read the thoughts of others and predicted future events. During her lifetime, Mary Magdalene appeared to several persons in distant places and cured a number of sick people.
It would be easy to dwell on the ecstasies and pretend that Mary Magdalene only had spiritual highs. This is far from true. It seems that God permitted her this special closeness to prepare her for the five years of desolation that followed when she experienced spiritual dryness. She was plunged into a state of darkness in which she saw nothing but what was horrible in herself and all around her. She had violent temptations and endured great physical suffering. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi died in 1607 at age 41, and was canonized in 1669. Her Liturgical Feast Day is May 25.
Intimate union, Gods gift to mystics, is a reminder to all of us of the eternal happiness of union he wishes to give us. The cause of mystical ecstasy in this life is the Holy Spirit, working through spiritual gifts. The ecstasy occurs because of the weakness of the body and its powers to withstand the divine illumination, but as the body is purified and strengthened, ecstasy no longer occurs. See Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, and John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul, for more about various aspects of ecstasies.
Patronage: against bodily ills; against sexual temptation; against sickness; sick people; Naples (co-patron)
It’s interesting how his miter is portrayed in this illustration.
Pray for Pope Francis.
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