Liturgy of the Sunday

Deel Op

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Memorial of Saint Philip Neri (†1595), "apostle of Rome."


First Reading

Acts 15,1-2.22-29

Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, 'Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.' This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the question with the apostles and elders. Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose delegates from among themselves to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas, known as Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them: 'The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of gentile birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some people coming from here, but acting without any authority from ourselves, have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with our well-beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have committed their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to impose on you any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from illicit marriages. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.'

Psalmody

Psalm 66

Antiphon

May the face of God shine on us.

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.

So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.

With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its fruit
for God, our God, has blessed us.

May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Second Reading

Revelation 21,10-14.22-23

In the spirit, he carried me to the top of a very high mountain, and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God. It had all the glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. Its wall was of a great height and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. I could not see any temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God, and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 14,23-29

Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him. Anyone who does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not my own: it is the word of the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me say: I am going away and shall return. If you loved me you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

As we approach the celebration of Pentecost, the liturgy takes us back to the Last Supper and proposes a passage taken from the great discourses made by Jesus to his own disciples. Verses 23-29 of chapter 14 of the Gospel of John are part of the first conversation of Jesus, when he comforts the faith and love of that small community, with the promise of the Spirit. The first node that Jesus confronts is the relationship of love of the disciples for the Lord. And Jesus immediately clarifies: "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them" (v. 23). Jesus places in a close relationship the love for him and the observance of his Word. We need neither miracles nor apparitions nor new revelations to meet God. Those who listen and put the Gospel into practice love the Lord. Jesus adds: "The word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me" (v.24). The Gospel is the Word of God. And this is enough for us. Someone could argue that it is now two thousand years that we listen to it and little or nothing has changed. There is therefore a need for new words, adequate organization, and so on. Father Mien, a Russian Orthodox parish priest who was killed in the early 1990s in Zagorsk, wisely observed: "Do not believe that the Gospel has now said everything, because in reality today we are still at the beginning of the understanding of those words!" We are just at the beginning of a true understanding of the Gospel; it requires a passionate adhesion, a total involvement. We do not need other words: we must, and urgently, deepen and love the one Word that the Lord has given us. What Jesus told the disciples of that time also repeats to us today: "I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you" (vv. 25-26). Jesus had understood that the disciples were forgetful and inclined to incomprehension; and we are not different. For this he added that he would send the Spirit as their inner teacher. The task of this inner Master is to "remind" and make "understand" the words spoken by Jesus. To remember the Gospel with the help of the Spirit means to love those holy words as the most dear, the most sought, the most repeated to put them in practice in every way.