Read and listen to the Word of May 9, 2023
Tuesday of the fifth week of Easter
- S. Ġorġ (George) Preca1st Maltese saint (1880-1962)
- St. Louise de Marillac co-founder FdC (1591-1660)
They reported to Church what God had done through them.
From the Acts of the Apostles
In those days, some Jews came [to Lystra] from Antioch and from Iconium, who persuaded the crowds. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, believing him dead.
Then the disciples gathered around him and he got up and went into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
After proclaiming the Gospel to that city and having made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, confirming the disciples and exhorting them to remain firm in the faith "because - they said - we must enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations."
They therefore designated for them in each Church some elders and, after praying and fasting, entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Then crossing Pisidia, they reached Pamphylia and, after having proclaimed the Word in Perge, they went down to Attalia; from here they set sail for Antiòchia where they had been entrusted to the grace of God for the work they had done.
As soon as they arrived, they gathered the Church and they reported all that God he had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans. And they stopped for quite some time together with the disciples.
Word of God.
From Ps 144 (145)
R. Your friends, Lord, proclaim the glory of your kingdom.
Praise you, Lord, all your works
and your faithful bless you.
Let them tell the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might. R.
To let men know about your exploits
and the splendid glory of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an eternal kingdom,
your dominion extends through all generations. R.
Let my mouth sing the praise of the Lord
and bless all living his holy name,
forever and ever. R.
Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead,
and thus enter into his glory. (Cf. Lk 24,46.26)
I give you my peace.
From the Gospel according to John
At that time, he said Jesus to his disciples:
«Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. Not as the world gives, do I give it to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard that I said to you: "I am going and I will come back to you". If you loved me, would you rejoice that I go to the Father, why the Father is bigger than me. I told you now, before it happens, so that when it happens, you believe.
I will not speak with you any longer, because the prince of the world is coming; against me he can do nothing, but the world must know that I love the Father, and like the Father he commanded me, so I act."
Word of the Lord.
San Gregorio Nisseno (ca 335-395)
monk and bishop
The Lions' Den
“I leave you peace. Let not your heart be troubled"["Come from Lebanon, my Bride, Come from Lebanon, you will come, you will arrive from the beginnings of faith, from the heights of Sani and Hermon" (Ct 4,8 transl. LXX used by G. of Nissa).]
It is rightly so that the Word mentions lions and leopards, to make the joy of what pleases sweeter in comparison with unpleasant things. (…) Man, having lost the similarity with God, was changed into a wild beast, similar to animal nature, and became a leopard and a lion with his life of sin. (…)
Life in peace becomes sweeter after a war, and dark tales make it delightful. Health is a sweeter good in the senses of our body when, having overcome the difficulties of illness, our nature is restored.
Thus the divine Spouse, in order to make the intensity and fullness of the joy that the goods give her grow in the soul that goes towards him, is not satisfied with showing his beauty to the Bride, but reminds her of the horrible shape of the beasts , because she enjoys the present beauty even more, in comparison with what she got in return.
Perhaps even the Word providentially prepares some other grace for his Bride. For it wants that, although by nature we are subject to change, we do not slide towards evil due to our changing nature, but that by continually progressing we use this willingness to change to ascend towards higher goods and so the changing character makes it impossible for us to turn to evil .
For this reason the Word, as pedagogue and guardian, in order to distance us from evil, reminds us of the beasts that once dominated us, so that we do not turn to evil, but realize staying and remaining in the good, and always trying to change into the good, let's not change for the bad.
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER
I leave you peace: Jesus proves that meekness is possible.
He embodied it right in the most difficult moment; and he wants us to do the same, that we are the heirs of his peace. He wants us to be meek, open, willing to listen, capable of defusing disputes and weaving harmony.
This is testifying Jesus and it is worth more than a thousand words and many sermons. The testimony of peace. Let us ask ourselves if, in the places where we live, we disciples of Jesus we behave like this: do we ease tensions, do we extinguish conflicts? Are we too in friction with someone, always ready to react, to explode, or do we know how to respond with non-violence, do we know how to respond with gestures and words of peace?
How do I react? Everyone wonders. Of course, this meekness is not easy: how much effort it takes, at every level, to defuse conflicts! Here the second sentence of Jesus:I give you my peace. Jesus he knows that alone we are unable to keep peace, that we need help, a gift. Peace, which is our commitment, is above all a gift of God.
Jesus in fact he says: «I give you my peace. Not as the world gives, will I give it to you” (v. 27). What is this peace that the world does not know and the Lord gives us?
This peace is the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit of Jesus. It is the presence of God in us, is “the force of peace” of God. (Regina Caeli, May 22, 2022)