Fifth Sunday of Easter, Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp, with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.
For the word of the Lord is faithful and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right and fills the earth with his love.
The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine.
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Second Reading: first letter of Saint Peter 1 Peter 2:4-9
The Lord is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house.
As scripture says: See how I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone that I have chosen and the man who rests his trust on it will not be disappointed.
That means that for you who are believers, it is precious; but for unbelievers, the stone rejected by the builders has proved to be the keystone, a stone to stumble over, a rock to bring men down. They stumble over it because they do not believe in the word; it was the fate in store for them.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.’
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Gospel Reading: holy Gospel according to Saint John 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.’
It was the Fifth Sunday of Easter on 18 May 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day are shown in the previous page & above:
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7,
Responsorial: Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19,
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9 &
Gospel Reading: John 14:1-12.
We have extracted the Homilies of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
BEATIFICATION OF PADRE PIO OF PIETRELCINA
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 2 May 1999
“Sing a new song to the Lord!”.
1. The summons of the entrance antiphon captures well the joy of so many of the faithful who have long awaited the beatification of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. By his life given wholly to prayer and to listening to his brothers and sisters, this humble Capuchin friar astonished the world.
Countless people came to meet him in the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo and, since his death, the flow of pilgrims has not ceased. When I was a student here in Rome, I myself had the chance to meet him personally, and I thank God for allowing me today to enter Padre Pio's name in the book of the blessed.
Guided by the texts of this Fifth Sunday of Easter, which provides the context for the beatification, let us this morning trace the main features of his spiritual experience.
2. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God and believe also in me” (John 14:1). In the Gospel just proclaimed, we heard these words of Jesus to his disciples who were in need of encouragement. In fact, his allusion to his imminent departure had thrown them into turmoil. They were afraid of being abandoned, of being alone, and the Lord consoled them with a very specific promise: “I am going to prepare a place for you”, and then, “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
Through Thomas, the Apostles reply to this reassurance: “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). The remark is apt, and Jesus does not avoid the question which it implies. The answer he gives will remain for ever a light shining for generations still to come: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
The “place” that Jesus goes to prepare is in “the house of the Father”; there the disciple will be able to be with the Master for all eternity and share in his joy. Yet there is only one path that leads there: Christ, to whom the disciple must be conformed more and more. Holiness consists precisely in this: that it is no longer the Christian who lives, but Christ himself who lives in him (cf. Galatians 2:20). An exhilarating goal, accompanied by a promise which is no less consoling: “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than I will they do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).
3. We hear these words of Christ and think of the humble friar of Gargano. How clearly were they fulfilled in Blessed Pio of Pietrelcina!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe ...”. What was the life of this humble son of St Francis if not a constant act of faith, strengthened by the hope of heaven, where he could be with Christ?
“I am going to prepare a place for you ... that where I am you may be also”. What other purpose was there for the demanding ascetical practices which Padre Pio undertook from his early youth, if not gradually to identify himself with the Divine Master, so that he could be “where he was”?
Those who went to San Giovanni Rotondo to attend his Mass, to seek his counsel or to confess to him, saw in him a living image of Christ suffering and risen. The face of Padre Pio reflected the light of the Resurrection. His body, marked by the “stigmata”, showed forth the intimate bond between death and resurrection which characterizes the paschal mystery. Bl. Pio of Pietrelcina shared in the Passion with a special intensity: the unique gifts which were given to him, and the interior and mystical sufferings which accompanied them, allowed him constantly to participate in the Lord's agonies, never wavering in his sense that “Calvary is the hill of the saints”.
Continue next page …
25 May 2014