- Saint John of the Cross

Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.

-- Saint John of the Cross

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/31/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Romans 12: 9 - 16

9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
10 love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.

Isaiah 12: 2 - 6

2 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 "Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."

Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 39 - 56

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40 and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/30/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 42: 15 - 25

15 I will now call to mind the works of the Lord, and will declare what I have seen. By the words of the Lord his works are done.
16 The sun looks down on everything with its light, and the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
17 The Lord has not enabled his holy ones to recount all his marvelous works, which the Lord the Almighty has established that the universe may stand firm in his glory.
18 He searches out the abyss, and the hearts of men, and considers their crafty devices. For the Most High knows all that may be known, and he looks into the signs of the age.
19 He declares what has been and what is to be, and he reveals the tracks of hidden things.
20 No thought escapes him, and not one word is hidden from him.
21 He has ordained the splendors of his wisdom, and he is from everlasting and to everlasting. Nothing can be added or taken away, and he needs no one to be his counselor.
22 How greatly to be desired are all his works, and how sparkling they are to see!
23 All these things live and remain for ever for every need, and are all obedient.
24 All things are twofold, one opposite the other, and he has made nothing incomplete.
25 One confirms the good things of the other, and who can have enough of beholding his glory?

Psalms 33: 2 - 9

2 Praise the LORD with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song, play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD, let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth.

Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 46 - 52

46 And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae'us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae'us, was sitting by the roadside.
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49 And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."
50 And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus.
51 And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Master, let me receive my sight."
52 And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/29/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 36: 1, 4 - 5, 10 - 17

1 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, the God of all, and look upon us,
4 As in us thou hast been sanctified before them, so in them be thou magnified before us;
5 and let them know thee, as we have known that there is not God but thee, O Lord.
10 Crush the heads of the rulers of the enemy, who say, "There is no one but ourselves."
11 Gather all the tribes of Jacob, and give them their inheritance, as at the beginning.
12 Have mercy, O Lord, upon the people called by thy name, upon Israel, whom thou hast likened to a first-born son.
13 Have pity on the city of thy sanctuary, Jerusalem, the place of thy rest.
14 Fill Zion with the celebration of thy wondrous deeds, and thy temple with thy glory.
15 Bear witness to those whom thou didst create in the beginning, and fulfil the prophecies spoken in thy name.
16 Reward those who wait for thee, and let thy prophets be found trustworthy.
17 Hearken, O Lord, to the prayer of thy servants, according to the blessing of Aaron for thy people, and all who are on the earth will know that thou art the Lord, the God of the ages.

Psalms 79: 8 - 9, 11, 13

8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let thy compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name's sake!
11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before thee; according to thy great power preserve those doomed to die!
13 Then we thy people, the flock of thy pasture, will give thanks to thee for ever; from generation to generation we will recount thy praise.

Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 32 - 45

32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,
33 saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles;
34 and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise."
35 And James and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, came forward to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
36 And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
37 And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory."
38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"
39 And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared."
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John.
42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
43 But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
45 For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Saint Crispin of Viterbo to the Vatican physician

You are a wise doctor and the city of Rome acknowledges that fact. But the Holy Virgin is much wiser than you and all the physicians of the world.

-- Saint Crispin of Viterbo to the Vatican physician

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/28/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 35: 1 - 12

1 He who keeps the law makes many offerings; he who heeds the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
2 He who returns a kindness offers fine flour, and he who gives alms sacrifices a thank offering.
3 To keep from wickedness is pleasing to the Lord, and to forsake unrighteousness is atonement.
4 Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,
5 for all these things are to be done because of the commandment.
6 The offering of a righteous man anoints the altar, and its pleasing odor rises before the Most High.
7 The sacrifice of a righteous man is acceptable, and the memory of it will not be forgotten.
8 Glorify the Lord generously, and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
9 With every gift show a cheerful face, and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
10 Give to the Most High as he has given, and as generously as your hand has found.
11 For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
12 Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it; and do not trust to an unrighteous sacrifice; for the Lord is the judge, and with him is no partiality.

Psalms 50: 5 - 8, 14, 23

5 "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! [Selah]
7 "Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
8 I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High;
23 He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God!"

Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 28 - 31

28 Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you."
29 Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
31 But many that are first will be last, and the last first."

Saint Bernardine of Siena from one of his sermons

By word of mouth, by letters, by miracles, and by the example of his own life, Saint Paul bore the name of Jesus wherever he went. He praised the name of Jesus "at all times," but never more than when "bearing witness to his faith." 

-- Saint Bernardine of Siena from one of his sermons

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/27/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 17: 20 - 24

20 Their iniquities are not hidden from him, and all their sins are before the Lord.
22 A man's almsgiving is like a signet with the Lord and he will keep a person's kindness like the apple of his eye.
23 Afterward he will arise and requite them, and he will bring their recompense on their heads.
24 Yet to those who repent he grants a return, and he encourages those whose endurance is failing.

Psalms 32: 1 - 2, 5 - 7

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
5 I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. [Selah]
6 Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to thee; at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
7 Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; thou dost encompass me with deliverance. [Selah]

Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 17 - 27

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
19 You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
20 And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth."
21 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
22 At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"
27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."

Saint Eugene de Mazenod

If priests could be formed, afire with zeal for men’s salvation, solidly grounded in virtue – in a word, apostolic men deeply conscious of the need to reform themselves, who would labor with all the resources at their command to convert others – then there would be ample reason to believe that in a short while people who had gone astray might be brought back to the long neglected duties of religion. We pledge ourselves to all the works of zeal that priestly charity can inspire… We must spare no effort to extend the Savior’s Empire and destroy the dominion of hell. 

-- Saint Eugene de Mazenod

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/26/2013 Sunday (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Proverbs 8: 22 - 31

22 The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men.

Psalms 8: 4 - 9

4 what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?
5 Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.
6 Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

Second Reading: John 16: 12 - 15

12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Gospel Reading: Romans 5: 1 - 5

1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Saint Jude Thaddeus the Apostle from The Epistle of Jude 1:24-25

To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of His Glory, to the only God, Our Savior, through Jesus Christ Our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.

-- Saint Jude Thaddeus the Apostle from The Epistle of Jude 1:24-25

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/25/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 17: 1 - 15

1 The Lord created man out of earth, and turned him back to it again.
2 He gave to men few days, a limited time, but granted them authority over the things upon the earth.
3 He endowed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image.
4 He placed the fear of them in all living beings, and granted them dominion over beasts and birds.
6 He made for them tongue and eyes; he gave them ears and a mind for thinking.
7 He filled them with knowledge and understanding, and showed them good and evil.
8 He set his eye upon their hearts to show them the majesty of his works.
10 And they will praise his holy name, to proclaim the grandeur of his works.
11 He bestowed knowledge upon them, and allotted to them the law of life.
12 He established with them an eternal covenant, and showed them his judgments.
13 Their eyes saw his glorious majesty, and their ears heard the glory of his voice.
14 And he said to them, "Beware of all unrighteousness." And he gave commandment to each of them concerning his neighbor.
15 Their ways are always before him, they will not be hid from his eyes.

Psalms 103: 13 - 18

13 As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 13 - 16

13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment of our lives - that prayer which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God as in a constant communication with Him.

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/24/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Revelation 21: 1 - 5

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;
3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;
4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."
5 And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Psalms 95: 1 - 7

1 O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it; for his hands formed the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice!

Gospel Reading: John 10: 22 - 30

22 It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
24 So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me;
26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30 I and the Father are one."

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/23/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 5: 1 - 8

1 Do not set your heart on your wealth, nor say, "I have enough."
2 Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.
3 Do not say, "Who will have power over me?" for the Lord will surely punish you.
4 Do not say, "I sinned, and what happened to me?" for the Lord is slow to anger.
5 Do not be so confident of atonement that you add sin to sin.
6 Do not say, "His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins," for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger rests on sinners.
7 Do not delay to turn to the Lord, nor postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will go forth, and at the time of punishment you will perish.
8 Do not depend on dishonest wealth, for it will not benefit you in the day of calamity.

Psalms 1: 1 - 4, 6

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish

Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 41 - 50

41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.
42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,
48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
49 For every one will be salted with fire.
50 Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/22/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 4: 11 - 19

11 Wisdom exalts her sons and gives help to those who seek her.
12 Whoever loves her loves life, and those who seek her early will be filled with joy.
13 Whoever holds her fast will obtain glory, and the Lord will bless the place she enters.
14 Those who serve her will minister to the Holy One; the Lord loves those who love her.
15 He who obeys her will judge the nations, and whoever gives heed to her will dwell secure.
16 If he has faith in her he will obtain her; and his descendants will remain in possession of her.
17 For at first she will walk with him on tortuous paths, she will bring fear and cowardice upon him, and will torment him by her discipline until she trusts him, and she will test him with her ordinances.
18 Then she will come straight back to him and gladden him, and will reveal her secrets to him.
19 If he goes astray she will forsake him, and hand him over to his ruin.

Psalms 119: 165, 168, 171 - 172, 174 - 175

165 Great peace have those who love thy law; nothing can make them stumble.
168 I keep thy precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before thee.
171 My lips will pour forth praise that thou dost teach me thy statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of thy word, for all thy commandments are right.
174 I long for thy salvation, O LORD, and thy law is my delight.
175 Let me live, that I may praise thee, and let thy ordinances help me.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 38 - 40

38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us."
39 But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is for us.

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/21/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 2: 1 - 11

1 My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation.
2 Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity.
3 Cleave to him and do not depart, that you may be honored at the end of your life.
4 Accept whatever is brought upon you, and in changes that humble you be patient.
5 For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
6 Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.
7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; and turn not aside, lest you fall.
8 You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not fail;
9 you who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting joy and mercy.
10 Consider the ancient generations and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or who ever persevered in the fear of the Lord and was forsaken? Or who ever called upon him and was overlooked?
11 For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of affliction.

Psalms 37: 3 - 4, 18 - 19, 27 - 28, 39 - 40

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will abide for ever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; so shall you abide for ever.
28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. The righteous shall be preserved for ever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 30 - 37

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it;
31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."
32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him.
33 And they came to Caper'na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?"
34 But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest.
35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."
36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/20/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Sirach 1: 1 - 10

1 All wisdom comes from the Lord and is with him for ever.
2 The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity -- who can count them?
3 The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom -- who can search them out?
4 Wisdom was created before all things, and prudent understanding from eternity.
5 The root of wisdom -- to whom has it been revealed? Her clever devices -- who knows them?
6 There is One who is wise, greatly to be feared, sitting upon his throne.
7 The Lord himself created wisdom; he saw her and apportioned her, he poured her out upon all his works.
8 She dwells with all flesh according to his gift, and he supplied her to those who love him.
9 The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation, and gladness and a crown of rejoicing.
10 The fear of the Lord delights the heart, and gives gladness and joy and long life.

Psalms 93: 1 - 2, 5

1 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
2 thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting.
5 Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 14 - 29

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them.
15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him.
16 And he asked them, "What are you discussing with them?"
17 And one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit;
18 and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able."
19 And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me."
20 And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood.
22 And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us."
23 And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes."
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again."
26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead."
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?"
29 And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."

-- Saint Thomas the Apostle to Our Risen Lord in John 20: 28

My Lord, and my God. 

-- Saint Thomas the Apostle to Our Risen Lord in John 20: 28 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/19/2013 Sunday(Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 2: 1 - 11

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
7 And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
9 Par'thians and Medes and E'lamites and residents of Mesopota'mia, Judea and Cappado'cia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phryg'ia and Pamphyl'ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre'ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."

Psalms 104: 1, 24, 29 - 31, 34

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty,
24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy creatures.
29 When thou hidest thy face, they are dismayed; when thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30 When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the LORD endure for ever, may the LORD rejoice in his works,
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3 - 7, 12 - 13

3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.
7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Gospel Reading: John 20: 19 - 23

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/18/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 2: 44 - 47

44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common;
45 and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Psalms 131: 1 - 3

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 22 - 31

22 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on.
23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
25 And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life?
26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!
29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind.
30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them.
31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.

Saint Julie Billiart

Let us pray more and more that the Kingdom of God may spread everywhere in the hearts of all.  The harvest is great but there are no labourers.  Let us work at becoming good labourers!

-- Saint Julie Billiart 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/17/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 25: 13 - 21

13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Berni'ce arrived at Caesare'a to welcome Festus.
14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a man left prisoner by Felix;
15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews gave information about him, asking for sentence against him.
16 I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up any one before the accused met the accusers face to face, and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him.
17 When therefore they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in.
18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed;
19 but they had certain points of dispute with him about their own superstition and about one Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.
20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them.
21 But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be held until I could send him to Caesar."

Psalms 103: 1 - 2, 11 - 12, 19 - 20

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word!

Gospel Reading: John 21: 15 - 19

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
16 A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go."
19 (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."

- Saint Louise de Marillac

The faults of children are not always imputed to the parents, especially when they have instructed them and given good example. Our Lord, in His wondrous Providence, allows children to break the hearts of devout fathers and mothers. Thus the decisions your children have made don't make you a failure as a parent in God's eyes. You are entitled to feel sorrow, but not necessarily guilt. Do not cease praying for your children; God's grace can touch a hardened heart. Commend your children to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When parents pray the Rosary,at the end of each decade they should hold the Rosary aloft and say to her,"With these beads bind my children to your Immaculate Heart", she will attend to their souls.

-- Saint Louise de Marillac 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/16/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 22: 30

30 But on the morrow, desiring to know the real reason why the Jews accused him, he unbound him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.

Psalms 16: 1 - 2, 5, 7 - 11

1 Preserve me, O God, for in thee I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, "Thou art my Lord; I have no good apart from thee."
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.
10 For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.
11 Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Gospel Reading: John 17: 20 - 26

20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word,
21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me.
26 I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."

Saint Gemma Galgani

O my soul, bless Jesus. Never forget the many graces He has given thee. Love that God who so loves thee. Lift thyself up to Him, who has lowered Himself for thee; show thyself as He shows Himself with thee; be clean of heart, be pure. Love thy Jesus, who has lifted thee out of so much misery. Love thy God, bless thy Lord.

-- Saint Gemma Galgani 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/15/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 20: 28 - 38

28 Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.
29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me.
35 In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
36 And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
37 And they all wept and embraced Paul and kissed him,
38 sorrowing most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they brought him to the ship.

Psalms 68: 29 - 30, 33 - 36

29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem kings bear gifts to thee.
30 Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample under foot those who lust after tribute; scatter the peoples who delight in war.
33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; lo, he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and his power is in the skies.
35 Terrible is God in his sanctuary, the God of Israel, he gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

Gospel Reading: John 17: 11 - 19

11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
12 While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.
18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

-- Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He Caresses us, and to be cold immediately once He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart. 

-- Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/14/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 1: 15 - 17, 20 - 26

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said,
16 "Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus.
17 For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, `Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and `His office let another take.'
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us -- one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."
23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab'bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi'as.
24 And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen
25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place."
26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi'as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

Psalms 113: 1 - 8

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised!
4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.

Gospel Reading: John 15: 9 - 17

9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
17 This I command you, to love one another.

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self. 

-- Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/13/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 19: 1 - 8

1 While Apol'los was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.
2 And he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said, "No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism."
4 And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus."
5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
7 There were about twelve of them in all.
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God;

Psalms 68: 2 - 7

2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before fire, let the wicked perish before God!
3 But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy!
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds; his name is the LORD, exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
6 God gives the desolate a home to dwell in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
7 O God, when thou didst go forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness, [Selah]

Gospel Reading: John 16: 29 - 33

29 His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure!
30 Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God."
31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
33 I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

-- Saint Thomas Becket

The harvest is good and one reaper or even several would not suffice to gather all of it into the granary of the Lord. Yet the Roman Church remains the head of all the churches and the source of Catholic teaching. Of this there can be no doubt. Everyone knows that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to Peter.  Upon his faith and teaching the whole fabric of the Church will continue to be built until we all reach full maturity in Christ and attain to unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God. 

-- Saint Thomas Becket 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/12/2013 Sunday(Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 1: 1 - 11

1 In the first book, O The-oph'ilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,
2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
3 To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me,
5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."
9 And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Psalms 47: 2 - 3, 6 - 9

2 For the LORD, the Most High, is terrible, a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Second Reading: Ephesians 1: 17 - 23

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might
20 which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
22 and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,
23 which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 46 - 53

46 and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
49 And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high."
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
51 While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.
52 And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

-- Saint Chad

God thunders forth from heaven to rouse people to fear the Lord, to call them to remember the future judgment...when God will come in the clouds in great power and majesty to judge the living and the dead. And so we ought to respond to God's heavenly warning with due fear and love so that as often as God disturbs the sky, yet spares us still, we should implore God's mercy, examining the innermost recesses of our hearts and purging out the dregs of our sins, and behave with such caution that we may never deserve to be struck down.

-- Saint Chad 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/11/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 18: 23 - 28

23 After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phryg'ia, strengthening all the disciples.
24 Now a Jew named Apol'los, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures.
25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aq'uila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.
27 And when he wished to cross to Acha'ia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,
28 for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

Psalms 47: 2 - 3, 8 - 10

2 For the LORD, the Most High, is terrible, a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Gospel Reading: John 16: 23 - 28

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.
24 Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
25 "I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father.
26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.
28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

Saint John Vianney

My little children, your hearts, are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us. Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet. When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun. 

-- Saint John Vianney 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/10/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 18: 9 - 18

9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;
10 for I am with you, and no man shall attack you to harm you; for I have many people in this city."
11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Acha'ia, the Jews made a united attack upon Paul and brought him before the tribunal,
13 saying, "This man is persuading men to worship God contrary to the law."
14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, I should have reason to bear with you, O Jews;
15 but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I refuse to be a judge of these things."
16 And he drove them from the tribunal.
17 And they all seized Sos'thenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to this.
18 After this Paul stayed many days longer, and then took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aq'uila. At Cen'chre-ae he cut his hair, for he had a vow.

Psalms 47: 2 - 7

2 For the LORD, the Most High, is terrible, a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
4 He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. [Selah]
5 God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!

Gospel Reading: John 16: 20 - 23

20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
21 When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world.
22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.

-- Saint Ambrose of Milan

This Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart's meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.

-- Saint Ambrose of Milan 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/09/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 18: 1 - 8

1 After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
2 And he found a Jew named Aq'uila, a native of Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them;
3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them, and they worked, for by trade they were tentmakers.
4 And he argued in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedo'nia, Paul was occupied with preaching, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue.
8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

Psalms 98: 1 - 4

1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

Gospel Reading: John 16: 16 - 20

16 "A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me."
17 Some of his disciples said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, `A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and, `because I go to the Father'?"
18 They said, "What does he mean by `a little while'? We do not know what he means."
19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him; so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, `A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'?
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

Pope Saint Clement I

Since all things lie open to His eyes and ears, let us hold Him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by His mercy from the judgement that is to come. Which of us can escape His mighty hand?

-- Pope Saint Clement I 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/08/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 17: 15, 22 - 34, 18: 1

15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.
22 So Paul, standing in the middle of the Are-op'agus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, `To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man,
25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.
26 And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation,
27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us,
28 for `In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.'
29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man.
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent,
31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, "We will hear you again about this."
33 So Paul went out from among them.
34 But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionys'ius the Are-op'agite and a woman named Dam'aris and others with them.
1 After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Psalms 148: 1 - 2, 11 - 14

1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!

Gospel Reading: John 16: 12 - 15

12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

-- Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.

 -- Saint Ignatius of Antioch 

-- Saint John Chrysostom

It is clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive; in fact, it persuaded the whole world. 

-- Saint John Chrysostom 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/07/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 16: 22 - 34

22 The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods.
23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely.
24 Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,
26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's fetters were unfastened.
27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here."
29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?"
31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family.
34 Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

Psalms 138: 1 - 3, 7 - 8

1 I give thee thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing thy praise;
2 I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word.
3 On the day I called, thou didst answer me, my strength of soul thou didst increase.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou dost preserve my life; thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand delivers me.
8 The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; thy steadfast love, O LORD, endures for ever. Do not forsake the work of thy hands.

Gospel Reading: John 16: 5 - 11

5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, `Where are you going?'
6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more;
11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

-- Saint Conrad of Parzham from a spiritual communion by him

I have come to spend a few moments with Thee, O Jesus, and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust before Thy Holy Tabernacle to adore Thee, my Lord and God, in deepest humiliy. Once more a day has come to its close, dear Jesus, another day which brings me nearer to the grave and my beloved heavenly home. Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for Thee, the true Bread of Life, which containes all sweetness and relish. O my Jesus, mercifully grant me pardon for the faults and ingratitutde of this day, and come to me to refresh my poor heart which longs for Thee. As the heart pants for the waters, as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven, even so does my poor heart long for Thee, Thou Fount of Life. I love Thee, O Jesus, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and out of love for Thee I regret sincerely all my sins. May Thy peace and Thy benediction be mine now and always and for all eternity. Amen.

-- Saint Conrad of Parzham from a spiritual communion by him 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/06/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 16: 11 - 15

11 Setting sail therefore from Tro'as, we made a direct voyage to Sam'othrace, and the following day to Ne-ap'olis,
12 and from there to Philip'pi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedo'nia, and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days;
13 and on the sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.
14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati'ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.
15 And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

Psalms 149: 1 - 6, 9

1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with timbrel and lyre!
4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory.
5 Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is glory for all his faithful ones. Praise the LORD!

Gospel Reading: John 15: 26 - 27, 16: 1 - 4

26 But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;
27 and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
1 "I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away.
2 They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
3 And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

Let us be buried with Christ by Baptism to rise with Him; let us go down with Him to be raised with Him; and let us rise with Him to be glorified with Him. 

-- Saint Gregory of Nazianzus 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/05/2013 Sunday (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 15: 1 - 2, 22 - 29

1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsab'bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,
23 with the following letter: "The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cili'cia, greeting.
24 Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,
25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

Psalms 67: 2 - 3, 5 - 6, 8

2 that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee!
5 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee!
6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.

Second Reading: Revelation 21: 10 - 14, 22 - 23

10 And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed;
13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Gospel Reading: John 14: 23 - 29

23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you.
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
28 You heard me say to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.
29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Learn from Saint Thérèse to depend on God alone and serve Him with a wholly pure and detached heart. Then, like her, you will be able to say ‘I do not regret that I have given myself up to Love’. 

-- Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) 

Today's mass reading from the Bible May/04/2013 (Catholic church, Gospel word of God for the day)

First Reading: Acts 16: 1 - 10

1 And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek.
2 He was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Ico'nium.
3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem.
5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
6 And they went through the region of Phry'gia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
7 And when they had come opposite My'sia, they attempted to go into Bithyn'ia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;
8 so, passing by My'sia, they went down to Tro'as.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedo'nia was standing beseeching him and saying, "Come over to Macedo'nia and help us."
10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedo'nia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Psalms 100: 1 - 3, 5

1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the lands!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the LORD is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Gospel Reading: John 15: 18 - 21

18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20 Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
21 But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me.