7th Sunday of Easter, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: White.
First reading: Acts 1:15-17,20-26
'Let someone else take his office'
One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers – there were about a hundred and twenty persons in the congregation: ‘Brothers, the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who offered himself as a guide to the men who arrested Jesus – after having been one of our number and actually sharing this ministry of ours. Now in the Book of Psalms it says:
Let someone else take his office.
‘We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, someone who was with us right from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us – and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.’
Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias, they prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.’ They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 102(103):1-2,11-12,19-20
The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins.
The Lord has set his sway in heaven and his kingdom is ruling over all.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, mighty in power, fulfilling his word.
Second reading: 1 John 4:11-16
Anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him
My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord; I will come back to you,
and your hearts will be full of joy.
Gospel: John 17:11-19
Father, keep those you have given me true to your name
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
While I was with them, I kept those you had given me true to your name.
I have watched over them and not one is lost
except the one who chose to be lost, and this was to fulfil the scriptures.
But now I am coming to you and while still in the world I say these things
to share my joy with them to the full.
I passed your word on to them, and the world hated them,
because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world.
I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
With the Patriarchs and Bishops, Pastors of the flock, with the priests, religious and all the Christian people, you are responsible for being witnesses to the risen Lord by your words and by your whole life. In the Christian community each one of you is called to have a share in its responsibility. By listening to Christ who calls you and who wants you to succeed in life, you will respond to your particular vocation in the priesthood, the consecrated life or marriage. In every state of life, being committed to following the Lord is a source of great joy.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 10 May 1997)
In the Epistle which we read today, Saint Peter writes: "Rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you" (1 Peter 4:13-14).
People often spoke of the "martyr Lebanon", especially during the period of war which afflicted your country more than ten years ago. In this historical context, the words of Saint Peter can well be applied to all who have suffered in this land. The Apostle writes: "In so far as you share in Christ's sufferings, rejoice because the Spirit of God rests upon you, and that is the Spirit of glory" (cf. ibid.). I am mindful that we are gathered near the historic heart of Beirut, Martyrs' Square; but you have also called it Freedom Square and Unity Square. I am certain that the sufferings of the past years will not be in vain; they will strengthen your freedom and unity.
Today, the words of Jesus inspire our prayer. We pray that those who mourn will be comforted, that those who are merciful will obtain mercy (cf. Matthew 5:4,7), that having received forgiveness from the Father everyone will agree in turn to forgive offences suffered. We pray that the sons and daughters of this land will be happy to be peacemakers and to be called sons of God (cf. Matthew 5:9). If by suffering we share in Christ's Passion, we shall also share in his glory.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 11 May 1997)
Our Lady of Lebanon, watch over all the people who live in this land so sorely tried! The Successor of Peter, who has come here to bring all a message of faith and hope, entrusts them to you. On the threshold of the third Christian millennium, may we see the prophetic message of Isaiah fulfilled: “Is it not a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?” (29:17)!
O Most Holy Virgin, grant that this people of ancient origins but ever young may remain the worthy heir of their distinguished history and build their future dynamically in dialogue with all, in mutual respect for the different groups and in fraternal harmony!
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 11 May 1997)
Ever since the Son of God "pitched his tent among us", every person has in a way become a "place" of encounter with him. Welcoming Christ in our needy brothers and sisters is the condition for being able to meet him "face to face" and perfectly at the end of our earthly journey.
Thus the exhortation of the author of the Letter to the Hebrews is still timely: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13: 2).
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 2 June 2000)
The Ecclesial Community, conscious of the mandate it has received from Christ to "communicate" the Gospel, uses every means for this task, including the most modern. Journalists, media professionals and all who work in this sector in various ways are asked to carry out their mission responsibly, knowing that when one works with respect for the truth, a valuable service is rendered to the truth itself, and so also to the human person. I gladly express my grateful encouragement to journalists and to everyone working in the information field who, in every part of the world, dedicate themselves to the good of man by serving justice, freedom and peace, frequently at the cost of personal sacrifice.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 4 June 2000)
Today is also World Day of Social Communications. Its theme is: "The Communications Media at the Service of Authentic Peace in the Light of "Pacem in Terris'".
Forty years after the publication of Bl. Pope John XXIII's historic Encyclical, it is more important than ever to reflect on the role of the mass media in building a peaceful world based on truth, justice, love and freedom. Indeed, the means of social communication can make a valid contribution to peace, tearing down the barriers of indifference, encouraging reciprocal understanding and respect and, even further, fostering reconciliation and compassion. It is therefore by virtue of their vocation and profession that those who work in the mass media are also called to be peacemakers.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 1 June 2003)
And so we need to turn to the second part of the biblical question: “Why do you stand looking up to heaven?” We have read that, just as the Apostles were asking the Risen Lord about the restoration of Israel’s earthly kingdom, “He was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight.” And “they looked up to heaven as he went” (cf. Acts 1:9-10). They looked up to heaven because they looked to Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Risen One, raised up on high. We do not know whether at that precise moment they realized that a magnificent, infinite horizon was opening up before their eyes: the ultimate goal of our earthly pilgrimage. Perhaps they only realized this at Pentecost, in the light of the Holy Spirit. But for us, at a distance of two thousand years, the meaning of that event is quite clear. Here on earth, we are called to look up to heaven, to turn our minds and hearts to the inexpressible mystery of God. We are called to look towards this divine reality, to which we have been directed from our creation. For there we find life’s ultimate meaning.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 28 May 2006)
In particular I address myself to the young people, who yesterday expressed their adherence to Christ and to the Church. Yesterday you presented me with the gift of your book of testimonies: “I do not take them, I am free of drugs”. I ask you now as your father: remain faithful to this promise. It is a question of your lives and your freedom. Do not let yourselves fall victim to this world’s illusions. I would also like to greet the scholarship holders of the Foundation “Work of the New Millennium”. I wish you every success in your studies and in preparing for your future.
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 28 May 2006)
To present the Lord wrapped in clouds calls to mind once and for all the same mystery expressed in the symbolism of the phrase, "seated at the right hand of God". In Christ ascended into Heaven, the human being has entered into intimacy with God in a new and unheard-of way; man henceforth finds room in God for ever. "Heaven": this word Heaven does not indicate a place above the stars but something far more daring and sublime: it indicates Christ himself, the divine Person who welcomes humanity fully and for ever, the One in whom God and man are inseparably united for ever. Man's being in God, this is Heaven. And we draw close to Heaven, indeed, we enter Heaven to the extent that we draw close to Jesus and enter into communion with him. For this reason today's Solemnity of the Ascension invites us to be in profound communion with the dead and Risen Jesus, invisibly present in the life of each one of us…
Like them, we too, accepting the invitation of the "two men in dazzling apparel", must not stay gazing up at the sky, but, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit must go everywhere and proclaim the saving message of Christ's death and Resurrection. His very words, with which the Gospel according to St Matthew ends, accompany and comfort us: "and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew 28: 19).
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 24 May 2009)
Let us pray that Europe may always be able to make the most of this patrimony of Christian principles and ideals that constitutes an immense cultural and spiritual wealth.
This is possible but only if one accepts the constant teaching of St Benedict, that is the "quaerere Deum", the quest for God, as man's fundamental commitment. Human beings cannot completely fulfil themselves, they cannot be truly happy without God. It is your task in particular, dear monks, to be living examples of this inner and profound relationship with him, implementing without compromise the programme that your Founder summed up in the "nihil amori Christi praeponere", "prefer nothing to the love of Christ" (Rule 4: 21). Holiness consists of this, a valid proposal for every Christian, especially in our time, in which people feel the need to anchor life and history to sound spiritual references. For this reason, dear brothers and sisters, your vocation is more up to date than ever and your mission as monks and nuns is indispensable.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 24 May 2009)
As you know, I went on my recent journey to the Holy Land as a pilgrim of peace and today in this region marked by the Benedictine charism I am granted the opportunity to emphasize, once again, that peace is in the first place a gift of God, hence its strength is found in prayer.
However, it is a gift entrusted to human commitment. The necessary energy to put it into practice can also be drawn from prayer. It is therefore fundamental to cultivate an authentic life of prayer to assure the social progress of peace. Once again the history of monasticism teaches us that a great development of civilization is prepared for by listening daily to the word of God, which impels believers to make a personal and community effort to fight every form of selfishness and injustice. Only by learning, with Christ's grace, to combat and defeat the evil within ourselves and in relations with others, do we become authentic builders of peace and of civil progress. May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, help all Christians in their different vocations and walks of life to be witnesses of the peace that Christ gave us and left to us as a demanding mission to be carried out everywhere.
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 24 May 2009)
Dear friends, the Ascension tells us that in Christ our humanity is brought to the heights of God; thus, every time we pray, earth is united to Heaven. And like incense, burning, its scent is carried on high, hence, when we raise our prayer to the Lord with confidence in Christ, it travels across Heaven and reaches God himself and is heard and answered by Him. In the well-known work by St John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, we read that “in order to obtain the fulfilment of the petitions which we have in our hearts, there is no better way than to direct the energy of our prayer to the thing that most pleases God. For then not only will He give that which we ask of Him, which is salvation, but also that which He sees to be fitting and good for us, although we pray not for it” (Book III, ch. 44, n. 2).
Finally let us beseech the Virgin Mary, that she may help us to contemplate the heavenly goods, which the Lord promises us, and to become ever more credible witnesses of his Resurrection, of true Life.
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 20 May 2012)
Like the Apostles, each one of Christ’s followers is called to become a witness to his resurrection, above all in those human settings where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident.
If this is to happen, we need to remain in the risen Christ and in his love, as the First Letter of Saint John has reminded us: “He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16). Jesus had repeated insistently to his disciples: “Abide in me… Abide in my love” (John 15:4, 9). This is the secret of the saints: abiding in Christ, joined to him like branches to the vine, in order to bear much fruit (cf. John 15:1-8). And this fruit is none other than love…
A relationship with the risen Jesus is – so to speak – the “atmosphere” in which Christians live, and in which they find the strength to remain faithful to the Gospel, even amid obstacles and misunderstandings…
An essential aspect of witness to the risen Lord is unity among ourselves, his disciples, in the image of his own unity with the Father. Today too, in the Gospel, we heard Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his passion: “that they may be one, even as we are one” (Jn 17:11). From this eternal love between the Father and the Son, poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), our mission and our fraternal communion draw strength; this love is the ever-flowing source of our joy in following the Lord along the path of his poverty, his virginity and his obedience; and this same love calls us to cultivate contemplative prayer.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 17 May 2015)
At the conclusion of this celebration, I want to greet all of you who have come to pay homage to the new Saints, particularly the official Delegations from Palestine, France, Italy, Israel, and Jordan. I greet with affection the Cardinals, Bishops, priests, as well as the spiritual daughters of the four Saints. Through their intercession, may the Lord grant a new missionary impulse to their respective countries. Inspired by their example of mercy, charity, and reconciliation, may the Christians of these lands look to the future with hope, continuing in the journey of solidarity and fraternal coexistence.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 17 May 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
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Compiled on 13 May 2018