Today’s Mass Readings

Daily Reading for Sunday May 16, 2021

Reading 1, Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
Gospel, John 17:11-19
Reading 2, First John 4:11-16

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

15 One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers — there were about a hundred and twenty people in the congregation,

16 ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who acted as guide to the men who arrested Jesus-

17 after being one of our number and sharing our ministry.

20 Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Reduce his encampment to ruin and leave his tent unoccupied. And again: Let someone else take over his office.

21 ‘Out of the men who have been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was living with us,

22 from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us, one must be appointed to serve with us as a witness to his resurrection.’

23 Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias,

24 they prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen

25 to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.’

26 They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.

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

1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;

2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.

11 As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.

12 As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.

19 Yahweh has fixed his throne in heaven, his sovereign power rules over all.

20 Bless Yahweh, all his angels, mighty warriors who fulfil his commands, attentive to the sound of his words.

Reading 2, First John 4:11-16

11 My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love one another.

12 No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us.

13 This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit.

14 We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Saviour of the world.

15 Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.

16 We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

Gospel, John 17:11-19

11 I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us.

12 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 one who was destined to be lost, and this was to fulfil the scriptures.

13 But now I am coming to you and I say these things in the world to share my joy with them to the full.

14 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.

15 I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One.

16 They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

17 Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth.

18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,

19 and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.

16TH MAY 2021
Acts 1:15-17,20-26; Psalm 103:1-2,11-12,19-20; 1 John 4:11-16; John 17:11-19
Towards the end of the Last Supper discourse, the Lord prayed for the unity of the members of His body. The tone of this last part of the discourse was sober and reemphasized the importance of unity.
▪There is nothing that destroys an institution as disunity; the strength of every institution is in unity. Unless we understand and work towards this path of unity, we will not make much difference. For there to be a community, we must work towards unity; and unity is not possible without the presence of love. Where love is, there will be respect and fairness; where there is no love, there will be injustice and no peace – God is absent.
~ In choosing someone who would take over the place of Judas, Peter being the leader of the Church involved others. By involving them in this noble cause, he showed them how each of them were members of the body of the Lord. They prayed with one heart to God to show which of them He had chosen.
~ They only wanted someone that would become a witness to the Lord’s resurrection with them. They were looking for someone who had seen what the Lord did, so that such a person will not lose sight of his calling.
~ They allowed God to be part of this endeavour. They were not interested in where he came from, but in what such a person ought to do as a witness. We must examine this very well in our present day Christianity. Witnesses are more important than the accidents of colour, race and language.
▪The Lord knew the Church was going to be made up of different languages, races, colours, traditions and customs. He prayed that in the midst of all these differences, the path to oneness and unity would not be lost to accidents of differences. The path to oneness lies in being witnesses to the Lord’s resurrection.
~ We can retain our cultural heritage and still maintain the oneness that the Lord prayed for. Each culture is beautiful but incomplete, but on coming in contact with other cultures it will be enriched. If we open our hearts in love, we will come to this common ground of oneness.
~ Are we children of One God? If the answer is yes, why do we still find it difficult to address one another as brothers and sisters? Why do we have constant fight between those who identify themselves as conservatives and those who identify themselves as progressives? Is Christ divided? (C.f. 1 Cor. 1:13)
~ The Lord consecrated the disciples in truth, so that they would remain in the truth. We are consecrated in truth by our baptismal vocation and the word of God, so that we must remain in truth. The path to division amongst Christians is found in deviation from the truth. We are consecrated to the truth in order to be faithful members of the truth. It is only in this truth, which is in Christ, that we can speak with one voice.
▪Dear friend, how can we speak with one voice without the presence of love? There is nothing that the enemy enjoys as seeing us divided. There is nothing that has weakened us as division. No nation or group will progress with divisions, because it will be like a vehicle with two fronts which moves forward and backward. The Church survived many centuries because of her unity with Christ as Head.
~ God has loved us so much, we too ought to love one another. Love will open our hearts to listen to the cries of those around us. It will inspire us to seek fairness and respect for each other. Wherever there is love, unity will be ubiquitous. We pray that the Holy Spirit will come to unite us in oneness, which our Lord longs for. May our Blessed Mother Mary who is one in heart with Jesus, lead us to the path of oneness in Christ. Amen
Have a fruitful Sunday
May God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Stowe, and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA