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Today we celebrate the memorial of Mary mother of the Church. How fitting indeed it is on the day after Pentecost; the birth of our Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We are reminded that the spouse of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus gave to be our Mother, continues to love and embrace all her children throughout the world.She wants us to share in her purity of mind and of heart so that we might all draw ever closer to the heart of her son Jesus Christ our Lord. So that through her son we might one day be reunited in heaven.Dearest mother, obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, prudent with your prudence, patient with your patience, courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your Son. AmenMary mother of the Church pray for us….

First reading

Genesis 3:9-15,20 ·
‘The offspring of the woman will crush your head’After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

Gospel

John 19:25-34
‘Behold your son. Behold your mother.’Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.
After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said, ‘I am thirsty.’
A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, ‘It is accomplished’; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.
It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.


Does the Lord our God love you more than He loves me? Why then do I have more hardships and challenges than you? Do we not hear similar undertones when Martha spoke to Jesus about Mary? When the disciples question who among them was the greatest? Or here when Peter questions Jesus on the fate of John?If we strive to live in the Spirit and seek only to be guided by the spirit of truth then we already know the answer. God our Father loves all His children equally and has no favourites. Through His son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we have been redeemed. Some of us are called to suffer a little more than others because we have been blessed to be able to handle more and because of our resolute faith in our Risen Lord we have been given the opportunity to glorify Him either in this life or in death that comes for a spell, before we fully rise with and in Him.Led by the Holy Spirit I shall be life-giving to others. Amen

First reading

Acts 28:16-20,30-31 ·
In Rome, Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God without hindrance from anyoneOn our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.
After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, ‘Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty; but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have asked to see you and talk to you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.’
Paul spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete freedom and without hindrance from anyone.

Gospel

John 21:20-25
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and we know that his testimony is truePeter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’ The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die’, but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come.’
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true.
There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.


Loving You in my heart Lord is not enough. For anyone can love and honour You by their lips. I know I am being challenged to prove my love for You by feeding Your lambs. Not only by feeding your lambs but looking after and feeding Your sheep.

Where are your lambs Lord? Are they to be found in the toddlers, the young, the youths of my community? What shall I nurture them with? How shall I guide them? Shall I teach them that they should lead chaste, Holy lives? That loving You is to love Your Word which gives us life to the full. Shall I teach them to pray so that they might enter into Your presence and fall into Your loving embrace? How different should I care for Your sheep? Likewise and more? Shall I seek out Your other sheep not of our flock? In order to feed both Your lambs and sheep I must ensure they are well and healthy enough to be fed, which means tending to the sick and those who cannot care for themselves.

It is indeed a daunting task that lies ahead; Still if You lead me Lord, I will follow. Amen

First reading

Acts 25:13-21 ·
‘I ordered Paul to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar’King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul’s case before the king. ‘There is a man here’ he said ‘whom Felix left behind in custody, and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation. But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge. So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in. When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected; but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive. Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue. But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the august emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.’

Gospel

John 21:15-19
Feed my lambs, feed my sheepJesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.‘I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old
you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you
and take you where you would rather not go.’In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’


Why do we allow our differences to divide us? Salt and pepper are vastly different and yet when put together they bring about a flavourful excellence. We are so much more than that! We are all God our Father’s children regardless of race, culture, language, financial status and so on. Our uniqueness and the gifts we possess when brought together for love one another, are that which give Him glory.And through the power of our resurrected Lord who died for our sins, we are able to be completely united as One with and in Him. Let us therefore unite ourselves more fully with our Lord Jesus Christ and always be ready to share His love and mercy with one another. Amen

First reading

Acts 22:30,23:6-11 ·‘You have borne witness in Jerusalem: now you must do the same in Rome’Since the tribune wanted to know what precise charge the Jews were bringing, he freed Paul and gave orders for a meeting of the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin; then he brought Paul down and stood him in front of them. Now Paul was well aware that one section was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, so he called out in the Sanhedrin, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.’ As soon as he said this a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was split between the two parties. For the Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, while the Pharisees accept all three. The shouting grew louder, and some of the scribes from the Pharisees’ party stood up and protested strongly, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?’ Feeling was running high, and the tribune, afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered his troops to go down and haul him out and bring him into the fortress.Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.’

Gospel

John 17:20-26Father, may they be completely oneJesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:‘Holy Father, I pray not only for these,but for those also who through their words will believe in me.May they all be one.Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.I have given them the glory you gave to me,that they may be one as we are one.With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.Father, I want those you have given meto be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.’


Whether we are lost or not is our choice. For our Lord Jesus Christ wills that not one of us is lost. All of us have been consecrated to the truth, the way and the life by our baptism. And our calling is lead Holy sanctified lives to the full in the love and mercy of Christ our Saviour.St Paul reminds us therefore to remain steadfast and rooted to the word of God; to the word of His grace that has power to build us up and to give us our inheritance among all the sanctified. This is how we will stand fortified against the evil that seeks to rob us while we are making our pilgrim journey back home to our Heavenly Father.Come Holy Spirit come! Be our guide, our ally! Grant us what we need to be powerful Evangelisers of the love of God and the joys, peace and love of living the Gospel truths. Amen

First reading

Acts 20:28-38 ·
I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, and its powerPaul addressed these words to the elders of the church of Ephesus:
‘Be on your guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you the overseers, to feed the Church of God which he bought with his own blood. I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. So be on your guard, remembering how night and day for three years I never failed to keep you right, shedding tears over each one of you. And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified.
‘I have never asked anyone for money or clothes; you know for yourselves that the work I did earned enough to meet my needs and those of my companions. I did this to show you that this is how we must exert ourselves to support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, who himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”’
When he had finished speaking he knelt down with them all and prayed. By now they were all in tears; they put their arms round Paul’s neck and kissed him; what saddened them most was his saying they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.

Gospel

John 17:11-19
Father, keep those you have given me true to your nameJesus 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 Holy 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.’


Have you prepared your farewell speech before passing on? Would you even have to? Or would the way you lived your life speak volumes for you? Have you glorified the Lord Your God by your life? Have you suffered for Christ’s namesake? Or has it only been about you and your own sufferings? How many souls have You saved? How many strays have you brought back home to God Your Heavenly Father? How many have experienced your acts of love and mercy?

Jesus loves and prays for you. He wants you to be the best version of yourself for you and for others. Listen to Him speaking to you in today’s Gospel. Replace the word ‘them’ with your own name and see just how much the Lord our God loves you! Amen

St Philip Neri pray for us….

First reading

Acts 20:17-27 ·
I have without faltering put before you the whole of God’s purpose

From Miletus Paul sent for the elders of the church of Ephesus. When they arrived he addressed these words to them:
‘You know what my way of life has been ever since the first day I set foot among you in Asia, how I have served the Lord in all humility, with all the sorrows and trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I have not hesitated to do anything that would be helpful to you; I have preached to you, and instructed you both in public and in your homes, urging both Jews and Greeks to turn to God and to believe in our Lord Jesus.
‘And now you see me a prisoner already in spirit; I am on my way to Jerusalem, but have no idea what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit, in town after town, has made it clear enough that imprisonment and persecution await me. But life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me – and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God’s grace.
‘I now feel sure that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will ever see my face again. And so here and now I swear that my conscience is clear as far as all of you are concerned, for I have without faltering put before you the whole of God’s purpose.’

Gospel

John 17:1-11
Father, it is time for you to glorify me

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

‘Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son
so that your Son may glorify you; and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him, let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.
And eternal life is this: to know you,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do.
Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me
with that glory I had with you before ever the world was.
I have made your name known to the men you took from the world to give me.
They were yours and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now at last they know that all you have given me comes indeed from you; for I have given them the teaching you gave to me, and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you, and have believed that it was you who sent me.
I pray for them; I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me,
because they belong to you: all I have is yours and all you have is mine, and in them I am glorified.
I am not in the world any longer, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.’


Jesus has conquered the world! Do we realise how awesome this is and what it means for us? Yes we have it in mind that Jesus died for us to save us from sins and that we have hope of eternal life with Him. However we often overlook the fact that because Jesus conquered the world, we too can conquer the world through Him! This means we can live fully liberated in His love and in the spirit of truth.Our call then as children of God our Father is to live Holy chaste lives. While not all of us will be chosen to have anointed venerable hands like our shepherds in Holy orders; we are all chosen people, a royal priesthood! And so are called to lead others into a deeper conversion, by their repentance and reconciliation to God our Heavenly Father. Those of us who are willing to sacrifice for our Lord’s namesake and for our brethren will be given the grace to lay hands amongst other things. For our Lord promised “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” John 14:12 Amen

First reading

Acts 19:1-8 ·
The moment Paul laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on themWhile Apollos was in Corinth, Paul made his way overland as far as Ephesus, where he found a number of disciples. When he asked, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ they answered, ‘No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit.’ ‘Then how were you baptised?’ he asked. ‘With John’s baptism’ they replied. ‘John’s baptism’ said Paul ‘was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him – in other words, Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of these men.
He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out boldly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months.

Gospel

John 16:29-33
Be brave, for I have conquered the worldHis disciples said to Jesus, ‘Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors! Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them:‘Do you believe at last?
Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already – when you will be scattered,
each going his own way and leaving me alone.
And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.’