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Arch Bishop Micheal Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading

  • Friday 30 April 2021

    Friday of the 4th week of Eastertide 
    or Saint Pius V, Pope 

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Friday of the 4th week of Eastertide

    From a letter of Pope St Clement I to the Corinthians
    There are many paths but one Way

    My dear friends, this is the way in which we find our Saviour Jesus Christ, the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity.
    By him we look up to the heights of heaven. In his face, exalted and without blemish, we see ourselves reflected. By him the eyes of our hearts are opened. By him our foolish and darkened understanding blossoms up anew towards his marvellous light. By him the Lord has willed that we should taste of immortal knowledge. He is the radiant light of God’s glory. He is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
    Let us then, men and brethren, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with his holy commandments.
    Think of the soldiers who serve under our generals, and with what order, obedience, and submissiveness they perform the things which are commanded them. Not all are prefects, nor commanders of a thousand, nor of a hundred, nor of fifty, nor the like, but each one in his own rank performs the things commanded by the king and the generals. The great cannot subsist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a kind of mixture in all things, and thence arises mutual advantage.
    Let us take our body for an example. The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head. The very smallest members of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. All work harmoniously together and they are under one common rule for the preservation of the whole body.
    In Christ Jesus let our whole body be preserved intact. Let every one of us be subject to his neighbour, according to the special gift bestowed upon him.
    Let the strong not despise the weak, and let the weak show respect to the strong. Let the rich man provide for the wants of the poor; and let the poor man bless God, because he has given him one by whom his need may be supplied. Let the wise man display his wisdom, not by mere words, but through good deeds. Let the humble not bear testimony to himself, but leave witness to be borne to him by another. Let him that is pure in the flesh not grow proud of it, and boast, knowing that it was another who bestowed on him the gift of continence.
    Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were made. Let us consider how we came into this world, as it were out of a sepulchre, and from utter darkness: who and what manner of beings we were. He who made us and fashioned us, having prepared his bountiful gifts for us before we were born, introduced us into his world.
    Since, therefore, we receive all these things from him, we ought for everything to give him thanks; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


    Other choices for today:

    Saint Pius V, Pope

    16th-century portrait of Pope Pius V by Scipione Pulzone (1550-1598). Collection of Palazzo Colonna.

    From a treatise on John by St Augustine
    The Church is founded upon the rock which Peter acknowledged

    God never ceases to provide the human race with consolations in misfortune. But in addition to these, in the fullness of time, when he himself knew it should be done, he sent his own only-begotten Son through whom he created all things. While remaining God, his Son was to become man and be the mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.
    Those who believed in him through baptism were freed from the guilt of all their sins, freed from eternal damnation to live in faith, hope and love. On their journey among the trials and dangers of this world, they received the consolations of God, both in body and in spirit. They were to walk in his sight, keeping to the path which Christ made for them.
    But even while walking on this path they were not without sin, since it develops subtly out of human weakness. Therefore Christ gave the saving remedy of charity to help them in their prayers, for he taught them to say: Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Such is the practice which the Church in blessed hope carries out in this life of suffering. Now the apostle Peter, because of the primacy of his apostleship, stood as a symbol of the entire Church.
    In himself he was by nature one man, by grace one Christian, by a more abundant grace an apostle and the chief of the apostles. But Christ said to him: To you I shall give the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you will bind upon the earth will be bound also in heaven and whatever you will forgive upon the earth will be forgiven also in heaven. Now these words applied to the entire Church. In this life it is shaken by various trials, as if by rains, floods and tempests, but it does not fall because it is founded upon the rock from which Peter received his name.
    The Lord said: Upon this rock I shall build my Church because Peter has first said: You are Christ, the Son of the living God. The Lord was really saying: I shall build my Church upon the rock which you have acknowledged. For the rock was Christ, and upon this foundation even Peter himself was raised up. Another foundation indeed no one can lay except that which was laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    The Church, which is founded upon Christ, received from him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, that is, the power of binding and forgiving sins, in the person of Peter. Therefore this Church, by loving and following Christ, is set free from evil. But this is even more the case with those who fight on behalf of truth even to the death.

    Copyright © 1996-2021 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.