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

Spiritual Reading

  • Saturday 28 May 2022

    Saturday before Ascension Sunday 

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Saturday before Ascension Sunday

    From a homily on the Song of Songs by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
    The glory you gave to me, I have given to them

    When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our saviour will be fully realised, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good. They will possess the perfection ascribed to the dove, according to our interpretation of the text: One alone is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only child of her mother, her chosen one.
    Our Lord’s words in the gospel bring out the meaning of this text more clearly. After having conferred all power on his disciples by his blessing, he obtained many other gifts for them by his prayer to the Father. Among these was included the greatest gift of all, which was that they were no longer to be divided in their judgement of what was right and good, for they were all to be united to the one supreme Good. As the Apostle says, they were to be bound together with the bonds of peace in the unity that comes from the Holy Spirit. They were to be made one body and one spirit by the one hope to which they were all called. We shall do better, however, to quote the sacred words of the gospel itself. I pray, the Lord says, that they all may be one; that as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so they also may be one in us.
    Now the bond that creates this unity is glory. That the Holy Spirit is called glory no one can deny if he thinks carefully about the Lord’s words: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them. In fact, he gave this glory to his disciples when he said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. Although he had always possessed it, even before the world existed, he himself received this glory when he put on human nature. Then, when his human nature had been glorified by the Spirit, the glory of the Spirit was passed on to all his kin, beginning with his disciples. This is why he said: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, I want them to be perfectly one.
    Whoever has grown from infancy to manhood and attained to spiritual maturity possesses the mastery over his passions and the purity that makes it possible for him to receive the glory of the Spirit. He is that perfect dove upon whom the eyes of the bridegroom rest when he says: One alone is my dove, my perfect one.


    In other parts of the world and other calendars:

    Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, Martyr

    Portrait of unknown sitter (c.1535), traditionally thought to be Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury. National Gallery, London.

    From the Life of Cardinal Reginald Pole by his secretary, Luigi Beccatello
    We have one more patron to intercede for us

    This is how the Cardinal received the news of his mother’s death. He had received several letters from France, Spain and Flanders, and having read them, he called me, as his custom was, to return the answers. As I was putting them together I perceived one to be in English, and told him I need not take that with me, as I did not understand the language. To which he replied, with perfect equanimity, “I could wish you did, that you might read the good news it contains”; and on my replying, “I hope your Excellency will make me partaker of it”, “Hitherto”, he said, “I have thought myself indebted to the divine goodness for having received my birth from one of the most noble and virtuous women in England; but from henceforward my obligation will be much greater, for I understand that I am now the son of a martyr. May God be thanked and praised.” I was distressed at his news, but he consoled me; saying, “We must rejoice, because now we have one more patron, to intercede for us in Heaven.” He then retired to his oratory for the space of one hour, after which he emerged in his usual good spirits. It was not that he did not love his mother, for he always spoke of her with great affection, but rather that he was given the grace not to be sighed down by such sad news.

    Copyright © 1996-2022 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.