Celebrant: Our Lord commands us not to be distressed or fearful. With confident trust, then, we bring our needs to him.
That the Pope and bishops, as successors of the apostles, may clearly teach and lovingly guide the Church, we pray to the Lord...
That all who have been baptized and received into the Church this Easter may grow in the Risen Life of Christ, we pray to the Lord...
That nations may set aside their conflicts and call upon the Name of the Lord of Life, Justice, and Peace, we pray to the Lord...
That Christ's farewell gift of peace may be preserved through a renewed respect and protection for every human life, we pray to the Lord...
For all students who are completing their academic year, that they may use the knowledge and skill they attain to serve God's people in truth and justice, we pray to the Lord...
For comfort to all who are ill, and eternal rest to all who have died, we pray to the Lord...
you have made your dwelling with us.
Hear our prayers, fulfill our needs,
and grant us your salvation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Creator's Eternal Dream
Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Exhortation "The Joy of Love," writes, "The Psalmist says: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13). Every child growing within the mother’s womb is part of the eternal loving plan of God the Father: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer 1:5). Each child has a place in God’s heart from all eternity; once he or she is conceived, the Creator’s eternal dream comes true. Let us pause to think of the great value of that embryo from the moment of conception. We need to see it with the eyes of God, who always looks beyond mere appearances." (AL, 168)
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Rv 21:10-14, 22-23
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The readings today instruct us that as a fruit of the Resurrection, we enjoy the presence of Christ forever, through his Holy Spirit. That Spirit both enlightens us interiorly and as a society, bringing about peace and right relationships.
The truth that the Spirit brings, first of all, is one with the word of Jesus and the Father, as the Gospel passage explains. No “new gospel” can come along under the purported inspiration of the Spirit. No such inspiration will contradict the settled teachings of the Church. Jesus says the Spirit will “remind” us of what he said. Such reminders are necessary as we journey through history, and through periods, as in our day, when certain trends obscure fundamental truths, such as that of the sanctity of life. When influences in society like the decisions of government or the messages of mass media line up against the sanctity of life, the Spirit “reminds” the faithful and the Church of the truth about life and how it is to be respected.
The Spirit guides not only individuals, in whom God resides (as the Gospel passage indicates), but also the community, as the first reading demonstrates. Moreover, the guidance, or light, of God will be the center of the community in the world to come. That is why the Second Reading indicates that there is “no need of sun or moon to shine on” the new Jerusalem, because “the glory of God gave it light and its lamp was the Lamb.” The truth of God is what holds his people together, and brings the peace of which Jesus speaks in the Gospel. This truth is the foundation of the right relationships between us, including our relationships with the youngest and most vulnerable members of the human family.