JUN 2021

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint Mark 4:35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: "Let us cross to the other side."

Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm.

Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"

They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"

“Why are you so terrified?”

His disciples drew near to him, woke him and said: “Help, Lord, we are perishing!” (…) O blest, O true disciples of God, you have the Lord your Savior with you and are you afraid of danger? Life is with you, and you worry about your death? You arouse from sleep the Creator who is present with you as though, even asleep, he could not calm the waves and stop the storm?

What answer do the beloved disciples give to that? We are very small children who are still weak. We are not yet strong men (…) We have not yet seen the cross. The Lord’s passion, his resurrection, his ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, have not yet given us solidity (…) The Lord is right to tell us: “Why are you so terrified? Why are you lacking in faith?” Why are you lacking in strength? Why this lack of trust? Why so little recklessness when you have Trust with you? Even if death were to break in, should you not bear it with great constancy? In all that happens, I will give you the necessary strength, in every danger, in every trial, including the soul’s departure from the body (…) If in danger my strength is necessary so as to bear everything courageously, how much more necessary is it if you are not to fall before life’s temptations!

Why be troubled, O you of little faith? You know I am powerful on earth; why don’t you believe I am also powerful over the sea? If you acknowledge me as true God and Creator of everything, why don’t you believe I have power over all I have created? “He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: ‘Quiet! Be still!’ The wind fell off and everything grew calm.”


JUN 2021

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds: "This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.

Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.

"He said, "To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?

It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.

But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.

"With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.

Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

"It puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade"

The kingdom of heaven, says the gospel, is like a mustard seed (…) Christ is the kingdom of heaven. Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin's womb, he grew up into the tree of the cross whose branches stretch across the world (…) Christ is the kingdom, because all the glory of his kingdom is within him. Christ is a man, because all humanity is restored in him. Christ is a mustard seed, because the infinitude of divine greatness is accommodated to the littleness of flesh and blood.

Do we need further examples? Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in himself. The man Christ received the mustard seed which represents the kingdom of God (…); though as God he had always possessed it He sowed it in his garden.

The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labor of the apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers: virgins' lilies and martyrs' roses, set amid the pleasant verdure of all who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all who have faith in him.

Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in his garden. When he promised a kingdom to the patriarchs the seed took root in them; with the prophets it sprang up, with the apostles it grew tall in the Church it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now you too must take the wings of the psalmist's dove (Ps 68[67]:14) (…) and fly to rest for ever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there (Ps 91[90]:3); fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter.

Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450)Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church

Sermon 98 ; CCL 24A, 602


JUN 2021

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Solemnity

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples said to him, "Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"

He sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him.

Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'

Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.

"The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.

Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

"This is my blood (…), which will be shed for many"

The lovers of this world display their generosity by giving money, clothes and various gifts, but not one of them gives his own blood. Christ gives his. In this way he demonstrates the tenderness he feels for us and his ardent love. Under the Old Law (…) God consented to receive the blood of sacrifices but this was just to prevent his people from offering it to false gods and, already, this was proof of a very great love. But Christ transformed this rite (…); there is no longer the same sacrificial victim; it is himself he offers in sacrifice.

"The bread that we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ?" (1 Cor 10:16)(…) What is this bread? The body of Christ. What becomes of those who communicate in it? The body of Christ: not a large number of bodies but just one body. Just as this bread, made up of so many wheat grains, makes only one loaf into which the grains disappear - for even though the grains remain in it yet it is impossible to distinguish them in such a closely compacted mass - so all of us, together with Christ, make up a single whole (…). Now, if we all share in the same bread and are united to the same Christ, why don't we show the same love to each other? Why don't we become one in this case too?

This is what was seen at the beginning: "The community of believers was of one heart and mind" (Acts 4:32) (…) Christ came in search of you who were far away from him to unite himself to you, but you, don't you want to become one with your brother? (…) You violently separate yourself from him after winning from the Lord so great a proof of his love – and life! For he did not only give his body but, just as our flesh, drawn from the earth, had lost its life and died through sin, so he has introduced, so to speak, another substance like a leaven: this is his body, the body sharing the same nature as ours but free from sin and abounding in life. And he has given it to all of us so that, fed with this


MAY 2021

The Most Holy Trinity - Solemnity

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

The Most Holy Trinity

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Incarnation of God's Son reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. The mission of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of the Son (⇒ Jn 14:26) and by the Son "from the Father" (⇒ Jn 15:26), reveals that, with them, the Spirit is one and the same God. "With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified" (Nicene Creed).

"The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the first principle and, by the eternal gift of this to the Son, from the communion of both the Father and the Son" (St. Augustine, De Trin. 15, 26, 47).

By the grace of Baptism "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light (cf. Paul VI, CPG).

"Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son's is another, the Holy Spirit's another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal" (Athanasian Creed).

Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do. But within the single divine operation each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, especially in the divine missions of the Son's Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.


MAY 2021

Pentecost Sunday - Solemnity.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint John 15,26-27.16,12-15.

Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.

And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.

But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.

He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.

Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."

Pentecost Sunday

On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.

On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the "last days," the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.

We have seen the true Light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith: we adore the indivisible Trinity, who has saved us. (Byzantine liturgy, Pentecost Vespers, Troparion, repeated after communion).

The Holy Spirit - God's gift

"God is Love" (Jn 4:8.16) and love is his first gift, containing all others. "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Rm 5:5) Because we are dead or at least wounded through sin, the first effect of the gift of love is the forgiveness of our sins. The communion of the Holy Spirit (2 Co 13:13) in the Church restores to the baptized the divine likeness lost through sin.

He, then, gives us the "pledge" or "first fruits" of our inheritance: the very life of the Holy Trinity, which is to love as "God (has) loved us." This love (the "charity" of 1 Co 13) is the source of the new life in Christ, made possible because we have received "power" from the Holy Spirit. (Ac 1:8)  By this power of the Spirit, God's children can bear much fruit. He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear "the fruit of the Spirit: . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."129 "We live by the Spirit"; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we "walk by the Spirit." (Ga 5:25).

Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God "Father" and to share in Christ's grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory. (St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, 15,36)