Memory of the Church

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We remember Saint Pancratius (+304), who died a martyr for the love of the Gospel when he was 14 years old. Prayer for younger generations so that they may meet the Gospel and the Lord


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 13,13-25

Paul and his companions went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to synagogue on the Sabbath and took their seats. After the passages from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message, 'Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.' Paul stood up, raised his hand for silence and began to speak: 'Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors and made our people great when they were living in Egypt, a land not their own; then by divine power he led them out and for about forty years took care of them in the desert. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and raised up David to be king, whom he attested in these words, "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will perform my entire will." To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David's descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his course he said, "I am not the one you imagine me to be; there is someone coming after me whose sandal I am not fit to undo."

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The journey of the disciples, or better to say the "journey of the Word of God," continues towards Antioch in Pisidia. It is here, in the vast region called Asia Minor, present-day Turkey, that Paul starts to communicate the Gospel. It is his first missionary trip and, as soon he reaches Antioch of Pisidia, Paul goes right away to the Jewish community and is invited to speak in their synagogue liturgy the next Sabbath. Paul is well aware of the stature of the people of Israel's religious vocation. He feels that has a responsibility to offer a commentary on the entire history of the relationship between God and his people from the perspective of the new Christian vision that has transformed him so radically. This passage reports the beginning of his preaching. After the reading of the passages from the Law and the Prophets, the apostle is invited to take the floor. Paul turns directly to his audience and invites them to listen attentively: "You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen." The apostle is aware of the gravity of the moment and in his speech he reads the history of the relationship between God and His people in the new perspective of apostle of the Christian community. In a few verses Luke summarizes the path of the Jewish people up to the witness of the Baptist to whom the Lord entrusted the task of introducing the people to the meeting with the Messiah. Paul's intention to link the history of the people of Israel to Jesus and his disciples is clear. It is the only "God's work." It is the mystery between the first and the other covenant.