DAILY CATHOLIC     FRIDAY-SATURDAY-PENTECOST SUNDAY     May 29-31, 1998     vol. 9, no. 104

DAILY LITURGY

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Friday, May 29, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 25: 13-21
      Psalms: Psalm 103: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20
      Gospel Reading: John 21: 15-19

Saturday, May 30, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 28: 16-20, 30-31
      Psalms: Psalm 11: 4-5, 7
      Gospel Reading: John 21: 20-25

PENTECOST SUNDAY, May 31, 1998

      First Reading: Acts 2: 1-11
      Psalms: Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-31, 34
      Second Reading 1 Corinthians 12: 2-7, 12-13
      Gospel Reading: John 20: 19-23

SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST: DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

         The Solemn Feast of Pentecost is regarded as the "Birthday of the Church" for the Holy Spirit began His perpetual presence with Holy Mother Church at this occasion recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In Acts 2:38, Saint Peter reminds us of this new Covenant when he says, "You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." The passages in 1 Corinthians 3: 16; 6: 9-20, Romans 5:5; 8: 26-27; and 2 Thessalonians 2: 13-14 show us how it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can profit by and fulfill the necessary duties that pave the way to salvation in the Church. The name Pentecost is derived from the fact that it is celebrated 50 days after Easter, ten days after the Ascension. Originally the name, whose etimology comes from the Greek pentekoste, was attributed to the Jewish Feast of Weeks which occurred 50 days after the Passover. With the New Covenant Pentecost was forever associated with the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Christ's chosen Church.

(Though it is not officially celebrated today because it is superceded by Pentecost, May 31 is the traditional Feast of the Visitation which we also highlight below.)

FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF MARY TO HER COUSIN ELIZABETH

          The Visitation of Mary, the Second Joyful Mystery, commemorates the account in Luke 1: 39-45, in which the Blessed Virgin Mary travels to meet and assist her pregnant cousin Elizabeth who is carrying her son John the Baptist in her womb. Both women, with child greet one another in a spirit of genuine love and caring. We get the significance of this union when we read that "the baby [John] leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!'" This last phrase means, in the Hebrew idiom: "More blessed art thou than any other woman on earth." Elizabeth's joyous greeting and faith in the Lord though she did not physically see the Christ child sets a precedence for Christ's words later in John 6: 40 and John 20: 29 - "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." The meeting of the two also prompted the renowned words in which Our Lady proclaims the glories of God while asserting her humble fiat before the Almighty One in the Magnificat.

Monday, June 1, 1998

      First Reading: 2 Peter 1: 2-7
      Psalms: Psalm 91: 1-2, 14-16
      Gospel Reading: Mark 12: 1-12

SAINT JUSTIN, APOLOGIST AND MARTYR

          Born of pagan parents in 103 AD in the village of Neapolis in Samaria (today Sichem in Palestine), Saint Justin was afforded a good education and devoted his life to the study of philosophy with a growing hunger to know of this God these upstart Christians preached. Unsatisfied with the contending schools of philosophy, he relentlessly continued his search until God Himself quenched that thirst for knowledge which was Divinely inspired through an old Christian man who explained in the simplest, but most profound terms what Christianity was about. Convinced he had found what he had long been looking for, Justin enthusiastically embraced Christianity, realizing that Sacred Scripture and the zeal of the martyrs led to faith and it was in faith that one could come to know God. Once he was converted he threw himself into spreading this faith with the same zeal he had during his search for this faith. Justin carried the Gospel to Egypt, Greece and Italy, distributing his writings far and wide, eventually arriving in Rome where he established a school of Christian philosophy. In his efforts to defend the Jews against the Romans, Justin wrote the Dialogue of Trypho and, armed with the strength of the Spirit wrote two special Apologies to the Roman Senate and Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The second Apology was more than Aurelius could stand. His pride and lack of control raging out of control, Aurelius ordered Justin be put to death. Brought before the Prefect of Rome to be sentenced, Justin and the disciples with him feared no earthly death. When the Prefect provoked Justin by mocking him with the question "Do you think that by dying you will enter this heaven you talk about and be rewarded by this God of yours?" Justin replied, "I do not think; I know!" As Justin was so certain, so also the faith he embraced is a certainty - that by striving to do God's Will through all that Jesus asks within the framework of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church we can be assured of joining Justin someday in our everlasting reward.

May 29-31, 1998       volume 9, no. 104
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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