Holy Mass

Holy Mass, May 5th, 2021

Acts of the Apostles 15,1-6.

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and presbyters about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, as well as by the apostles and the presbyters, and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”
The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Psalms 122(121),1-2.3-4a.4b-5.

I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
To it the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15,1-8.

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923)


The “instruments of good works” (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, London: Sands & Co., 1934, pp. 131-132, rev.)

“Remain in me as I remain in you” (Jn 15:4)

Whatever be the stage in which the soul is, its work, however, is never anything but a work of co-operation. The soul is not alone: God works in and with it, for he is ever the first Author of its progress. Doubtless, at the outset, when the soul is yet encumbered with vices and evil habits, it must needs apply itself with virility and ardor to remove these obstacles which are opposed to divine union. The co-operation that God requires of it at this period is particularly great and active, and is revealed very clearly to the conscience. During this period, God grants sensible graces that uplift and encourage. But the soul experiences inward vicissitudes: it falls then rises up again; it labors, then rests; it takes breath again then goes forward on its way. As far and in the measure as the soul advances, and obstacles give way, the inner life becomes more homogeneous, more regular, more uniform; the action of God is felt to be more powerful because it is more free to act and because it meets with less resistance and more suppleness in the soul; then we rapidly go forward in the path of perfection. (…) Our Lord has so clearly given us this fundamental doctrine: “I am the Vine, you are the branches; abide in me that you may bear fruit, for without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). (…) To imagine, then, that Christ will take upon himself all the work would be a dangerous illusion; but to believe that we could do anything whatsoever without him would be no less perilous. We must be convinced too that our works are only of value by reason of our union with Jesus.