FIRST READING
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16:22-34)

In those days: The crowd of Philippians joined in attacking Paul and Silas; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was   a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptised at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 13b: 1 ac-2a.2bcd-3.7c-8 (see 7c)
R/. With your right hand you save me, O Lord.
or:  Alleluia.

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I praise you.
I bow down toward your holy temple. R.

I give thanks to your name
for your merciful love and your faithfulness.
You have exalted your name and your promise over all.
On the day I called, you answered me;
you increased the strength of my soul. R.

With your right hand you save me;
the Lord will accomplish this for me.
O Lord, your merciful love is eternal;
discard not the work of your hands. R.

ALLELUIA John 16:7.13
Alleluia. I will send the Spirit of truth to you, says the Lord; he will guide you into all the truth. Alleluia.

GOSPEL                                  
 “If I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 16:5 – 11)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgement: of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgement, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The ability to endure persecution and trials for the sake of the Gospel is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and Giver of Life. The Spirit strengthens the Christians in his daily life to constantly bear witness to the risen Lord.  The experience of Paul and Silas shows that God can use any human situation to advance His kingdom.  If we dispose ourselves to Him the Spirit still works in us, and through us, for the salvation of souls. May the Advocate who proceeds from the Father and the Son grant us the firm resolve of carrying our crosses daily to follow Jesus.

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