“What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 17: 15.22-18: 1)
In those days: Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command or Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed. So Paul, standing in the middle of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’ as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.” Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from among them. But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 148:1-2.11-12.13.14
R/. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts. R.
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all judges of the earth,
young men and maidens as well,
the old together with the young. R.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted,
his splendour above heaven and earth. R.
He exalts the strength of his people.
He is the praise of all his faithful,
the praise of the children of Israel,
of the people to whom he is close.
ALLELUIA John 14:16
Alleluia. I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, to be with you forever. Alleluia
“The Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 16:12-15)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “1 have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Natural reason can lead men to the knowledge of God, but the self-revelation of the Triune God is make more concrete by the gift of faith. According to Pope St John Paul II: “Faith and reason are the two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” Paul discovered that the Athenians in their philosophical investigation did have this idea of God, though it was unclear to them. On seeing the alter to “An Unknown God.” Paul brilliantly tries to convince them of the existence of the one true God, who is not the work of any human hands but He created us and redeemed us in Christ Jesus. For in Him we live, move and have our being. May the Paraclete lead us to the complete truth!