Reading I

A reading from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 20:28-38)


At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:

“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock

of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,

in which you tend the Church of God

that he acquired with his own Blood.

I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,

and they will not spare the flock.

And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth

to draw the disciples away after them.

So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,

I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.

And now I commend you to God

and to that gracious word of his that can build you up

and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.

I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.

You know well that these very hands

have served my needs and my companions.

In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort

we must help the weak,

and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking

he knelt down and prayed with them all.

They were all weeping loudly

as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,

for they were deeply distressed that he had said

that they would never see his face again.

Then they escorted him to the ship.


Responsorial Psalm (68:29-30, 33-35a, 35bc-36ab)

  1. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.


  1. Alleluia.

Show forth, O God, your power

            the power, O God, with which you took our part;

For your temple in Jerusalem

            let the kings bring you gifts.

  1. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.


  1. Alleluia.

You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,

            chant praise to the Lord

            who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.

Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:

            “Confess the Power of God!”

  1. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.


  1. Alleluia.

Over Israel is his majesty;

            his power is in the skies.

Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;

            he gives power and strength to his people.

  1. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.


  1. Alleluia.



See Jn 17:17b, 17a

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

Your word, O Lord, is truth;

consecrate us in the truth.

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.



From the Gospel according to John (Jn 17:11b-19)


Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name

that you have given me,

so that they may be one just as we are one.

When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,

and I guarded them, and none of them was lost

except the son of destruction,

in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

But now I am coming to you.

I speak this in the world

so that they may share my joy completely.

I gave them your word, and the world hated them,

because they do not belong to the world

any more than I belong to the world.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world

but that you keep them from the Evil One.

They do not belong to the world

any more than I belong to the world.

Consecrate them in the truth.

Your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world,

so I sent them into the world.

And I consecrate myself for them,

so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”



The world hates Christians for the same reason that they hated Jesus: because he brought the light of God, and the world prefers darkness so as to hide its evil works. Following Jesus means following his light, which was kindled in the night of Bethlehem, and abandoning worldly obscurity. (Angelus, 26 December 2016)