Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Opening sentence and prayer:
Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.
Blessed be Christ the Lord. It is through Him that I have access to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
+ Send Your Holy Spirit, the welcome guest of my heart – do not allow me to grieve Him by the harshness of my words.
+ Lord Jesus, ascended to the Father, I turn to You in the night of my anxiety and the day of my over-confidence – plead for me with the Father.
+ May Your Spirit make me one with You – let me never be separated from Your love by distress, persecution or danger.
+ As my brother, You accepted me – teach me to glorify God and to accept others.
Lord God, let Your Spirit come upon me in power and fill me with His gifts, to render my mind pleasing to You and make me submissive to Your will. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A Reading from Acts: Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 (NLT)
In Jerusalem: The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)
There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord. (John 17:21)
A Reading from the Gospels: John 17:20-26 (NLT)
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen