From The Gospel of John, directed by Philip Saville
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Links to the readings and some reflections for the Feast of the Santo Niño are further down.
Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche, in 1964 invited two men with learning disabilities, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, who had been living in institutions, to live with him in a small cottage that he bought and renovated in France. Having done so he realized that he had made a commitment to these two men and that his commitment involved remaining single. He had no intention of founding a movement but, in God's plan, that's what came about.
Fr Hans Urs von Balthasar, a great theologian from Switzerland, much admired by St John Paul II, in reflecting on today's Gospel from the First Chapter of St John, links it to an incident in the last chapter, John 21: 15 ff [starting at 0:55 in the video below].
Fr von Balthasar writes: In the last chapter of the book Peter will be the foundation stone to such a degree that he will also have to undergird ecclesial love: 'Simon, do you love me more than these?'
John 21:15-17 was the gospel read at the Pope's Mass in Manila Cathedral yesterday, Friday, with priests, religious, consecrated persons and seminarians. This passage shows what is at the heart of every call from God, whether to marriage, to the priesthood, to the consecrated life, to the single life. The call is above all to an intimate relationship with Jesus. Pope Francis highlighted this in his homily yesterday: For us priests and consecrated persons, conversion to the newness of the Gospel entails a daily encounter with the Lord in prayer. The saints teach us that this is the source of all apostolic zeal! For religious, living the newness of the Gospel also means finding ever anew in community life and community apostolates the incentive for an ever closer union with the Lord in perfect charity. For all of us, it means living lives that reflect the poverty of Christ, whose entire life was focused on doing the will of the Father and serving others.
Pope Francis also said, The poor. The poor are at the center of the Gospel, are at heart of the Gospel, if we take away the poor from the Gospel we can’t understand the whole message of Jesus Christ.
Living the Gospel within the context of a deep personal relationship with Jesus the Risen Lord involves seeing reality through the eyes of those with little. Pope Francis showed this in a beautiful way by an unplanned - at least it wasn't on the official schedule - to a group of very poor children at TNK in Manila, near the Cathedral. ('Tulay ng Kabataan' means 'A Bridge to Children').
That video can act as a bridge to the celebration in the Philippines this Sunday and the gospel that will be read.
In the Philippines the Feast of the Santo Niño (Holy Child) is celebrated this Sunday. This year it coincides with the visit of Pope Francis. He will celebrate the Mass of the feast in Manila.
The original image, at the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño de Cebú. [Wikipedia]
You will find the readings for the feast, with the exception of the Gospel, and some reflections here.
Gospel: Mark 10:13-16