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Daily Mass Reflections - 5/17

Updated on May 18, 2022

Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope” ~ Psalm 16

The Responsorial Psalm chosen in support of today’s readings carries perfect relevance in both instances, as we continue to journey with Paul, the tireless prophet and brave defender of consecrated truth (Acts 20:30, 23:6-11) and Jesus, as He offers up His prayer to the Father in John’s Gospel (17:20-26).

In Paul’s case, his life was suddenly in peril on the heels of the Sanhedrin’s meeting with the Pharisees, a meeting in which key matters of faith were discussed. Yes, the Resurrection, Angels and even the idea of the Spirit World were all on the docket and up for debate, during which a “great uproar occurred.”

A member of the Pharisees, the group which in fact believed in all three of the aforementioned concepts that Paul, a son of the Pharisees in his own right endorsed, eventually decided to place Paul under protection. The following night the Lord stood by Paul and said “Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”

So although it’s clear that Paul’s mission is far from complete, it’s equally clear that the Lord will not abandon him, and it’s evident that the proverbial heat is about to be turned up as Paul sets his sights on Rome.

“Keep me safe O Lord; you are my hope”

Turning to the Gospel, we once again find Jesus engaged in prayer with the Father for the “ones he has chosen,” those who are “one in Him, just as the Father is one in Him.” Going back to yesterday’s Gospel (John 17:1 1b-19) Jesus reminds the Father that “When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them...”

This is of course in direct reference to the Apostles, but it’s also a timeless pledge and promise from Jesus to all those who follow in the footsteps of the Apostles, as we are called to do. “Without hindrance, Paul proclaimed the Kingdom of God (Acts 28:31). We’re called to do the same. It’s difficult.

Keep me safe O Lord; you are my hope.

So as we swiftly approach Pentecost Sunday and with it the literal pouring forth, or “breathing” forth of the Holy Spirit, we’re reminded of Jesus’ first words to His disciple after His Resurrection: “Peace be with you.”

It is though our Lord’s promise to keep us safe and to watch over us that we will achieve this peace, a peace of mind and of spirit.


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