NOVENA TO ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
Antiphon: O St. Paul the Apostle, preacher of truth and doctor of the gentiles, intercede for us to God.
- After that, Saul began to harass the Church. He entered house after house, dragged men and women out and threw them into jail. (Acts 8:3) Antiphon
- “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Sir?” he asked. The voice answered, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5) Antiphon
- For he who worked through Peter as his apostle among the Jews had been at work in me for the gentiles, and they recognized the favor bestowed on me. (Gal. 2:8-9) Antiphon
- With my many more labors and imprisonments, with far worse beatings and frequent brushes with death. (2 Cor. 11:23) Antiphon
- And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9) Antiphon
- But by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of his to me has not proved fruitless. (1 Cor. 15:10) Antiphon
- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me; on that day the Lord, just judge that he is will award it to me. (2 Tim. 4:7-9) Antiphon
READING - Day 5
How I wish that our own way of communicating, as well as our service as pastors of the Church, may never suggest a prideful and triumphant superiority over an enemy, or demean those whom the world considers lost and easily discarded. Mercy can help mitigate life’s troubles and offer warmth to those who have known only the coldness of judgment. May our way of communicating help to overcome the mindset that neatly separates sinners from the righteous. We can and we must judge situations of sin – such as violence, corruption and exploitation – but we may not judge individuals, since only God can see into the depths of their hearts. It is our task to admonish those who err and to denounce the evil and injustice of certain ways of acting, for the sake of setting victims free and raising up those who have fallen. The Gospel of John tells us that “the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). The truth is ultimately Christ himself, whose gentle mercy is the yardstick for measuring the way we proclaim the truth and condemn injustice. Our primary task is to uphold the truth with love (cf. Eph 4:15). Only words spoken with love and accompanied by meekness and mercy can touch our sinful hearts. Harsh and moralistic words and actions risk further alienating those whom we wish to lead to conversion and freedom, reinforcing their sense of rejection and defensiveness. -Pope Francis, 2016 World Communications Day Message
THE PAULINE OFFERTORY (adapted from Blessed James Alberione)
Father, in union with all those celebrating the Eucharist throughout the world, I wish to unite myself with the heart and intentions of your beloved Son, Jesus, who offered his life for our salvation:
— that the media may always be used to support the good of each person and the common good; to uplift the sacred dignity of every human person, especially those who are poor and most vulnerable; to nurture marriage and family life; to bring about solidarity, peace, greater justice, and equality for all people; and to build respect for the gifts of God’s creation;
— in reparation for the errors and scandals spread throughout the world through the misuse of the media;
— to call down your mercy upon those who have been deceived or manipulated by the misuse of the media, and led away from your fatherly love;
— for the conversion of those who have spread error, violence, or a disregard for the dignity of the person by wrongly using the media and rejecting the teaching of Christ and his Church;
— that we may follow Christ alone whom you, Father, in your boundless love, sent into the world, saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear him”;
— to acknowledge and to make known that Jesus alone, the Word Incarnate, is the perfect Teacher, the trustworthy Way who leads to knowledge of you, Father, and to a participation in your very life;
— that in the Church the number of priests, religious, and lay people who are dedicated as apostles of the media will increase in number and grow in holiness, making resound throughout the world the message of salvation;
— that all those who work in the media with good will (writers, artists, directors, editors, technicians, producers, advertisers, and distributors) may grow in wisdom and uprightness, living and spreading worthy human and Christian values;
— that the undertakings of Catholics in all forms of media may continually increase, so that by more effectively promoting genuine human and Christian values, they will silence the voices that spread error and evil;
— that well aware of our inadequacy and unworthiness, we may recognize our need to draw near the font of life with great humility and trust and be nourished with your Word, Father, and with the Body of Christ, invoking light, love, and mercy for all men and women.
Our Father and Apostle, St. Paul, you are preacher of truth and doctor of the gentiles. Intercede for us to God, who chose you.
You appointed Paul your apostle
to preach the good news of salvation.
Fill the entire world with the faith he carried
to so many peoples and nations.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.