Ember Wednesday after Pentecost
The Gift of Fortitude is a permanent power which the Holy Ghost communicates to our will to assist us in overcoming the difficulties which might deter us in the practice of what is right.
LESSON (Acts V. I2-16.) In those days, Were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. But of the rest no man durst join himself unto them: but the people magnified them. And the multitude of men and women that believed in the Lord was more increased, insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow at the least might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities. And there came also together to Jerusalem a multitude out of the neighboring cities, bringing sick persons and such as were troubled with unclean spirits, who were all healed.
EXPLANATION In this porch of the temple the apostles met frequently because there they found occasion to prepare and bring the heathens to receive the faith of Christ. From this porch the Gentiles were permitted to enter the temple, and in order to open their eyes, God wrought, through the apostles; great miracles.. ,St. Peter was especially distinguished; for even his shadow healed diseases, and he was the first to receive the Gentiles into the Church. Thus : in the apostles were verified Christ's words: He that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do: (John XIV. 12.)
GOSPEL (John VI. 44-52.) At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: No, man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day. It' is written in the prophets: .And. they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath ,learned, cometh to me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say unto you: He that believeth in me,. hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from, heaven: that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If any, man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: arid the bread than I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.
INSTRUCTION From these words of Jesus that no man comes to Him unless drawn by the Father, that is, as St. Cyril says, unless the Father move him through exhortations; instructions, or revelations, it is seen that the grace of God is necessary for conversion, faith, and eternal happiness. "But that you may be drawn," says St. Augustine, "pray." Ask God incessantly for help and grace, that He may draw you wholly to Him, nourish and strengthen you with the true bread, the flesh of His Son, and you will thus gain eternal life.