Optional Memorial: Pope St John Paul II

“At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.” (Luke 13:1.)

Saint Ephrem the Syrian offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel proclamation:

“They came and informed Jesus concerning the men from Galilee, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices, on the festival of Herod’s birthday, when he cut off John’s head. Since Herod had illegally killed John, Pilate sent and killed those who were present at the feast. Since he was not able to injure Herod, he destroyed his accomplice to his shame, and he left him in anger until the day of the Lord’s judgment. The two were reconciled through the pretext of the Lord. Pilate mixed their blood with their sacrifices, because the Roman authorities forbid them to offer sacrifice. Pilate found them transgressing the law and offering sacrifices, and he destroyed them at that same place and time.” (Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron, 14.)

God, Who are rich in mercy and Who willed
that Saint John Paul the Second
should preside as Pope
over Your universal Church,
grant, we pray,
that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts
to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen