Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the ChurchLectionary: 272

Reading 1 ACTS 6:1-7
As the number of disciples continued to grow,

the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews

because their widows 

were being neglected in the daily distribution.

So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,

“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.

Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,

filled with the Spirit and wisdom,

whom we shall appoint to this task,

whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer

and to the ministry of the word.”

The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,

so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,

also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,

and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

They presented these men to the Apostles

who prayed and laid hands on them.

The word of God continued to spread,

and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;

even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.


R. Alleluia.

Exult, you just, in the LORD;

praise from the upright is fitting.

Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;

with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.


R. Alleluia.

Upright is the word of the LORD,

and all his works are trustworthy.

He loves justice and right;

of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.


R. Alleluia.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,

upon those who hope for his kindness,

To deliver them from death

and preserve them in spite of famine.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.


R. Alleluia.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Christ is risen, who made all things;

he has shown mercy on all people.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,

embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.

It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.

The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.

When they had rowed about three or four miles,

they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,

and they began to be afraid.

But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

They wanted to take him into the boat,

but the boat immediately arrived at the shore

to which they were heading.

“Look around among your own number, brothers, for seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent.” –Acts 6:3
“They presented these men to the apostles.” –Acts 6:6
Did you notice that the leaders of the early Church placed the responsibility for finding deacons on the “community of the disciples”? (Acts 6:2) That’s us! We are to be on the lookout for those who would make good leaders in the Church.

This was new for the early Christians. Jewish priests and Levites were born into their positions. The apostles were called and chosen by Jesus Himself. The early Church, however, called the lay people to raise up future leaders from “among [their] own number” (Acts 6:3).
Our priests and bishops today cannot possibly know each person who may have a call to religious life and other forms of leadership in the Church. They depend on each one of us to do our part in building up the Church. We can do this by:
asking God to reveal to us those “spiritual and prudent” men and women,

pointing out to these people their gifts,

frequently encouraging (Heb 10:25) and praying for them,

discipling them so they can be more “spiritual and prudent,”

presenting these people to church leaders by offering to introduce them to vocation directors, paying for them to go on retreats, etc. and

making disciples (Mt 28:19) by having as many children as God calls us to have and raising them in the faith.

The leaders of the Church are depending on you. “Look around” (Acts 6:3).
PRAYER: Father, may I be for You a scout full of encouragement (Nm 13:2, 30ff).

PROMISE: Jesus “told them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ ” –Jn 6:20

PRAISE: St. Catherine guided the chief pastor, the pope.


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