There are two men named St. Peter of Tarentaise who lived one century apart. The man we honor today is the younger Peter, born in France in the early part of the 12th century. (The other man with the same name became Pope Innocent the Fifth.)
The Peter we're focusing on became a Cistercian monk and eventually served as abbot. In 1142, he was named archbishop of Tarentaise, replacing a bishop who had been deposed because of corruption. Peter tackled his new assignment with vigor. He brought reform into his diocese, replaced lax clergy and reached out to the poor. He visited all parts of his mountainous diocese on a regular basis.
After about a decade as bishop Peter "disappeared" for a year and lived quietly as a lay brother at an abbey in Switzerland. When he was "found out," the reluctant bishop was persuaded to return to his post. He again focused many of his energies on the poor.
Peter died in 1175 on his way home from an unsuccessful papal assignment to reconcile the kings of France and England.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Dear Jesus, I come to you today Lord, may I never take the gift I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
Lord, may I never take the gift
I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
The Word of God
Reading 1 acts 8:26-40
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
"Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route."
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
"Go and join up with that chariot."
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
"How can I, unless someone instructs me?"
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:
Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.
Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
"I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?"
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?"
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Jesus said to the crowds:
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world."
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
3rd Week of Easter
I am the bread of life. (John 6:48)
Have you ever skipped a meal and felt the stress on your brain and body? You may have felt fatigued, moody, or light-headed. Scientists tell us that prolonged fasting is not very wise as it can cause short- and long-term health problems. In fact, nutritionists have published a plethora of books to help us maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Well, in the same way that nutritionists are concerned with our physical health, Jesus is concerned with our spiritual health. That's why he came to give himself to us as the living bread.
In addition to speaking about the gift of the Eucharist, the image of the bread of life also speaks about God's revelation to us in Christ. When the Israelites were trekking through the desert toward the Promised Land, God provided manna to feed them. But that manna sustained only their physical bodies, not their spirits. In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us that God the Father sent him as a kind of food that surpasses the manna. Jesus, the Messiah, came to feed our spirits and to make a way for us to enter into heaven. He made it possible for us to live with God forever. He promises that all who eat of him—all who embrace his revelation—will be raised up to eternal life!
The good news is that in the Eucharist, Jesus gives us this food of eternal life here and now. We don't have to wait until we die to "live forever" (John 6:51). We can begin to experience the grace of heaven by surrendering our lives to the Lord and letting him fill us daily with his grace, strength, and wisdom. Every time we eat his Body and drink his Blood, we can celebrate our redemption and receive even more revelation of his goodness. Every time we ponder his words in the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church, we can experience him filling our hunger and satisfying our thirst.
Today, join Peter in his great proclamation of faith and surrender: "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God" (John 6:68-69).
"Lord, you are truly the Messiah, the bread from heaven. Fill me and renew me."
Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20